Why antibiotics shouldn’t be the first line of defense for simple ear infections
Ear infections are quite common in our little ones; ear pain, crying, fevers are the usual precursor of a cold or other respiratory infection.
Childhood ear infections most commonly infect the middle ear, called otitis media. This causes swelling in the middle ear and into the Eustachian tubes (tubes from the ear that drain fluids into the throat). When fluid is unable to drain properly out of the ears it creates an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses to flourish. Sometimes, the fluid builds up enough to cause the eardrum to burst, which will then allow the eardrum to burst and dispel fluids.
Why does this seem to happen to so many children?
Children’s Eustacian tubes are shorter and more horizontal than that of adults. Not to mention, they have less mature immune systems than grownups with make them more susceptible to infections. According to the Pediatrics 2003;111:e574-9 by the age of seven, 93% of children will have at least one bout of otitis media, making it the most common reason for visits to the pediatrician.
When your child suffers from an ear infection it can be painful for both children AND parents. However, it is usually a minor illness. If your child suffers from chronic, re-occurring ear infections that is a greater concern because it may impact hearing and speech development.
Are Ear Infections caused by Viruses or Bacteria?
Viruses! Not bacteria. Did you guess right? That means most ear infections are not affected by antibiotics. Before considering prescribed antibiotics ask your doctor to test of the condition is viral or bacterial. Many health experts now agree that most mild or moderate ear infections clear up on their own with “the wait and see approach.” This will avoid overuse of antibiotics which can lead to the development on bacteria that become drug resistant. The job of antibiotics is to kill off ALL the bacteria in the digestive tract which includes both good and bad bacteria.
How can Chiropractic Care help Ear Infections?
Unfortunately, birth can be a traumatic experience and as a result children can acquire misalignments of the spine (Subluxations). Mild chiropractic adjustments to a baby’s the neck and the base of the head are very effective in correcting these spinal dysfunctions attained during the birthing process. Chiropractic can impact the child by allowing their nerves and muscle to function optimally. When the spine is functioning to its optimum capacity fluid drains from the ears easily. This makes a significant difference for children suffering from ear infections.
A child’s spine is very unique in that it is mostly made up of cartilage and membrane. This makes infants and children very responsive to gentle chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic is safe and effective for all ages!
Many of the patients that are parents choose chiropractic care for their children because it assists in maintaining optimum health. With regular spinal adjustments, good nutritional advice and other natural remedies children are less likely to need drug intervention which is what parents want!
Healthy Eating and Supplementation to Prevent Ear infections
In addition to chiropractic care there are natural options that assist with preventing and overcoming ear infections which can be purchased at your local health food store or your natural health care practitioner.
Supplements to add to your children’s diet:
• Naturopathic Ear Drops
• Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
• Garlic Extract
Limit or remove from your child’s diet:
• Refined grains (packaged and processed cookies, pop-tarts, crackers, chips, breads etc)
• Cow’s Milk and Cheese(other options include raw, grass-fed goats milk in moderation, rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk)
• Refined sugars ; candy, concentrated fruit juices, soda
**If you have pets it critical to have your child tested for allergies, for they may be experiencing allergic reactions to your pets**
Healthy dietary options to add to your child’s diet:
• Give them have un-limited access to vegetable and fruits (cut up and prepare lots carrot sticks, celery, tomatoes, avocado, berries, apples slices, pears, melon, raisins, etc) keep them in the refrigerator for easy access
• Prepare lean meats for lunch and diner (preferable grass-fed beef, free ranging chickens, wild salmon)
• Eggs from free ranging chickens (scrambled, over easy sunny side up or a big veggie omelet)
• Healthy oils essential for development (olive, flax and coconut oils have many health benefits)
• Healthy whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, millet
• Healthful sweeteners in moderation such as un-processed honey, maple syrup, molasses and stevia
• LOTS and LOTS or pure water
It is SO important for parents to teach their children to incorporate healthy eating habits when they are young, the habits they learn at a young age will impact the rest of their life! A healthy diet full of nutrients from fresh foods and supplementation leads to a healthy immunity and will give your child the defenses to better fight off infections.