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Ear Infections: What's The Best Treatment?

Acute Otitis Media (ear infections) are the most common upper respiratory condition treated in pediatric offices today. Sadly, the majority of children will automatically be placed on an antibiotic despite growing evidence that suggests there is only a marginal benefit from this form of care.

In the 1950s the use of antibiotics saved the lives of millions of people; however this overuse created resistant bacteria. There is now a new realm of powerful diseases that we are unable to fight with existing antibiotics. These resistant bacteria travel and spread easily around day care centers and schools. Antibiotics have many possible side effects, including diarrhea, malabsorption, cramping, yeast infections, agitation, rashes and blood disorders. By wiping out the majority of the normal bacteria in the body, antibiotics leave patients, especially children, vulnerable to other infections.

Each course of antibiotics given to a child can make future infections harder to treat and create resistant bacteria that can be passed to other members of the family or to their peers. Scientific evidence has found that 80% of children who suffer from an ear infection with a high temperature or vomiting will improve within 24-48 hours simply by allowing their own bodies to naturally fight the infection. Another study found that treating ear infections with antibiotics compared to doing nothing resulted in the same outcome. The outcomes that were compared were parent satisfaction with care, number of days missed of school, number of visits to the doctor, or the reoccurrence rate after 30 days.

Taking preventative steps to boost your child’s immune system is the key. Making necessary diet changes can be beneficial, such as avoiding dairy and high sugar foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend parents play an active role in preventing Acute Otitis Media by:

  • Altering child care attendance
  • Breastfeeding for a minimum of 6 months
  • Avoiding supine bottle feeding (bottle propping)
  • Reducing or eliminating pacifier use in the second 6 months of life
  • Eliminating the exposure to passive smoke

Chiropractic care is also a vital component in maintaining your family’s health. A case study of multiple children with acute otitis media found that chiropractic care had excellent outcomes with no residual complications. Multiple studies have been conducted that have found over a 93% improvement rate for children under chiropractic care. Chiropractic care directly and indirectly affects the nervous system by removing interference in the body. When the body is able to function optimally, the body can heal from the inside out naturally.

Have your child’s spine checked by your chiropractor today to keep them healthy for a lifetime!

Sources:

  1. Palmer L. Antibiotics and Ear Infections. Pathways. 01 Sept 2009;23. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/antibiotics-and-ear-infections.html
  2. Mercola J. Treating an Ear Infections. Pathways. 01 Mar 2007;13. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/treating-an-ear-infection.html
  3. Neustaedter R. Ear Infections: Antibiotics Not Necessary. Pathways. 01 Sept 2005;7. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/ear-infections-antibiotics-not-necessary.html.
  4. Arnig C. Antibiotics and the Aware Parent. Pathways. 01 June 2004;2. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/antibiotics-and-the-aware-parent.html.
  5. Fysh PN. Chronic Recurrent Otitis Media: Case Series of Five Patients with Recommendations for Case Management. J Clinical Chiro Ped. 1996;1(2). [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/chiropractic-research/chronic-recurrent-otitis-media-case-series-of-five-patients-with-recommenation-for-case-management.html.
  6. Vallone S, Fallon JM. Treatment Protocols for the Chiropractic Care of Common Pediatric Conditions: Otitis Media and Asthma. J Clinical Chiro Ped. 1997;2(1):113-115. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/chiropractic-research/treatment-protocols-for-the-chiropractic-care-of-common-pediatric-conditions-otitis-media-and-asthma.html.
  7. Froehle RM. Ear Infections: A retrospective Study Examining Improvement from Chiropractic Care and Analyzing Influencing Factors. J Manip Physiol Ther. 1996 Mar-Apr;19(3):169-177. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/chiroprcatic-reasearch/ear-infections-a-retrospective-study-examining-improvement-from-chiropractic-care-and-analyzing-influencing-factors.html.
April 5th, 2013
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