Parents often accept acute otitis media (ear infections) as a normal part of a young child’s life.  But although common, it is not “normal.”

Clinical data shows that children may get ear infections as a result of improper drainage of the deep neck lymphatics. This causes fluid to back up, the ear drum to appear inflamed, and a welcome environment for bacteria.

The preferred medical treatment is oral antibiotics.  But there are significant problems with this route of treatment.  An important study for parents whose children are taking antibiotics for ear infections to see is one published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. It concluded that children who took amoxicillin for chronic ear infections were two-to-six times more likely to have a recurrence of their ear problem than those who received a sugar pill.  Lead author Erdem Cantekin Ph.D. (professor of otolaryngology) said, “Children are being abused by the antibiotic treatment in this country.”

Drug-resistant strains of childhood ear infections are increasing rapidly.  Health officials say the trend is closely tied to the doctors’ misuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and patients’ mistaken belief that antibiotics are a “magic bullet” for all that ails them.

Up to half of the 110 million antibiotic prescriptions written annually may be “inappropriate” for the illness being treated, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Dr. Alfred Berg, co-chair of the federal panel of experts, said that in most cases the condition disappears within three-six months without treatment.  Berg said antibiotics frequently used in the past, are of very limited value in treating the condition.

Berg also said that antibiotics could cause side effects and lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria that can cause more serious disease.  Antibiotics are not the preferred option in the early stages of the condition.

Dr. Michael Poole, a professor of otolaryngology and pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical branch in Houston, emphasized that most infants and young children with otitis media don’t need antibiotic at all.

“Ongoing studies at the University of Pittsburgh suggest that only about one out of seven children with otitis media should receive a prescription for an antibiotic,” he stated.  “The disease usually gets well on its own.”

A concern of mine is that many pediatricians may not be up-to-date on the current health trends and latest research.  While the antibiotics may give temporary relief, they may inhibit the child from building natural immunity to prevent further episodes.  Instead of a treatment whose objective is to kill the bacteria or virus, a more natural approach would be to restore nervous system function resulting in normal drainage of the ears and lymphatics.

Doctors of Chiropractic are able to work with children, restoring normal function to the spine and nervous system, which may reduce or eliminate the tense neck musculature responsible for preventing the normal fluid drainage.

Once this interference is removed, the excess fluid in the ear drains, the appealing environment for bacteria and viruses to grow is removed, and the infection can heal.  After normal drainage has been restored, the recurrence of ear infection is greatly reduced, or nonexistent.

Damage to the upper neck of an infant can easily occur during the birthing process.  If undetected, or uncorrected, improper function and health problems may arise.

Have your children checked today, so they can get a strong start to a happy, healthy life!

Dr. Raymond runs a family Chiropractic practice in Austintown, OH. Consultations are offered at no charge to determine your specific health needs. To schedule an appointment, have questions answered, or to have a free health information packet sent to you, call 330.799.4400 today.