Every parent knows that there’s no worse feeling than helplessly watching as your child suffers from pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, this is something that parents of children with chronic ear infections can often deal with daily. Ear infections in children have a habit of striking without warning at the worst times. Of course, even adults can suffer from painful ear infections that completely throw them off balance.
You’re not alone if ear infections are throwing your family for a loop. About 80 percent of all kids will have at least one ear infection before turning three. Ear infections typically occur due to bacterial or viral breakouts within the ear. They can actually radiate from the inner ear, middle ear, or outer ear. The very generalized and radiating pain and discomfort caused by ear infections can make it difficult to diagnose the issue. The symptoms that are commonly experienced include severe ear pain, reduced hearing, dizziness and poor balance. All of these symptoms can be quite terrifying for a person of any age. However, that’s really just the beginning of how pervasively ear infections can impact the quality of life of a child. Here’s a look at some other telltale signs that a child’s health and wellness are being impacted by ear infections:
- Constant crying and fussiness when all needs have been met.
- Radiating, shooting ear pain.
- Mood difficulties.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Difficulty with identifying sounds at low decibels.
- “Mysterious” and constant fevers even when a child is healthy.
- A sensation of “pressure” that can be felt inside the ear.
- A habit of pulling or tugging at one or both ears.
- A puss-like fluid dripping from one or both ears.
Chronic ear infections that go undiagnosed in children can actually be misdiagnosed as learning and behavioral issues. The good news is that there are ways to treat ear infections that are not invasive or painful. Take a look at the basics of discovering, understanding and treating ear infections from the perspective of a chiropractor.
What Occurs With an Ear Infection?
Why does it seem like we only hear about ear infections happening to children? Parents shouldn’t assume that they are doing something wrong just because their children seem to develop ear infections regularly. There are actually a number of reasons for this. First, a child’s ear tubes are smaller and less developed than an adult’s tubes. What’s more, a child’s ear tubes tend to lay in a flatter manner that makes it more difficult for fluids to drain out of the ear. It’s also common for smaller, flatter tubes to be filled by mucous that has nowhere to go. The second reason why children are so prone to ear infections has to do with their developing immune systems. Children simply have a harder time fighting off the same ear infections that may not impact adults. It’s possible that an ear infection could either develop or be amplified by something called a subluxation. A subluxation is a misalignment or compression that can cause inflammation and blockages within the spine and nervous system.
Some underlying or environmental factors do potentially increase the odds of a child developing an ear infection. For instance, children with colds or allergies may experience extra mucous that could make them more susceptible to ear infections. Unfortunately, physicians are often unable to comprehensively treat ear infections in children. The most common advice given to parents is to simply “wait things out” until the infection resolves on its own. Parents who are given medical options for treating ear infections often feel uncomfortable with the idea of giving their children strong medications that could have side effects or addictive properties. In addition, there is concern that frequently prescribing antibiotics for the treatment of childhood ear infections could ultimately lead to antibiotic resistance that could be dangerous for the long-term health of a child. Other parents would simply like to explore alternative options for treating ear infections before moving on to treatments like tubes. A desire for choice and exploration “outside the box” for what can be a very troubling issue for children has caused more and more parents and doctors to consider the benefits of chiropractic care for treating ear infections naturally.
The Role of Chiropractic Care in Treating Ear Infections
Today’s chiropractors are fully familiar with many of the signs of ear infections in children. The chiropractic approach is actually a holistic approach to managing the symptoms of ear infections. It is believed that correcting misalignment issues and subluxations that may be preventing natural fluid drainage could help to drastically improve ear health and function in a way that treats and prevents childhood ear infections.
What happens during chiropractic care for ear infections? After consulting with a patient’s parents, a chiropractor will come up with a plan for a chiropractic adjustment. During an adjustment, the chiropractor will focus on any misalignment issues or blockages within the spine and joints. This will help to restore proper function to the nervous system. In addition, eliminating restrictions within the nervous system can also eliminate the inflammation and pressure that could be contributing to infections within the body. A healthier nervous system means that the body is better equipped to manage pain that radiates from the ear during an ear infection. The goal here is really to create balance and resilience within the body to prepare for what may be an inevitable infection.
Many children respond beautifully to chiropractic adjustments for ear infections. They may also simply feel healthier and more comfortable after blockages and inflammation within the nervous system are addressed. Here’s a look at just some of the improvements that are often reported after children receive chiropractic treatments for ear infections:
- Pain relief.
- Reduced or eliminated discomfort.
- Better coordinator.
- Better flexibility.
- Overall decreased inflammation within the body.
Chiropractors aren’t interested in “taking over the show” when it comes to treating childhood ear infections. They are interested in helping parents to find safe, long-term treatments that they can feel good about. This often includes an approach of co-treating a child along with a primary care physician or specialist.
Why Parents Should Consider Chiropractic Care for Ear Infections
Parents seeking natural treatments for ear infections that don’t conflict with other treatment options that are being pursued are often curious about chiropractic adjustments. Ultimately, there is good evidence to suggest that chiropractic adjustments may help to improve drainage to decrease the prevalence of ear infections. A chiropractic approach to treating ear infections really looks at the role of the nervous system in its entirety when preventing blockages and inflammation that could be contributing to infections. This is an alternative to a “bandage” approach that attempts to fix an ear infection after all of the “ingredients are already in place” because it is focused on optimizing the functioning of the nervous system. That means that children may simply feel better all around after the underlying issues that are making them more vulnerable to ear infections are addressed through spinal adjustment and manipulation. It’s worth exploring how chiropractic care can treat ear infections if this is an issue that is impacting your child’s health, happiness and development.