Ear infections are a common childhood ailment that have caused many sleepless nights for children and parents alike. At Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we provide a drug-free treatment that can help clear ear infections quickly.
What Is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection, which medical professionals sometimes call acute otitis media, is typically a viral or bacterial infection that affects the middle ear (the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the ear’s tiny, vibrating bones). When the Eustachian tube (a narrow tube connecting the ear and throat) is blocked by swelling, inflammation, or mucus resulting from allergies or an upper respiratory tract infection, fluid can accumulate in the middle ear, creating a welcoming environment for infection. The infection causes inflammation and fluid buildup, which means that an ear infection can be quite painful.
While anyone can develop an ear infection, the condition is much more common in children. Symptoms of an ear infection include the following:
- Ear pain, especially when lying down
- Tugging at the ear
- Unusual crying or irritability
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hearing difficulties
- Clumsiness or loss of balance
- Loss of appetite
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
How Are Ear Infections Treated?
There are different ways to approach the treatment of an ear infection. Where medical doctors tend to rely on time and medications, chiropractors utilize natural, drug-free methods that can speed healing.
The Medical Doctor’s Approach
Since many ear infections will clear up on their own in a matter of weeks, medical doctors often suggest using pain medications for comfort while simply allowing the infection to run its course. In severe cases, antibiotics may be prescribed. It is worth noting that antibiotics should be used only when necessary, because they can have side effects and may increase the risk that a drug-resistant strain of disease will develop.
The Chiropractic Approach
Understanding how chiropractic care can help an ear infection requires a brief anatomy lesson. The vertebrae that make up the spine have small bony projections on their sides called transverse processes. At the top of the spine, the transverse processes run next to the Eustachian tubes. Thus, correcting any subluxations in the first few cervical vertebrae can reduce tissue swelling around the Eustachian tubes, relieving pressure and allowing the ear to drain. In many case, the infection will clear within a couple of days. In fact, evidence indicates that chiropractic care can be helpful within 10 days.
Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture is proud to offer top-notch pediatric care. To see how we can help your family, schedule your appointment today.