According to Mayo Clinic (2016), "Most ear infections cure themselves without the need for antibiotics."
If we give the body adequate time to heal and take action steps to support the healing response, then our immune systems are going to thank us in the long run! Antibiotics have their time and place, but frequent use for ear infections result in a strong likelihood to future ear infections and resistant bacteria.
Of course steps such as fueling with a healthy diet and quality hydration, getting adequate sleep and staying active are all going to help us on our journey to health when we are sick. However, we should also be doing these things regularly and not only when we are sick.
Here are some additional tips + tricks if an ear infection pops up:
1. Warm compress
This technique is often used for pain management. Warming the area will help relieve pain associated with ear infections and is an easy way to help comfort your little one. Other schools of thought state that this technique may help with drainage during an ear infection.
2. Garlic Oil
Garlic oil can be found in many health food stores and is excellent for its antimicrobial, antiviral + anti-fungal properties. Many people even call this oil "nature's antibiotic"! For more information, visit:
Probiotics can be taken in the form of supplements or by consuming probiotic enriched foods (kimchi, kombucha, kefir, etc). Ear infections are often a sign of a weakened immune system, therefore probiotics are used to help strengthen immune function by introducing healthy bacteria. Probiotics are also a good supplement to add to your daily routine as a preventative way to reduce sickness overall.
4. Food allergies?
According to researchers, children with food allergies are more prone to ear infections. If your child has an allergy to gluten, nuts or dairy, and they are consuming it regularly without you knowing, then ear infections might be a regular occurrence for your child. A food sensitivity test might be a worthwhile investment for some peace of mind! It is also important to work towards eliminating a diet full of processed foods only. In our office, we see a strong correlation between children who have a high dairy diet and those who have frequent ear infections.
5. Chiropractic care
We are extremely passionate about chiropractic care for children. Why? Because we watch health miracles happen in every day! Research has shown strong correlations between children receiving chiropractic adjustments and decreased frequency and length of ear infections. Chiropractors often focus on gathering information about the child’s birth process during their initial consultation. We know that birth (whether vaginal, via c-section, or forceps) can result in upper neck trauma for the child. This is important because the nerves located in this area innervate functions associated with the immune system and ENT.
One study completed by Joan M. Fallon, D.C. (1997) comprised of 332 children struggling with frequent ear infections.The researcher found that after receiving consistent chiropractic care, close to 80% of children did not experience another ear infection within a 6-month period. WOW!
Research has shown that breastfed babies are less likely to have ear infections than a child who is formula-fed. This is because breastmilk helps support immune function by transmitting immuo-protective substances directly from the mother. These antibodies can help fight off foreign microbes that have potential to result in ear infections. These foods often contain inflammatory properties, high sugar levels and are overall low in nutritional value.