ear infections — part ii

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD AVOID EAR INFECTIONS

Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate.  This causes the Malleus (or “Mallet“) to go through a pounding motion, which eventually stimulates nerves in the inner ear that fire to the brain.  Complicated!  Now, just imagine the middle ear (the area just behind the eardrum), full of a mucous-like fluid.  If the Eustachian Tube is plugged up for any reason, this is what happens —- the middle ear fills with fluid and pushes out on the eardrum.  As you can imagine, this causes varying degrees of hearing loss.   But look at where the opening to the Eustachian Tube is in relationship to the middle ear.  It stands to reason that if you can keep the Eustachian Tube open, the ear should have no problem draining.  No need for a “Tympanostomy” (Ear Tube surgery that puts tiny plastic or stainless steel tubes through the Tympanic Membrane, otherwise known as the eardrum).  These surgeries are not only not effective, they actually cause lots of problems, including scar tissue and hearing loss. 
If you or a child have ever suffered with chronic ear infections, you know exactly how ugly this whole thing can be.  YESTERDAY’S BLOG ENTRY dealt with the vicious cycle of antibiotics that actually cause recurrent infection. 

The truth is that while specific upper cervical adjustments can halt ear infections (Otitis Media) via promoting proper drainage of the middle ear, there are things that can be done to keep the Eustachian Tube from plugging up in the first place.  Other than chiropractic, which is in the #1 position, they are in no particular order.

  • Chiropractic Adjustments – studies suggest that chiropractic adjustments to the skull and upper cervical spine (neck) can improve middle ear drainage and decrease ear infections (these studies will be the topic of Tuesday’s Blog Entry).  SEE YESTERDAY’S VIDEO TESTIMONIALS.  The truth is that when you keep your neck in adjustment, there is not usually a large need for some of the other things on this list.  To really understand how this is all possible, you need to understand what a SUBLUXATION is.

 

  • Avoid sugar.  We live in a country that consumes nearly 200 lbs of sweetener for every man, woman, and child.  Sugar or HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBS are the food of choice for bacteria, virus, yeast, and fungus (HERE).  Avoid them —- especially in children prone to chronic ear infections.

 

  • Control your child’s Day-Care setting. It is obvious that exposing your child to numerous other children increases the likelihood that your child will contract colds, viruses, and consequently more ear infections. Especially in locations where your child is indoors most of the time.  If “Granny” is happy to keep baby, let her do it!

 

  • Allergies & Sensitivities are an increasing problem in America, and are heavily related to something called Leaky Gut Syndrome. If you suspect SENSITIVITIES are a culprit in your child’s chronic infections (GLUTEN and processed cow’s milk are two of the biggies), either do an ELIMINATION DIET or have them tested to see.

 

  • COW’S MILK (especially the homogenized / pasteurized stuff) is a well-known “secretagog” (causes mucous secretions) that can plug the Eustachian Tube and sinus cavities. This can cause more, and more severe ear infections.  Dairy increases mucus in the system and bacteria grow more heavily when copious amounts of mucus are present.  Goat’s milk is much easier on the system, with far less mucous production or sensitivities being reported.

 

  • Irrigate your child’s nose. If your child has a stuffed up nose, chances are their sinus and ear canals are plugged up as well. This creates an environment in which germs thrive.   One way to reduce this is to irrigate your child’s nose with a bulb syringe. Take 8 oz of warm water and 1/2 tsp. of salt to create a saline solution. Fill the syringe and gently flush both nasal passages of the child. Allow the child to blow out the solution into a sink to get all of the mucus out of their tiny nasal cavities (do not ingest). This can bring relief to their breathing as well as cleanse the area to reduce bacterial growth.

 

  • The July 2001 issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine says that using a mixture of warm olive oil with fresh garlic extract in the ear, can ease the pain of ear infections —- something that mom has known all along.

 

  • Do not get a tonsilectomy or adenoidectomy on the hope that it will cure chronic ear infections.  A Dutch study published in the September 2004 issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal stated that there was not difference in the numbers of ear infections in children that had these procedures and those who have not.  Although some doctors are still promoting these surgeries, the results of this and other studies like it are common knowledge inside the medical community.  That both procedures have declined so dramatically over the past twenty years attests to this fact.

 

  • Airborne Pathogens & Cigarette Smoke wreak havoc on ears.   Fresh paint, cigarette smoke (especially THIRD-HAND SMOKE, and toxic household chemicals can lead to breathing problems. There is medical evidence proving that these various problems can cause ear infections (particularly cigarette smoke).  Listen up smokers.  It’s one thing if you want to smoke.  But if you love your children or grandchildren, DO NOT SMOKE IN THE HOUSE!  Second-hand smoke is every bit as bad as actually smoking itself.  And third-hand smoke (being in an environment where people smoke —- even though you are not around the smoke itself) is being touted as even worse than the others if that’s possible.

 

  • Lemon Juice. Using a few drops of pure lemon juice in the ear can balance the pH in the ear, and create an environment in which bacteria cannot survive. Allow the child to lay on the opposite side so the lemon juice has time to work.  This goes hand in hand with the simple cure / preventive for Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear).  Mix 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, 1/3 rubbing alcohol, and 1/3 vinegar.  Keep the mixture in a dropper bottle and use it every hour if you develop Swimmer’s Ear.  Also prevents Swimmer’s Ear when used immediately after swimming.

 

  • Nurse your baby for at least a year!  BREAST MILK is best, and actually lowers your child’s chances of getting ear infections.  I could go on for hours about the benefits of breast milk.  Just trust me, and nurse.  And stop by Dr. Art Ayers website “Cooling Inflammation” for some incredible information on this topic.

 

  • Most kids do not get remotely enough vegetables (HERE).  Eat more raw fruits and vegetables (particularly vegetables)!  Eating whole, raw food can greatly boost your child’s immune system and help fight off all infections (including Otitis Media). Eat organic when you can afford it (or better yet, grow your own) and choose to serve it raw instead of cooked. Cooking food tends to destroy the amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that build the body’s immune system and assist in reducing overall inflammation in the body.

 

  • ANTIBIOTICS cause DYSBIOSIS.  Dysbiosis causes chronic infections — including ear infections.  In other words Antibiotics cause recurrent infections. This is really simple to understand.  Your intestines contain 2-3 pounds of bacteria —- most of it good bacteria.  In fact, we know that 80% of your entire immune system is found in the gut (HERE).  Antibiotics kill all bacteria.  Thus, every time you take antibiotics, you are not only destroying your good bacteria, you are creating an environment whereby your gut is taken over by bad bacteria, fungus, yeast, and other nasties!

 

  • Chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol might help prevent ear infections.  Xylitol (a natural sweetener) has antibiotic properties, and the act of chewing helps keep the Eustachian Tubes open (this is why you chew gum when you fly).  DO NOT use gum sweetened with NUTRASWEET.

 

  • There is evidence that despite what your doctor has told you, childhood vaccinations not only do not help with ear infections, but actually promote chronically infected ears.  This is the topic of Monday’s blog.

Quick note on ear candling.  I have used it with my son when he was little (lots of wax).  Does it work?  I am not really sure.  However, I am not convinced that, like many doctors say, it is dangerous if it is done properly.  Do I promote it?  Not really — there are better ways to remove wax and open closed Eustachian Tubes (SEE YESTERDAY’S BLOG).  If it is done with direct supervision and an aluminum pie pan to protect the head and face, it is perfectly safe.

  • PART I   —- Childhood Ear Infections (Video Testimonials).
  • PART II  —- What You can do to Help Prevent Ear Infections in Your Children (Video of Ear)
  • PART III  — Childhood Ear Infections & the Relationship to Vaccinations
  • PART IV  — What does the Scientific Research Actually say Concerning Ear Infections? 

(Part IV also includes a video from Dr. Schierling about his children’s and wife’s ear infections, as well as a video from his in laws about their experience with Amy’s childhood ear infections.)

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