THE LOWDOWN ON CHILDHOOD EAR INFECTIONS
WHAT DOES THE MOST CURRENT RESEARCH SAY TO DO?
“Over 2 million American children experience fluid in the middle ear each year, often following a cold or an acute ear infection. The American Academy of Pediatricians estimates $4 billion are spent in the U.S. for diagnosing and treating fluid in the ear each year. However, the fluid most often disappears of its own accord and does not lead to acute ear infections. Also, antihistamines and antibiotics have little effect on the condition and do not help prevent delays in learning or language and speech development. According to the recommendations made by the AAP, the only treatment middle ear fluid warrants is watchful waiting…” Cherry-picked (as are all my quotes) from Harvard Medical School’s article, New Guidelines for Treating Ear Infections
“Treating kids’ ear infections used to be pretty straightforward: Your pediatrician simply handed you a prescription for an antibiotic. Maybe your child is now so familiar with “the pink stuff” that she can practically measure it into the dispenser herself. And you probably know a kid who got multiple ear infections that left his ear so clogged with fluid that it wouldn’t drain, so he got ear tubes. Recent research suggests that drugs and surgery are overused. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), now has guidelines that recommend fewer medical interventions for ear infections. There’s been a major shift in thinking. Here’s the advice you’re likely to get from your pediatrician these days — and why it’s best for your child. Let’s watch and wait.” Richard Laliberte from Parents Magazine (The New Ear Infection Rules)
“The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating a common childhood ailment that can cause a lot of misery — the ear infection. The group encourage[s] observation with close follow-up instead of antibiotic treatment for many children, including some under the age of 2 years. Between a more accurate diagnosis and the use of observation, we think we can greatly decrease the use of antibiotics…. There are different stages of ear infections, and making the diagnosis can be tricky. Because the diagnosis isn’t always easy to make, the AAP offers detailed treatment suggestions, encouraging observation with close follow-up….” Frem Serena Gordon’s article on WebMD called Kids’ Ear Infections: New Guidelines for Treatment
The updated guidelines from March of 2015 state, “The most important diagnostic feature for AOM (Acute Otitis Media [an ear infection]) noted in the new guideline is a bulging or full tympanic membrane [ear drum]. Because of the inflammation in the middle ear space during AOM, typically the TM becomes thickened and nontranslucent or completely opaque. Acute otitis media is not associated with inflammation. Redness of the TM is not generally a valuable diagnostic sign of AOM. The 2013 AAP guideline recommends high-dose amoxicillin for 5 to 10 days as the treatment of first choice in most patients. We have recently shown that repeated antibiotic treatment does not change the mix of pathogens causing AOM, but it significantly increases the proportion of strains that display amoxicillin resistance.” Sound confusing? Could be why so few doctors follow current guidelines. What do I mean? I promise that if you take your child to the average physician and tell him or her that they’ve been crying and tugging at their ear, 99 out of 100 times you’ll walk out with a scrip. Why is this such a big deal?
For one, antibiotics don’t really solve the problem over the long haul as shown by the statement above concerning pathogens and resistance. In other words, while they might kill the current infection, they leave the patient (in this case a child or infant) prone to repeated infections, as well as a huge array of potential problems. Although there are any of numbers of reasons for this, the elephant in the room that the guidelines failed to address is that the VAST MAJORITY OF ONE’S IMMUNE SYSTEM is made up of the bacteria residing in one’s Gut. This means that each and every time your child takes an antibiotic, they might (due to ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE, the emphasis is on might) be killing the bacteria being blamed for said ear infection. What’s indisputable is that these same antibiotics are wreaking havoc, weakening, and actually destroying the immune systems of the children taking them, leading to a myriad of problems, including cancer (HERE). Which makes the brand new study from the New England Journal of Medicine all the more relevant.
Twenty physicians and researchers working at Pitt (Shortened Antimicrobial Treatment for Acute Otitis Media in Young Children), divided babies into two groups — one getting five days of antibiotics and five days of placebo, the other getting ten straight days of antibiotics. The conclusions were as follows. “Among children 6 to 23 months of age with acute otitis media, reduced-duration antimicrobial treatment resulted in less favorable outcomes than standard-duration treatment; in addition, neither the rate of adverse events nor the rate of emergence of antimicrobial resistance was lower with the shorter regimen.” Even though the current guidelines recommend shorter treatment duration with antibiotics, it’s not working out too well on many different fronts.
The point is this folks; it’s taking longer and longer regimens of stronger and stronger antibiotics to knock out simple childhood ear infections. The hard reality is that this conundrum has been largely caused by physicians that have been ignoring their own research (not to mention ignoring their own guidelines) for decades — HERE — something I spoke at length about YESTERDAY concerning several other health guidelines. But there’s good news for those of you who have lived this nightmare.
There are a couple simple adjustments (finger pressure to the atlas as well as the ears themselves) that will solve the majority of childhood ear infections — even the mean and nasty / severe / ugly ones that no one else has been able to touch (CRAZY MAD VIDEO TESTIMONIALS). Knowing how bad antibiotics are for your children (THE FACT THEY CAUSE OBESITY is one of many reasons); doesn’t it make sense that you would do whatever it takes to keep them off this class of drug? Fortunately for you, my site has many pieces to this puzzle. Below are just a few….