Acute ear infections (otitis media) are the most common reason for a child to see a doctor and account for more than 35% of all pediatric office visits each year in the U.S., according to the American Association of Pediatrics Guidelines update. An ear infection is an inflammation in the middle ear caused by bacteria that traveled to the middle ear from fluid build-up in the Eustachian tube. This tube acts as an equalizer of the air pressure inside and outside to the middle ear.
Symptoms of Ear Infection
The onset of signs and symptoms of ear infection in children is usually rapid.
Signs and symptoms of ear infection common in children include:
- Ear pain, especially when lying down
- Tugging or pulling at an ear, especially in babies
- Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased irritability and crying
- Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Headache, loss of appetite, vomiting
- Drainage of fluid from the ear thick and yellow or bloody (may be indication of a burst eardrum)
Treatment of Ear Infection
Due to recent studies that indicate many acute ear infections resolve themselves in 3-7 days, some parents are choosing to keep a watchful eye on their child in place of a trip to the doctor’s office. If symptoms worsen or persist past the 7 days, parents are encouraged to visit their pediatrician or pediatric chiropractor.
Generally, the go-to treatment for ear infection is antibiotic therapy. Though bacterial infections may be cured by antibiotics, viral infections do not respond to the medication, so many pediatricians are no longer recommending this treatment.
Surgery is an option when a child has had continual recurrence of ear infection, or chronic ear infection. Artificial drainage tubes are implanted in the ear to help the natural drainage process of fluid in the ear. Ear tube implants are often successful; however, tubes can come out of the ear and as with any surgical procedure the risk of anesthesia or infection during surgery must be taken into consideration.
Chiropractic Care for Ear Infections
Our approach at Levitz Family Chiropractic is simple. We perform a complete assessment of your child’s nervous system to find areas that are disturbed. If the nervous system is compromised, the body is not working properly to send nerve signals to and from the brain which may result in an impaired ability to fight infection.
Though chiropractic is not a treatment for an ear infection, or any other infection, we can reduce nerve tension with gentle chiropractic adjustments to help restore the nervous system. For ear infection, Dr. Levitz focuses on an upper-cervical manipulation—a light touch in just the right place is all that is generally required in infants and children to encourage the ear to drain.
Chiropractic adjustments in children are natural and safe with benefit to the whole well-being of the child. Our parents are astounded by the results.
Call Levitz Family Chiropractic today at 805-646-0105 to schedule an appointment for a complete chiropractic assessment to get your child on his way to wellness.