Chiropractors In The Quad Cities Can Help With Ear Infections

Quad City Chiropractors Help Ear Infections

Chiropractic Care Can Help With Ear Infections

Davenport Chiropractors

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Ear infections in babies and toddlers create a difficult time for everyone involved. The child is uncomfortable and may be unable to communicate what is going on to their parent. Parents may not know what is going on with their little one, especially if the little one cannot talk yet. This creates a stressful environment filled with crying (sometimes by both the child and the parents), worry, and often sleepless nights. What is a parent to do?

Different Types Of Ear Conditions In Babies And Toddlers

First things first, there are different types of ear infections and these differ from earaches. Acute otitis media is the clinical term for fluid build up in the inner ear that has caused inflammation and swelling. This is often thought to be caused by backed up fluid creating a breeding ground for bacteria. This is typically accompanied by redness, swelling, and a fever. Antibiotics are often given by medical doctors to treat acute otitis media. Between 70%-85% of acute otitis media infections are bacterial with the other 15%-30% being viral.

Acute otitis media is different that otitis media with effusion. This commonly refers to fluid build up in the inner ear without inflammation and fever. This typically occurs when a child has a viral infection and is creating an excess amount of mucus. A watch and wait approach is taken in this situation because antibiotics cannot help with viral infections. The condition usually resolves itself.

Otitis externa is commonly referred to as swimmer’s ear. (In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, otitis means ear.) In this condition, the ear canal becomes inflamed and often infected usually due to a build up of fluid in the ear canal that is a breeding ground for bacteria. Antibiotics are typically prescribed for this condition by medical doctors.

Common Causes Of Ear Infections

Quad City Chiropractors and ear infections

The underlying cause of most ear infections is hygiene. Before ear infections can happen, viruses and bacteria have to be present in order to replicate and cause a noticeable infection. Ear infections often occur after a cold, usually an upper respiratory infection. This creates an excess amount of fluid in the sinuses that can lead to the breeding ground of bacteria.

The real question is why does this happen in babies and toddlers, but not adults? The main reason is that the tube that drains fluid away from the inner ear (the eustachian tube) is much flatter when we are born. As we get older, our head gets bigger and elongates. When this happens, the tube becomes more oriented in a downward fashion and the ear drains better.

Because the tubes are flat and very small in a new born, a lot more fluid stays in the tubes than in older kids. Due to the small size, they are also more prone to getting blocked. This creates a perfect environment for the replication of viruses and bacteria. So now that we know that flat tubes and hygiene play an important role in ear infections, let’s take a look at common treatments.

Common Treatments For Ear Infections

A call to your medical doctor may be the first call you make. If your child is under the age of 6 months, and there are signs of ear inflammation, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. This is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). I would like to point out that antibiotics only work with bacterial infections! Children 6 months to two years old are recommended a watchful waiting period of 72 hours to see if the problem resolves on its own. Chronic ear infections lead to a surgical intervention of tubes in the ears. So now let’s take a look at what Chiropractors can do differently.

Quad City Chiropractor Ear InfectionsChiropractors like to prevent bad things from happening if at all possible. So thinking about the problem of ear infections from a preventative standpoint, the two main causes we want to address are tube orientation and hygiene.

During the birth process the head and neck of the newborn become compressed. This often causes the occiput (the bone at the back of your skull) to become subluxated (slight bone mis-alignment) in a downward fashion. Because the rest of your head sits on your occiput, the tube on the subluxated side will also be lower aka: flatter. If your child only gets ear infections on one side, chances are that their occiput is out of alignment. A gentle Chiropractic adjustment by your local Chiropractor can properly align the occiput and also help to orient the eustachian tube properly.

The ear itself can get oriented in  a down position. Ears can be adjusted to help orient the eustachian tube in a downward fashion. This is not always necessary, but can work wonders if the ear itself is out of alignment. This is why I recommend that all newborns get checked by a Chiropractor as soon after delivery as possible.

Hygiene. Wash your hands before you touch your baby. Breastfeed. A Mother’s breast-milk contains antibodies (different than antibiotics) that help fight off infection in the newborn. This helps prevent infections in your newborn. Kids are notoriously messy, I know, I have a three year old. But little things like clean hands, breastfeeding, and getting checked by a Chiropractor can prevent a lot of pain, crying and sleepless nights.

If you live in the Quad Cities and need a good Chiropractor for your baby, give me a call and we can get them checked out. If you don’t live in the Quad Cities, I recommend that you call around to your local Chiropractors and see if they treat newborns and toddlers, and then make an appointment. Read my post on how to find a good Chiropractor. Get Adjusted and Be Well!

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