Ear problems can be incredibly painful and frustrating conditions. More than 10 million cases of ear infections are diagnosed every year, making them the most common illness among infants and young children.
Otitis media is name that doctors use to describe this condition that’s responsible for one out of every three visits to the pediatrician. The symptoms are very painful and usually result in a combination of ear pain, irritability and high fever.
Ear infections can be either viral or bacterial in origin, and they frequently accompany other conditions like an upper respiratory infection. This common type of infection tends to become a chronic issue for some children, requiring numerous treatments year after year and increasing afflicted children’s risk of permanent hearing damage and speech problems.
Signs of Ear Infections in Infants
One of the most frustrating things about otitis media, besides its tendency to reoccur frequently, is that those who are most at risk lack the ability to vocalize the problem. Therefore, all parents should familiarize themselves with the following signs that may indicate an ear infection in a baby:
- Tugging or pulling at ears. While babies frequently pull on their ears for many reasons, pulling that’s accompanied by crying may be a sign that your child is suffering from an ear infection.
- A yellowish or whitish fluid draining from the ear is a sure sign of infection. It’s caused by a small hole in the eardrum that’s easily healed once the infection is properly treated.
- Decreased appetite. Ear infections can make chewing and swallowing extremely painful. A reliable indicator of infection is if your baby takes a few sips from the bottle before pulling away and crying.
- Vomiting or diarrhea. The same bug that causes ear infections can also impact your child’s digestive tract.
- An unpleasant odor coming from your baby’s ear is a very good reason to suspect that otitis media is at play.
- Lastly, if your child is having difficulty sleeping it may be because lying down is causing the ear infection to be more painful.
Chiropractic Care for Ear Infections
Many parents, frustrated with seemingly endless rounds of antibiotics used to treat their children’s ear infections, have turned to chiropractic care for help. While long-term test results are limited, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that one chiropractor from New York has published results showing that nearly 80 percent of pediatric patients with otitis media who received upper-cervical manipulation were free from ear infections for at least six months following their initial visits that included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks. The idea behind the findings is that chiropractic treatments allow the child’s ears to drain more effectively and once the body learns to fight the infection it remembers how to do so in the future.
If you’re frustrated by the frequency of your child’s ear infections, the ACA encourages you to talk to your doctor of chiropractic for help. Your chiropractor is able to diagnose and treat patients of any age and will be able to provide gentler care for your child that doesn’t involve yet another round of antibiotics.
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