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Ear Infections and Antibiotics

Ear infections, also known as otitis media, are a common childhood problem.  If you are reading this, you probably have a child that has suffered or is suffering with ear infections.  Although they are common, does not mean that they are normal.  We are going to break down some easy strategies that will decrease the chance and improve the overall health and immune system of your child. 

  • Ear infections are in the top 10 reasons that children visit the ER. 
  • It has been reported that over 80% of all children suffer from ear infections before the age of 3 and nearly 100% will have at least one episode before the age of 5.  
  • Ear infections are responsible from more antibiotic prescription than any other single health concern.
  • Antibiotics can be dangerous, and as all drugs, have side effects.
  • Ear infections account for more than 25 million annual office visits in the US, costing about $5.3 billion in treatment.

Science attributes inflammation of the eustachian tube as the major contributor to the infection, which is associated with pain and discomfort.  A study from the 2010 Journal of Epidemiology showed that infants receiving two or more rounds of antibiotics in the first six months of life will have a 72 percent greater risk of developing asthma.

Although these statistics are shocking, there are some easy things we can do to help boost the immune system of our children.  Ideally, we would take steps to prevent ear infections, but if your child is suffering, here are a few things you may want to try:

  1. Avoid dairy products as they increase the mucous production and can cause the infection to stick around longer.
  1. Avoid grains and simple sugars.  These cause inflammation in our body.  Decreasing inflammation will help the body heal and repair quicker.  Bacteria also feeds off of sugar.  Eliminating simple sugars and grains can help kill off the bad bacteria in your child’s system.  
  1. If you are breastfeeding, put a few drops of breast milk in your child’s ear.  The mother’s milk production is very tuned into exactly what the baby needs.  A few drops of milk in the ear will have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties to help sooth and heal the infection.
  1. Get your child checked by a specific upper cervical pediatric chiropractor.  Numerous studies show excellent success and lasting results in boosting the child’s immune system and therefore allowing the body to heal itself.

Specific upper cervical chiropractic care looks at the relationship of the top two bones of the neck and the nervous system.  The nervous system controls and coordinates every organ, cell, and tissue in the body.  

There is a small muscle called the tensor veli palatini that controls the eustachian tube.  The top two bones of the neck are responsible for signaling if that muscle should contract or relax.  If the child has suffered any trauma to the head, neck, or skull (which most often occurs during the birth process), there may be a misalignment of the top two bones of the neck, compromising the communication to the eustachian tube and surrounding tissues.  A non invasive exam and state of the art technology can quickly tell if your child has a misalignment in their upper cervical spine.  If this is the case, safe, gentle adjustments can be done to clear the communication to the eustachian tube, releasing pressure and allowing them to drain naturally.

Drs. Tate and Kate Gentile at Atlas Specific Spine Center have advanced training in upper cervical and pediatric chiropractic.  Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION to see if your child may have an upper cervical misalignment which may be causing unnecessary ear infections.   

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