Ear infections (also known as acute otitis media) are a common issue for many children, especially during the summer months. When these infections reoccur, families can be troubled with their child in pain and many sleepless nights. Often times antibiotics are ineffective and can lead to decreasing the effectiveness of the child’s immune system leading to multiple reoccurrences.
When looking at the anatomy of the ear, the eustachian tube (the tube that drains the inner ear) is more horizontal in children than in adults. Sometimes the “infection” is not actually a bacterial infection, but a drainage problem. When fluid accumulates, the area becomes red and inflamed and the child feels pressure and pain. Typically this occurs with no fever at all, and sometimes it coincides with teething pain and irritation. During the summer months this also occurs with frequent swimming and repeated exposure to the highly chlorinated water in pools.
Chiropractic care can help improve the drainage of the eustachian tube. Gentle, safe adjustments to the upper neck and cranial area help to improve the nerve information flowing to these areas and structurally facilitate the tube in draining. The child's ear can be checked after the adjustment and a few hours post-adjustment with an otoscope (ear viewing device) to see if the fluid has drained. Not only is the chiropractic adjustment safe and effective, but it can also work much faster than a round of antibiotics if the child is having a drainage issue. This makes for happy kids and parents!