Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their children to see a pediatrician. If you are one of the millions of parents whose kids have repeated ear infections, you know how painful and bothersome they can be. You may have already been through several rounds of antibiotics, only to see the ear infections come back, again and again. If you’re looking for a solution, you’ve come to the right place.
Naturopathic doctors and medical doctors both agree that ear infections are due to bacteria or viruses growing deep in the ear. On this level, prescribing antibiotics makes sense – it will kill the bacteria (although it won’t kill viruses), and the symptoms will usually go away. So why do kids get repeated ear infections, requiring multiple rounds of antibiotics? One of the principles of naturopathic medicine is “Treat the Cause.” This is a reminder to look deeper, to find out what else is contributing to a given problem. With any case of ear infections, a doctor should wonder: what is going on that allows bacteria and viruses to grow in this child, again and again?
Microbiologists know that in order for bacteria to grow, certain conditions must be met – certain temperature, moisture, and available food (mainly sugar) must be present. If these conditions aren’t met, bacteria can’t flourish. It turns out that some kids have the perfect combination of temperature, moisture and food supply – it’s like bacteria heaven! Also, after multiple courses of antibiotics, the immune system is weakened. So naturopathic doctors look at the environment that the bacteria are growing in, as well as the child’s defense mechanisms.
In order to treat ear infections – and improve your child’s overall well-being – your naturopathic doctor will recommend a treatment plan that fits your child. The plan may include:
1) Dietary modifications; 2) Determining and avoiding food allergens; 3) Simple vitamin and nutritional supplements that will make your child stronger and less ‘appealing’ to pathological bacterial overgrowth; 4) Individualized homeopathic remedy to improve your child’s overall vitality and to strengthen the defense mechanisms; 5) Hydrotherapy treatment to increase circulation and relieve congestion and the associated pain. 6) An herbal formula that is antimicrobial, and also boosts the immune system.
Did you notice that one of the 6 steps involves directly killing the bacteria? Are you wondering how your child’s diet can influence their ear infections? It all has to do with making the environment of the middle ear healthier, and therefore more inhospitable to bacterial growth. With naturopathic treatment, your child will experience fewer ear infections overall, because the treatment is aimed at removing the underlying cause – the environment that allows the bacteria to grow in the first place. The treatment also focuses on improving the child’s immunity. This has the added benefit that your child will be more resistant to other “bugs” that come around, too! This means less pain, fewer courses of antibiotics, fewer trips to the doctor’s office, and less time off from school and work.
Ear infections are easily treatable – and even preventable – with naturopathic medicine. If you or someone you know has been struggling with ear infections, don’t wait until the next time it flares up. Call today!