Ear Infection Options
An estimated 80% of children in the United States will have suffered from an ear infection by the time they are four years old. This high rate has led many parents to believe the misconception that they are a normal part of the growing process. Chiropractic care may be the answer parents have been searching for.
Ear infections are often accompanied by a significant amount of pain, loss of sleep and appetite, vomiting, difficulty hearing, and a fever. The number one cause for hospital admissions of pediatric patients is ear infections. Unfortunately, one of the most effective, preventative, and least invasive forms of treatment is often overlooked.
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Traditional Treatments for Ear Infections
Doctors and researchers have concluded that approximately 60% of ear infections are bacterial and 40% are viral. Although antibiotics have been shown to be effective for ear infections caused by bacteria, they are relatively useless against the proportion caused by viruses.
The only way to accurately conclude which organism the ear infection is caused by is to take a sample of the fluid in the middle ear with a needle, which most doctors find too risky to perform. Due to the difficulty of achieving a proper diagnosis, multiple studies have shown that as many as 8% of all hospital admissions for earaches are inaccurately diagnosed. As a result, children are prescribed an antibiotic for a healthy ear, with pediatricians prescribing antibiotics almost 85% of the time, even for minor earaches.
Another common treatment for chronic ear infections is the insertion of “ear tubes,” or tympanostomy tubes, with nearly 700,000 performed each year. However, research and studies have shown that a large proportion of these procedures are done so unnecessarily. In one study of 6000 pediatric patients, it was found that 23% of the surgeries were unnecessary, 42% were appropriate, and 35% of cases had unclear results. Additionally, the child must be placed under anesthesia for insertion of tympanostomy tubes. While anesthesia can be dangerous for adults, it is even more dangerous for children.
The Real Cause of Ear Infections
So what is the real cause of ear infections? As with any structure in the body, whether it is the heart, lung, or even the inner ear, the primary control center is the brain which uses the spinal cord to communicate with these structures.
Any interference with this communication, such as misaligned vertebrae, can compromise the body's ability to defend against infections. This pattern of interference has been found to cause the muscles of the neck and back to tighten, impeding the body's ability to properly drain infected fluids. One such structure is the Eustachian tube which drains fluid from the inner ear.
When the inner ear is unable to drain, fluids accumulate, leading to recurrent infections. While the other previously mentioned treatments can sometimes relieve the symptoms, they rarely address the main problem, leading to a childhood of unnecessary drugs and surgeries.
It's important to ensure your child receives the best care possible. Chiropractic care has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for ear infections. At Maryland Spine Institute, we will thoroughly examine every aspect of your child's health. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us today.