Chiropractic for Ear Infections
Otitis Media AKA Middle Ear Infection is any inflammation in the middle ear and the 2nd most common cause of childhood sickness, upper respiratory infection is number one. The tube that connects the middle ear to the pharynx is very susceptible to germs and pathogens. If germs do get into the Eustachian Tube this can cause fluid to build up in the middle ear as well as create a pressure difference, much like when flying in a plane, which causes pain for the child.
There are different subtypes of Otitis Media and are:
Acute Otitis Media (AOM) implies rapid onset of disease associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
– Otalgia (Ear Ache)
– Otorrhea (Discharge from the ear)
– Loss of appetite
Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) often follows an episode of AOM. Symptoms that may indicate OME include the following:
– Hearing loss
– Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears)
– Otalgia (Ear Ache)
The main reason that infants and children are more susceptible to ear infections is because their Eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal that adults. This orientation of the Eustachian tubes make them much easier to block. A secondary reason is that their immune systems are not as strong as adults. Not only does this makes them more prone to ear infections but all other diseases.
So how would a chiropractor help an ear infection? Chiropractic adjustments can affect the tone of muscles and decreased muscular tension. A muscle called the a Tensor Veli Palatine , which is attached to the Eustachian tube, is often tight or hypertonic in infants and children that can impede the draining of the tube. An adjustment to the cervical spine can reduce this muscular tension and allow the tube to drain. Adjustments have also been shown to increase the immune function in children. Antibiotics, the usual treatment, are not always effective and may even lead to a recurrence of ear infections. Many children are dealing with a continuing cycle of repeat ear infections, which lands them back at the pediatrician for more antibiotics.