Sometimes you, or your child, may end up with an ear infection. Acute ear infections, also known as otitis media, typically occur following an allergy flare-up or after an upper respiratory tract infection.
Additional signs and symptoms of an acute ear infection include earache, irritability, fever, chills, and a red, opaque eardrum that looks swollen.
Chronic ear infections also occur. These typically have constant swelling and fluid accumulation in the middle ear. The fluid that accumulates may leak from the ear, as is seen in children with ‘glue ear’.
After being diagnosed with a certain ear infection, what should I do for a treatment? How do I treat my ear infection?
To answer the question, a naturopath near Ballarat, Victoria shares some thoughts on how to properly treat your ear infections.
Standard Medical Approach For Ear Infection
Otitis media is a common diagnosis for children 2-6 years old. Typical treatment from a paediatrician includes antibiotics. If the condition is chronic enough, surgery may be recommended to place a plastic tube to help increase drainage.
The complication with this is that this is often associated with increased ear infections. There is also a link between frequent ear infections and an increased likelihood of developing allergic eczema and asthma during their school years.
Risk factors for the development of ear infections include:
- Food allergies
- Day care activities
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Wood burning stoves or fireplaces
Most of these risk factors can contribute to children developing abnormal eustachian tube function. The eustachian tube is responsible for regulating the pressure in the middle ear. It also protects the middle ear from nose and throat secretions and the bacteria found there.
Swallowing helps to open the tube through the movement of the surrounding muscles. This is harder for young children to control. That, along with the smaller size of the tube, makes it easier for obstructions to occur in children.
Obstruction of the tube leads to fluid build-up, which can in turn lead to bacterial infection, especially if the immune system is impaired due to a prior illness.
Naturopathic Therapeutic Considerations
The treatment aims from a holistic perspective to ensure that the eustachian tube is unobstructed. This is done by addressing any infections that may be present and helping to support and improve drainage of the tube.
Supporting the immune system is a large part of this picture. Here are some things you can consider:
- Identifying and eliminating specific allergenic foods from the diet, foods that should be investigated include dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, oranges, peanuts, and chocolate.
- Reducing refined sugar consumption as this can inhibit immune function.
- Nutritionally supporting the immune system with vitamin C and zinc.
Hope this post gives you an overview on how to treat ear infections and its complications. To receive personalised treatment approach, please schedule an appointment with one of our naturopaths near Ballarat, Victoria.