Antibiotics are the most common treatment for an ear infection. While antibiotics sometimes provide temporary relief, they do not address the cause of the problem. As a result, a single ear infection often becomes a chronic, recurring issue. Antibiotics also have many dangerous side effects. If you are a parent of an infant or toddler, you need to know how to heal ear infections safely without antibiotics.
Facts about Ear Problems
Ear problems can be excruciatingly painful, especially in children. With 10 million new cases every year, ear infections are the most common illness affecting babies and young children. It is the number one reason for visits to the pediatrician—accounting for more than 35 percent of all pediatric visits. Almost half of all children will have at least one middle ear infection before they’re a year old, and two-thirds of them will have had at least one such infection by age 3. Frequent ear infections are also the second most common reason for surgery in children under 2.(1)
Ear infection is obviously a big problem. Many parents struggle with making decisions about the safest and best treatments for their children. Rest assured, an ear infection – acute or chronic – can be treated safely without drugs or surgery!
My Experience Treating Ear Infection
I have always had a focus on family care in my practice as a chiropractic physician. As a result, I have treated many children with ear infections over the years. I am also a father of a Deaf son who wears hearing aids and is prone ear infections.
While there are certain times when antibiotics may be necessary, the vast majority of ear infection cases do not require them. I have helped many patients heal naturally without antibiotics. Further, I have not used antibiotics to treat my own son for ear infection.
As you may recall, my son received a dangerous dose of antibiotics at birth which resulted in his deafness and caused terrible digestive problems for months afterwards. Following that incident, I have learned a lot about the dangers of antibiotics. I have also learned that they are wildly over-prescribed.
Dangers of Antibiotics
It is very important to understand that antibiotics are drugs and they are not as safe as you have been led to believe. As with any other drug, even when they work, they come with negative, unwanted effects as well. They should be avoided if at all possible. Here are just some of the negative effects of antibiotic drugs.
- They kill the healthy bacteria in your gut. You have billions of healthy bacteria in your gut that are essential to your health. They support healthy digestion, produce several vitamins, as well, as neurotransmitters (brain chemicals like GABA and serotonin necessary for good brain health).
- The usual drug side effects: rash, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, headache, drug fever, hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions.
- Long Term Use leads to Bacterial Resistance – making future infections more difficult to treat.
- Cause Yeast Infection
- Kidney toxicity
- Liver toxicity
- Ototoxicity – hearing loss and deafness
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) that can be permanent
How to Heal an Ear Infection Naturally
Your body is created with the ability to heal itself of everything from a bacterial ear infection to heart disease and even cancer. You have an immune system that is fearfully and wonderfully designed to kill dangerous bacteria, viruses and even cancer cells. And you have a nervous system that controls and coordinates the whole process.
Ultimately, an ear infection (or any other infection) is an indication that something is interfering with your body’s innate ability to heal itself. So, the first step to healing is to identify and remove this interference. This interference to normal healing commonly occurs in these areas:
- Your Nervous System – Your nervous system controls all health and healing in your body. If there is interference in the nerves controlling your immune system, then you will not be able to heal normally.
- Toxicity – Toxicity also interferes with every area of your body’s normal functioning. This includes your immune response. Toxicity comes from refined sugar, chemicals in processed and fast foods, unhealthy fats, MSG in everything and medications – just to name a few! Read The Top 10 Toxins that are Poisoning Your Kids for more on the issue of toxicity.
- Nutritional Deficiency – Your immune system is constantly building little soldiers – called antibodies – that fight invaders like bacteria and viruses. Your body requires certain building blocks in order to effectively build antibodies. If you are not giving your body a good supply of high quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, then you will have a deficiency that makes it very difficult for you immune system to function normally.
Stress to your spine causes a condition called Vertebral Subluxation. This stress happens from falls and traumas (such as a traumatic birth process or an infant learning to stand and walk and fall), mental/emotional stress and even chemical stress on the body.
Vertebral subluxation stresses the nerves that extend from your spine to every muscle, organ and cell of your body. As a result, vertebral subluxation is the root cause of many diseases. When the nerves that control your immune system are affected, your healing is hampered.
Your nervous system controls healing throughout your entire body. When your nervous system functions well, you heal well. However, when subluxation is present, your innate healing is impeded.
Chiropractic physicians are specifically trained to diagnose and treat subluxation. Correction of subluxation removes nervous system interference and restores normal healing to your body. This is why regular chiropractic care, regardless of any pain or symptoms you may have, is vitally important to you and your children.
Children receiving chiropractic care heal from all injuries and infections – including ear infection – at a much faster rate than kids who do not receive chiropractic care. Typically, pediatric patients heal from an ear infection within hours to days – all without the harmful effects of antibiotics!
“Dr. Joan Fallon, a chiropractor who practices in Yonkers, New York, has published research showing that, after receiving a series of chiropractic adjustments, nearly 80 percent of the children treated were free of ear infections for at least the six-month period following their initial visits.”(1)
Chiropractic care is the most important and powerful aspect for healing an ear infection.
- Eliminate Sugar – Sugar inhibits the cells of your immune system. It prevents them from killing off bacteria and viruses effectively. Your body is designed to handle natural sugars in whole foods, such as fruits and whole grains. However, refined sugar and carbohydrates flood your bloodstream with excessive amounts of unnatural, unhealthy sugar. This effectively turns off your immune system response, allowing infection and illness to develop.
- Strictly Limit or Eliminate Processed Foods – Processed foods are filled with many unnatural, toxic chemicals including MSG. These toxins create disease in your body on their own. Additionally, when your body is over-burdened with toxins, your immune system will not function well.
- Ensure Adequate, Healthy Protein – Your body needs protein to build antibodies. However, not all protein is good protein. Vegetables are a great source of healthy, clean protein. All vegetables have protein. In fact, calorie for calorie, spinach is more protein rich than beef. While 100 calories of ground beef has 10 grams of protein, 100 calories of fresh baby spinach has 12 grams. Avoid commercially raised animal sources of protein because they contain many dangerous toxins, hormones, and antibiotics. If you consume any animal protein, it must come from an organic, grass-fed source in order to avoid this toxicity.
- Consume Healthy Fats – Your body requires healthy fats to build healthy cells and prevent inflammation. The absolute best fat to use daily is coconut oil. In addition to being a healthy fat with many health benefits, coconut oil also has antibiotic and antiviral properties. It will kill bad bacteria and viruses in your body.
- Supplement Green Nutrition and Antioxidants – It’s no secret that most kids (and adults) don’t prefer vegetables. However, without vegetable nutrition, your body becomes deficient in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your immune system needs to fight off bacteria. A great solution is to supplement with Amazing Grass Green Superfood or Chocolate Green Superfood. In 14 Healthy Tips to Detox your Kids, I discussed several recipes to incorporate this green nutrition that work for even picky eaters (like my son)!
Natural Symptom Relief for an Ear Infection
Using chiropractic care and the dietary considerations above will address the underlying cause of an ear infection. Correcting the cause is the key to healing any illness or disease. However, when you or your child are dealing with the pain of an ear infection, quick relief is helpful as well. There are several natural remedies that will help you avoid the dangers of antibiotics
- Native Remedies provides many homeopathic remedies. We have used their Ear-Heal™, Ear-Ok Drops™, and Eddy Ear Sprinkles™ for our son with great results.
- Mullein and Garlic Drops. We have also used this product with our son. Mullein and garlic both have antibacterial properties to help fight infection. They are mixed with olive oil extract which helps soothe inflammation.
- Hyland’s Kids Kit is also good to have on hand because it contains several different homeopathic remedies that you can use for your kids. Belladonna is great for treating the pain, inflammation and fever associated with an ear infection.
- Colloidal Silver is used for immune system support. It is useful for ear infection, as well as, preventing cold and flu symptoms.
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Dr. Brent Hunter
References for this article:
(1) Chiropractic Approach to Ear Infections catoday.org