Almost half of all children will suffer from at least one middle ear infection (otitis media) before they’re a year old, and two-thirds of them will have had at least one episode by age three. Otitis media is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection and frequently results from another illness such as a cold. For many children, it can become a chronic problem, requiring treatment year after year, and putting the child at risk of permanent hearing damage and associated speech and developmental problems.
Otitis media commonly emerges when there is improper drainage of the lymph system in the neck, or when the muscle that is supposed to keep bacteria or viruses from entering the Eustachian tubes (the tubes in the back of the throat that lead to the inner ear) doesn’t work correctly. While both of these things can happen in adults, it usually does not result in an ear infection for two reasons: First, the shape and the length of the eustachian tubes are different in adults, allowing easier drainage and making it more difficult for a bacteria to invade. Second, adults tend to spend more time upright than young children do, which also encourages better drainage and decreases the risk of infection.
In either case, the underlying cause of otitis media is usually a mechanical problem. There is either a reduced or blocked drainage of the lymph vessels in the neck lymphatic chains that causes a build-up of fluid in the inner ear, or a loss of normal function of the small muscle at the opening of the eustachian tube in the throat that allows bacteria and viruses from the mouth to enter the inner ear. Instead of treatment that tries to kill the bacteria or virus, a more natural approach would be to restore normal drainage of the ears and neck lymphatics. This is most effectively done through chiropractic.
If your child experiences recurrent ear infections, it is important that you talk to your chiropractor. By helping to restore the normal function of the tissues of the neck, otitis media can usually be significantly reduced or completely eliminated in most children, without the use of antibiotics and surgery.