Homeopathic Medicine for Acute and Chronic Ear Infections

It has been stated that up to 75% of all children have had an ear infection before the age of three. Ear infections can be quite painful and linger if not properly treated. A middle ear infection is very common in children. This infection occurs behind the eardrum when bacteria or viruses cause inflammation. This inflammation causes fluid build-up, resulting in pain and pressure. If the ear is left unattended, it may cause a perforated ear drum. Thus it is important to seek proper care when you have a middle ear infection.

CAUSES OF EAR INFECTION

Causes of chronic ear infections include bacteria, viruses, fungus, smoking, food sensitivities and a malformed ear canal. Chronic infections may lead to hearing loss and require tubes inserted in the ear to help the fluid drain from behind the ear drum.

Antibiotics are only useful against a bacterial infection, but often ear infections are viral. Antibiotics strip the body of both good and bad bacteria. Taking them depletes the body’s beneficial and protective flora and opens the door for any new bacteria to grow without opposition. If you have taken antibiotics it is a good idea to take a probiotic such as acidophilus and bifido bacteria. This replenishes the good flora and prevents yeast, parasitic and bacterial overgrowth.

Luckily there are several ways of addressing chronic ear infections naturally. I have seen many children who were scheduled for tubes to be put in, yet they were able to avoid the procedure using diet and natural remedies alone.

In my experience, the largest factor influencing chronic ear infections is the consumption of dairy products. These foods seem to increase mucus production and trap bacteria or viruses in the ear canal. The thick mucus doesn’t drain adequately and an infection ensues. People in many countries outside North America do not consume dairy products and as a result have fewer ear infections and cavities, and lower rates of osteoporosis then we do here.

Often, affected children may have a smoker in the house, which exposes them to secondhand smoke. Smoking depletes the body of many vitamins (not to mention causes cancer) such as vitamin C, which is a powerful aid for the immune system. Lower levels of vitamin C are found in the blood of smokers as compared to non-smokers (Strauss and Scheer, 1939). They have only half of the vitamin C that non-smokers have. According to the Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, smokers can not catch up to a non-smokers’ vitamin C even if they supplement with it. Thus, if you must smoke, don’t smoke inside at the expense of your children’s health. Your child may benefit from a regime of vitamin C, zinc and echinacea. This helps to boost the immune system and fight off infection. There is a product readily available at health food stores called EVC made by Sisu. It is a nice combination that can be helpful for colds, flu and/or ear infections.

(Editor’s Note: there is also an excellent vitamin C product by AOR, as well as Camu C by Natural Traditions.)

HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR EAR INFECTIONS

Homeopathic remedies useful for otitis media are as follows:

Kali Mur 6X, the tissue salt, is a remedy that can be taken in conjunction with other remedies. It helps to liquefy mucus so that it can properly drain from the ear, nasal cavity, lungs or throat. You can use this in a tablet form, four tablets, two to three times a day in conjunction with your other remedies.

Belladonna is a good remedy for people who have severe ear pain. Their face can be red and eyes glazed with dilated pupils. They may have severe throbbing ear pain that can be accompanied by a headache. These pains are worse with motion, at night, lying down and uncovering themselves. They feel better with rest, sitting up and warmth.

Pulsatilla is an excellent childhood remedy, indicated for kids who are timid and cry easily. Often their symptoms change, for example, one ear hurts, then the other; they have a headache and then it is gone. They have very little thirst even with a fever. They feel much better with consolation. They feel worse in a stuffy room and prefer open air. They enjoy cold air, cold rooms and consolation.

Chamomilla is another great remedy for ear aches. Often these ear aches occur during teething. The child can be quite peevish, and quiets only when carried. It is similar to pulsatilla, however there is more anger in chamomilla types. They can have one red cheek. They feel worse with heat, before midnight, and in the wind.

You can take these remedies in a 12 or 30CH potency, four pellets under the tongue, three to four times a day for up to 10 days. If you are not seeing the results you desire, contact a homeopath for a proper case taking. Ear infections are not something to be left untreated.

CASE HISTORY

This case highlights the powerful healing ability of children. An anxious mother called me to ask if I could help her six-year-old daughter. In three months, she was scheduled for surgery to put ear tubes in. The daughter, Ellen, was a sweet and shy little girl who constantly had a plugged nose during the winter and fall. She also had brown to yellow drainage from her ears. Every morning her ear was crusty, and she had hearing loss in both ears. She woke up unrefreshed and was rather irritable in the morning. She was prone to constipation and got cramps and gas before having a bowel movement. She loved milk and cookies. She tended to follow her mother around and not be terribly outgoing. She enjoyed having friends over but she preferred to stay home with the family. She was shy but could be quite stubborn in the face of her parents.

I started her on Kali Mur 6X, four pellets twice daily between meals, and Calcarea Carb 30CH, two pellets twice daily for 10 days. I chose Calcarea Carb based on her personality. She was shy, stubborn and preferred the comfort of home. Many children share these traits. I also recommended that her mother stop giving her dairy products.

At Ellen’s one month follow-up, her mother said her ears were clear and no longer had any infection draining out. She said her daughter’s hearing had improved and she stopped snoring at night. Two weeks later, there was a follow up with the family doctor, who recommended she cancel the surgery after examining Ellen’s ears.

I recommended she continue with her remedies as needed and stay off milk. I still hear from her mother from time to time, because she continues to give Ellen dairy products. I believe if she could eliminate the dairy products from the diet, then Ellen would not need to continue with treatment. However, the homeopathics worked well enough to keep her away from the surgeon.

In my experience children are very quick to heal, as this case highlights. Ear infections are very manageable without using antibiotics or surgery. You can find these remedies in most health food stores that carry homeopathics. If you are unsure of which remedy to prescribe, seek the help of a professional homeopath.

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