October 1, 2007
The onset of cold and flu season signals the beginning of visits to the pediatrician’s office by many parents who will be taking along their small children who are complaining of painful or recurring ear aches. In most cases Amoxicillin or a similar antibiotic will be prescribed to combat the infection.
Recently however, studies by both The Journal of the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control suggest that not only are antibiotics widely over-prescribed, they can actually reduce the ability of a young child’s immune system to fight-off infection.
"It’s unbelievable to me, that in this day and age we still have a one size fits all mentality towards treating childhood ear infections" says Doctor Bill DeMoss, a Newport Beach based chiropractor, lecturer and founding member of StayBetter.com, a wellness information and referral website for Orange County residents. "It’s a clinical fact that antibiotics offer little or no improvement in pain, duration or recurrence of ear infections among children, yet most pediatricians are pretty quick to dispense them."
While many in the medical community still embrace the use of antibiotics for treating childhood ear infections, here are four things every parent should know before giving them to their children:
1. Antibiotics only work on ear infections that are bacterial in origin, they do nothing for those caused by viruses such as colds, allergies, mechanical obstructions, or nutrition.
2. Antibiotics do not permanently eliminate build-up fluid in the middle ear, the source of chronic ear infections.
3. A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that children who took Amoxicillin for chronic infections were actually 2-6 times more likely to have a recurrence of fluid build-up.
4. Excessive antibiotic use can disrupt the balance of beneficial intestinal bacteria and can lead to digestive disturbances and recurrent infections.
Recently a natural approach to treating childhood ear infections naturally is growing in popularity, proving to be not only much safer than the antibiotics-then-surgery approach, but very effective. "I hear the same story from parents all the time," DeMoss continued. "They’ve gone through round after round of antibiotics which have not worked, they’re desperate to rid their kids of the pain and reticent about surgery, but are not presented with any other options. The majority of chronic ear infection cases I treat, especially those among infants, are the result of a very treatable neurological disturbance called a subluxation, which is when a vertebra in the neck is slightly out of alignment or not functioning properly due to birth trauma, falls and injuries which directly effect the Eustachian tube’s ability to drain fluid from the middle ear."
When the afflicted vertebra is adjusted into proper alignment, removing the neurological obstruction, the body’s natural ability to drain the middle ear of fluid is restored. "It’s simply a matter of treating the source," says DeMoss. "Whether the ear infection is bacterial, viral, allergic or nutritional, if a subluxation exists it inhibits the body’s ability to fight it off infection naturally."