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Child Ear Infections: Symptoms, Side Effects, and How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Ear Infections in Children

Children commonly experience ear infections, most frequently from infancy to around 8 years old. After this age range, the likelihood of ear infection falls off tremendously.

The major reason behind the dramatic fall off of ear infections is caused by the changes in anatomy, meaning that a child’s current developing anatomy is the main burden causing these ear infections. As a child grows, which they do rather rapidly, joints, passageways shift, sometimes into abnormal positions. Some of these passageways and joints become fixated in positions that hinder proper function; positions they will not be in once growth in finished, usually around adulthood. This is the case with ear infections.

But did you know chiropractic adjustments can help prevent these ear infections?

To start, let’s first address ear infections. What causes them?

Most ear infections are caused by viral or bacterial infections. The eustachian tubes run from the ear to the back of the throat and act as the main highway of the ears draining processes. When these tubes become swollen or blocked, fluids can build up, creating a list of unwanted side effects such as ear pain, pressure, dizziness, impaired hearing and can even impair balance. This can be especially problematic for young children. 

Similar to how humans are more susceptible to Osgood Shlatter and Sever’s Disease during puberty, early childhood is the time of a person’s life where the eustachian tubes are most susceptible to clogging.

So how can chiropractic care help?

Routine chiropractic care is safe, non-invasive and non-addictive for everyone. Chiropractors know that children need a different form of adjustments, so the chiropractic manipulation techniques used by the chiropractor are more gentle and tender. Sometimes children may only need to have a joint realigned or stretch out and head in the correct position to solve a problem using no force whatsoever. But other techniques will apply very minimal force.

Routine chiropractic adjustments keep your body in line and keep the ways your body communicate with itself free of roadblocks. This is how chiropractic care can aid in preventing ear infections. These routine adjustments will shift the eustachian tubes and their surrounding parts into proper alignment, allowing them to drain as they are intended.

Be proactive, look for these symptoms in children for signs of an ear infection, as they develop quite rapidly. If caught in the early stages, chiropractic care might be the only solution you will need to solve the problem and avoid antibiotics entirely.

  • Ear pain, worsened when lying down
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Fluid drainage from the ear(s)
  • Hearing problems, which will increase as the infection progresses
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever
  • Head ache

Child, specific symptoms

  • Tugging or pulling the ear
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Increased crying
  • Irritability
  • Hearing difficulties
  • Fever

Long Term Side Effects

Despite treatment for ear infections being relatively routine, ear infections cause lasting side effects, when left untreated or occur to frequently can cause:

  • Impaired hearing, specifically if the middle ear becomes permanently damaged.
  • Speech or development delays: Children are like sponges, they have much to learn in their early years in order to build a solid foundation used in all aspects of their adult life. If children have trouble hearing because of an ear infection, they will have trouble learning language or even simply understanding everything they might be taught in a classroom.
  • Spread of infection: while rare, serious middle ear infections can spread to other nearby tissues. Again, it’s rare, but cases of meningitis have occurred.