Back To Health: A Natural Approach to Ear Infections

Ear infections account for over 35 percent of all pediatrician visits in the United States. Otitis media is a generic name for several conditions that affect the middle ear. Acute otitis media is characterized by symptoms of pain/fever. Otitis media with effusion is characterized by the presence of fluid in the middle ear without signs or symptoms of infection. {{more}}

Infant and children have a natural tendency to produce a lot of mucus. As we get older our immune system strengthens; mucus decreases. When too much mucus builds up, the body’s natural response is to get rid of it by the onset of an illness and fever. With an abundance of mucus already present in the nose and throat during an upper respiratory infection, it is no coincidence that the ears repeatedly become inflamed.

The goal is to reduce the production of excess mucus. The two approaches that work most effectively to reduce ear problems is a change in diet and the integration of chiropractic care. Often times, mucus in the nose, throat, sinuses, ears and other parts of the body can arise from the failure of the digestive system due to certain foods. Those foods most likely to increase mucus production and further stress a child’s already weak digestive system are: dairy, soy (especially overly processed soy products), commercial formulas, wheat and most flour products, baby cereals and commercial cereals, thick, creamy and heavy foods, processed grains, juice, soda, refined sugars, processed foods and fried foods/oils.

Eliminating these foods from a child’s diet will often reduce inflammation and prevent future flare-ups. Additionally, offering a child simple, easy to digest, whole, non-processed foods accompanied by small amounts of food herbs and spices (thyme, ginger, licorice, chamomile), will strengthen and support a weak digestive system and keep mucus production and inflammation at a minimum.

So, how exactly does chiropractic help? Well, the cervical plexus receives motor fibers that can be traced from the eustachian tubes to the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion. Got that? In simple terms, a misalignment in the vertebrae in the neck alters nerve flow and causes muscle tension. This prevents mucus/fluid from being able to properly drain. When we correct the misalignment, nerve flow returns, muscle tension decreases, and fluid can drain.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. Research has shown that close to 80 percent of children treated with a series of chiropractic adjustments did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits.

More and more parents are beginning to look to Chiropractors to complement their children’s health care. It only makes sense, as true health can only be achieved by addressing the root cause of a health problem rather than just treating the symptoms.

Dr. David Durso, D.C. is a board certified chiropractor in the state of Connecticut. For more information visit or call for an appointment at 203-553-9300.