Antibiotics Not Always Best Bet For Battling Childhood Ear Infections

With cold and flu season right around the corner, many new parents of infants and toddlers will soon be visiting their family pediatrician complaining of painful or recurring ear aches. In most cases, children suffering from ear infections are prescribed Amoxicillin or a similar antibiotic to combat the infection, but when antibiotics fail to stop ear infections from recurring, pediatricians typically recommend a procedure called a tympanostomy.

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Three out of four children suffer from ear infections before the age of three. The occurrence of ear infection is due to viruses or bacteria that get inside the ear with cold or other illnesses. Fluids and mucus trap deep inside the ear.

Children suffering with ear infection are given antibiotics to combat the infection. Antibiotics work only against bacterial infections, though some bacteria that cause ear infections have grown resistant to certain antibiotics.

Antibiotics will not help an infection caused by virus. They cannot eliminate the fluid from middle ear. They can even cause side effects. Antibiotics cannot give relief in the first 24 hours and have minimal effect on the pain.

Frequent use of antibiotics can lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which will be much more difficult to treat. If the child gets ear infection many times, then the doctor can prescribe antibiotics to prevent future infections. There will be side effects with antibiotics, which include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes.

Tympanostomy surgery:

Pediatricians are now recommending tympanostomy procedure for ear infection. In tympanostomy surgery, small holes are made in the ear drums and tubes are surgically inserted to drain the middle ear of the fluid.

Tympanostomy tubes are used for chronic fluid behind the ear drums. The operation to insert the tube involves myringotomy. Myringotomy with tube insertion is performed under a brief general anesthesia because if the child does not sit without movement, damage to the ear can be possible.

Insertion of tympanostomy tubes is a common surgical procedure performed on children. The risk factors associated with any ear surgery are discomfort, pain, and bloody drainage.

A better approach for ear infection:

Ninety of the children with ear infections have a misalignment (subluxation) of the first vertebrae. The cause for this misalignment is due to the birthing process or postural strain. This misalignment or subluxation pinches or interferes with Eustachian tube and some of the lymphatics and it prevents normal drainage.

When the vertebrae aligned properly by removing neurological obstruction, child’s ability to drain the middle ear of fluid is restored.