The information you’ll find here on ear infections is a result of Safe Baby Healthy Child Health Expert Dr. Murray Clarke’s 25 years of successfully helping children live healthier lives. From his world-renowned clinic in Santa Monica, he has treated the entire range of children’s conditions from recurrent ear infections, colds, coughs, sinusitis and flus to allergies, eczema, asthma and digestive complaints. Dr. Clarke has become one of the most sought-after holistic pediatricians in California and is known for restoring health to infants and children with conditions that are difficult to diagnose and treat including behavioral disorders, ADD, ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Earache or Ear Infection?
Ear pain is not always a result of an ear infection. Sometimes, teething can cause an earache. Signs that may indicate an infection are:
- Unwilling to lie on a certain side or lie flat
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping soundly
- Hearing loss, ear pain, pulling at the ear
- Fever (an ear infection may still be present in the absence of a fever)
- Thick clear or yellow or bloody discharge from the ear (may indicate a ruptured ear drum)
If your child is experiencing some of these symptoms, they may have an infection of the middle ear. Doctors refer to this as Otitis Media. “Otitis” meaning “inflammation of the ear” and “Media” meaning “middle.”
80% of Middle Ear Infections Resolve on Their Own
Studies have shown that 80% of ear infections resolve on their own, i.e. without antibiotics, within 2-3 days (The Laryngoscope, 2003), or shortly thereafter. For this reason and several others listed below, antibiotics may not be the best treatment for your child’s ear infection.
- The body is capable of healing itself and usually just needs support and rest to heal.
- Ear infections, like most of the infections children have may be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection. Antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses. By giving your child an antibiotic, it will have a negative side effect (see # 3 below) and may not have any positive benefit.
- Antibiotics are indiscriminate and do not target only the bacteria that is causing the infection. Antibiotics always kill off “good” bacteria within the digestive and intestinal system, which the body relies on to keep “bad” bacteria in check. Thus, antibiotics may cause:
- immediate negative side-effects: diarrhea, oral thrush, vaginal or diaper yeast infections, vomiting, yeast overgrowth in the intestines. These effects are a consequence of the antibiotics, disturbing and disrupting the good bacteria and ecological balance within the intestines.
- future negative side-effects: with all the good bacteria gone, the bacteria that survived the antibiotic can grow and take over. These bacteria can then become drug-resistant and if your child gets sick, antibiotics may not be able to kill them. (Antibiotic Resistant Threats in the United States, 2013)
- When you do not interfere with the body’s healing ability by using drugs or antibiotics, it learns from the process more effectively and becomes better equipped to handle future infections.
- Some children are allergic to antibiotics and may develop a rash or hives. A typical antibiotic for children is amoxicillin, a liquid antibiotic that is pink in color. The pink color is created by adding red food dye and may cause your child to become hyperactive or have other reactions to it.
Time-Tested Treatments for an Ear Infection
It is best to consult with a well-qualified homeopathic physician to prescribe a remedy to (1) treat your child’s acute ear infection and (2) to prescribe the single correct constitutional remedy for ongoing maintenance and prevention. A constitutional remedy can be taken regularly to help reduce the susceptibility to recurring ear infections.
These are some of the most common remedies for treating ear infections:
Chamomilla 30c: if the child is cranky, crying or in an inconsolable mood
Pulsatilla 30c: if the child is crying, clingy, wants to be held, inconsolable
Belladonna 30c: if the child has a fever, red face, pain, restless
Mercurius sol 30c: if the child is sweaty, lethargic or has ear discharge and odor
Choose one of the remedies above based on the child’s symptoms and give 4x daily until all clear.
Nutritional, Herbal and Dietary Support for Pain and Immune Boosting
To diminish ear pain, apply garlic mullein drops in the ear. It is important to not add drops in the ear if the ear is ruptured. This can be seen and diagnosed by your pediatrician.
Osteopathic treatment can make a world of difference in resolving a child’s ear infection. Seek out a well-qualified Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)/Osteopath that can carefully adjust the structures around your child’s ear, unblocking any congestion or lymphatic obstruction. The treatment can also help reduce the chances of a recurring ear infection as it may correct what may have led to getting an ear infection in the first place.
Putting It All Together
Every three hours (4 times a day) administer all of the following:
Homeopathic Remedy: 1 pellet
Garlic Mullein Drops: 2 warm drops (make sure the drops are not hot)
Vitamin C: 250-500 mg
Vitamin D3: 400 IU
ChildLife® First Defense: Follow dosage information on the label for your child’s age.
Zinc lozenges: 1 lozenge
Hot water with lemon and honey
Make an appointment to visit a Doctor of Osteopathy for an osteopathic treatment.
Remove all cow products from your child’s diet: milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream. Consider replacing with goat products.
At night, prop your child’s head on a pillow and have them lay on the ear that does not have the infection to encourage drainage.
Every 24 hours, assess your child’s progress. Is their pain diminishing? How is their mood and energy? Are they 20% better, 40% better than the day before? As long as there is some noticeable improvement every day, continue on the program.
If there is no noticeable improvement, consider a different homeopathic remedy and/or see your pediatrician.
When to Visit the Doctor
Signs that the ear infection may be more serious are high fever (104), severe pain and drainage from the ear. If any of these symptoms are present, make sure to consult with your pediatrician.
An Alternative to Antibiotics for Children’s Ear Infections
Natural Treatments For Baby’s Ear Infections
Understanding Infection and Your Baby: How Treatment Today Effects Their Long Term Health
Why Our Children Need Supplements & Natural Immune Boosting Support
Boosting Baby’s and Toddler’s Immune System, NATURALLY!
About Safe Baby Healthy Child Health Expert: Dr. Murray Clarke, D.Hom., L.Ac.
Dr. Murray Clarke is a doctor of naturopathic medicine with licenses and doctorates in homeopathic medicine and Chinese medicine (including acupuncture and herbology) and is a leading homeopathic physician for children in the Los Angeles area.
He is also the founder of ChildLife® Essentials, the first complete line of nutritional supplements exclusively for children ages newborn through teen, and author of Natural Baby-Healthy Child: Alternative Health Care Solutions from Pre-conception Through Childhood.
Natural Baby-Healthy Child utilizes diet, environmental detoxification, nutritional supplementation and holistic modalities including homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture to help parents–from pre-conception to pregnancy, to the baby’s first year through childhood–make the right health decisions for themselves and their child, naturally. Natural Baby–Healthy Child is an essential medical road map that will help keep children firmly on the path to robust, long-term good health and the realization of the full potential of body, mind and soul.