Homeopathy treatment for Ear Infections (Otitis media)
Ear infections may be either internal or external. Otitis media, a middle ear infection, occurs behind the eardrum. Otitis externa, an outer ear infection, occurs in the ear canal outside the drum. Acute middle-ear infections are associated with bacteria. Chronic middle-ear inflammation may come from chronic bacterial infection or a buildup of fluid, usually caused by allergic reactions. Infants who are exposed to solid food and cow's milk (or in some cases soy milk) too early may develop significant food allergies which are directly correlated with chronic ear infections. The allergies often begin right after the child is weaned from breast-feeding.
Middle-ear infections cause acute pain, a clogged or blocked sensation in the ear with some temporary loss of hearing, and bulging of the eardrum. More rarely, the eardrum can rupture, discharging pus and fluid into the ear canal. Chronic ear infections cause redness of the eardrum and pres- sure and blockage in the ears with some, usually reversible, hearing loss.
Following a rupture, the eardrum will usually repair itself, but may leave. scarring. Chronic ear infections may cause hearing loss, which usually re- solves when the fluid drains or disappears. In chronic middle-ear inflammation with an allergic basis ("glue ear"), antibiotics are ineffective on a long-term basis, and the causative allergic responses must be addressed. Even in acute ear infections, antibiotics may not shorten the course of illness. Conventional physicians often recommend surgical insertion of tubes into the eardrums to drain off the fluid, in order to prevent chronic hearing loss which may interfere with language development in young children.
Is the eardrum red (inflamed), bulging, or ruptured? (Requires an otoscope to look in the ear.)
Is fluid visible behind the eardrum?
Is there any discharge from the ears? What does it look like?
Is the child's face red or pale?
Is there mucus from the nose? What color?
"My baby suddenly got an ear infection after I took him for a walk in the
stroller. I didn't realize how windy it was outside and I forgot his hat." Aconite
"My right ear is throbbing and my throat is terribly sore on the right side."
"My ear hurts. Don't touch it!" Chamomilla or Hepar sulphuris
"My child has dragon breath with this ear infection, and is drooling like crazy." Mercurius
"My ear hurts! Will you hold me in your lap?" Pulsatilla
"The earache came on just after I developed a dental abscess." Silica
Is there pain? If so, what is it like?
Which ear hurts?
What does it feel like?
Are you drooling or do you have more saliva than usual?
Are there swollen glands in the neck or around the ear?
Has your hunger or thirst changed since the ear infection began?
Do you want anything in particular to eat? To drink?
Do you feel hot or cold?
Do you have a sore throat?
If the person is a child, does she tug on one or both ears, or bore her fingers into the ear?
Does the child have a fever? How high?
Is the child sweating?
Pointers for Finding the Homeopathic Medicine
If a child quickly develops an ear infection after playing in the cold air, she needs Aconite.
· If the child has intense, throbbing pain in the right ear, a bright red face, and a fever of 103°F or higher, give Belladonna.
· For fussy children whose ear infections are associated with teething, Chamomilla is best.
· Children who scream with pain during an ear infection may need Hepar suiphuris, Belladonna, or Chamomilla.
· If Mercurius is needed, there is likely to be bad breath, a coated tongue, excessive saliva, and bad-smelling perspiration.
· Mild, moody children who cry easily and want to be held and caressed during an ear infection are likely to need Pulsatilla.
· If Silica is needed, there will generally be a tendency to swollen glands, excessive bad-smelling perspiration, and possibly a history of dental problems.
· Give three pellets of 30C every two to four hours until you see improvement.
· If there is no improvement after three doses, give a different medicine.
· After you first notice improvement, give another dose only if symptoms begin to return.
· Lower potencies (6X, 6C, 30X) may need to be given more often (every two to four hours).
· Higher potencies (200X, 200C, 1M) generally need to be given only once. Repeat only if symptoms return with intensity; give only infrequently in this case.
What to Expect with Homeopathic Treatment
Homeopathy is highly effective in treating both acute and chronic ear infections. Acute infections should resolve in one to several days. For chronic or recurrent ear infections, consult a qualified homeopath. Constitutional treatment will generally prevent any future ear infections or make them very infrequent.
Other Self-Care Suggestions
Mullein-garlic oil drops, three drops in the affected ear three times daily. Warm the oil bottle under the faucet first. Put a piece of cotton in the ear after inserting drops to prevent the oil from coming out. If there is a tendency for the infection to spread from one ear to the other, put the drops in both ears.
· Alternating hot, and cold compresses to the affected ear.
· Beta-carotene: 50,000 units daily in acute cases; 25,000 units daily in chronic cases.
· It is often helpful to remove milk products from the diet, at least temporarily.
· Some practitioners recommend removing wheat and any other allergens from the diet. However, it is usually sufficient to temporarily remove only dairy products if the person receives constitutional homeopathic treatment, and sometimes even that dietary change is unnecessary.
· Goat's milk is a good substitute for cow's milk.