Ear Infections and Glue Ear

What is it?

Around two thirds of all children in the western world have an ear infection each year, and are the single reason that so many children are prescribed antibiotics that can lead to other problems especially with the gut.

The ear infection is usually in the middle ear which is a small air filled space containing the bones that transmit the vibrations from the ear drum to the inner ear. It is connected to the outside world by a fine tube (the Eustachian tube) that equalises the pressure in the ear. It is protected from infection by a lump of lymph tissue called the Tube Tonsil, but this however can get swollen by infection and block the entrance (the feeling when you can’t clear your ears on a plane). The tube also produces mucous and in certain circumstance such as an imbalanced mucous flora similar to the bowel flora, it can over produce at the same time the tonsils inflame and this results in a tube full of gluey mucous, better known as glue ear.

The conventional treatment is endless antibiotics or a grommet in the ear to drain the fluid, however these are not tackling the root cause.

How can we help?

Natural therapies can help in two ways:

  1. We can treat the infections and calm the inflamed mucous membrane using herbs, both internally and things such as garlic and mullein oil topically in the ear.
  2. We can also treat the root cause by an alteration of diet and the introduction of oral antibiotics to rebalance the mucosal flora.

A full consultation may identify a link with the digestive system as it has a similar root cause and a rebalancing of the child’s immunity will reap benefits that will be seen by a better natural defence system that means less niggling ear infections.

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