This is the question we will attempt to answer today! 90% of children will get an ear infection at least once before their 10th birthday. 1/ But what’s worse are the chronic ear infections that never go away or frequently relapse in a short period of time. These kids become dependent on antibiotics and are on them seemingly constantly; but ironically, the more antibiotics they get, the more they relapse! In other words, antibiotics are part of the problem, and the side-effects and risks of using these things are much worse than simply waiting the 2 or 3 days it generally takes for these middle ear infections to go away on their own with no consequence to the child’s health.
Even the very conservative CDC admits:
“Ear infections will often get better on their own without antibiotic treatment… Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful, and may lead to unwanted side effects like diarrhea, rashes, nausea, and stomach pain. More severe side effects may rarely occur; these include life-threatening allergic reactions, kidney toxicity, and severe skin reactions.
Each time you or your child takes an antibiotic, the bacteria that normally live in your body (on the skin, in the intestine, in the mouth and nose, etc.) are more likely to become resistant to antibiotics.” 2/
This would explain the constant relapsing! Other than antibiotics contributing to this problem, it turns out that the other big causative factor in ear infections is vaccination. The title of the following article says it all: “Kids Given Vaccines Have 22 times the Rate of Ear Infections”. 3/ 22 times? That’s quite a number!
The article states the following:
In German children, 11 percent of those vaccinated reported having ear infections, compared to less than 0.5 percent of unvaccinated children. Similarly, sinusitis was reported in over 32 percent of vaccinated children, while the prevalence in unvaccinated children was less than one percent.
An important vaccine safety review was issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in August. According to this review of over 1,000 independent studies on vaccines, they were unable to determine whether or not vaccines are a causative factor in over 100 serious adverse health outcomes. 4/
You know, if the Institute of Medicine can’t determine if vaccinations cause over 100 serious health problems, I would have to assume that they do; at least, I would have to err on the side of caution. In fact, one study published in 2005 by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that vaccinated children suffer higher rates of asthma and allergies than unvaccinated children. 5/
Luckily, now that I’m telling you about homeopathy, you can clear up your child’s earache potentially in just minutes! Let’s get started then, shall we? Now playing…
Homeopathic Remedies for Childhood Ear Infections
Again it’s our old friend Belladonna! Belladonna seems to pop up everywhere, doesn’t it? Why is that? So many infectious diseases in children take on the Belladonna presentation! And, what is that again? High fever, dry heat, sudden onset, redness–red ear, red face–whole side of face might be red, usually a right-sided earache, congestion, throbbing or piercing sensation, may extend to throat, motion aggravates, jarring aggravates, lying flat aggravates, must sit up, glassy eyes, no thirst, intense presentation, child may be agitated, screaming, parent will be frantic to “do” something!
I know by now you’re thinking, “Chamomilla again? Every article you do has the same remedies in it!” Well, excuuuuuse meeeee!!!! Look, how could we possibly sell an Emergency Kit (which I hope all of you have) if a different set of remedies pops up for every disease? Imagine how many remedies you’d need and how impossible it would be to learn them all! The fact is, the same presentations show up over and over again despite the name of the disease changing! We can look at a person with a disease we’ve never seen before and say, “That’s Chamomilla!” So now that we’ve cleared that up, you tell me, what is the Chamomilla presentation, since it has shown up now in our “Asthma” article, our “Women’s Problems” article, our “Fever” article…and who knows where else?
The Chamomilla child is in a frenzy, angry, irritable, stiff, rigid, arching its back, yelling, crying, screaming, cross, uncooperative, will NOT calm down, is inconsolable, throws down everything–every toy, every stuffed animal–you give him even if he asked for it! And why is he doing this? Because the pain is intolerable! It could be colic, teething pain, it doesn’t matter. You can’t examine this child, he will have to be forcibly held down in the doctor’s office to put the otoscope in his ear! His cheek will be red, he will be hot with hot feet. Belladonna will have cold feet. The only thing that will stop Chamomilla from crying is brisk carrying! Needless to say, this is not always possible. As soon as you put him down, he will start crying again. Lucky for you, all you need is a dose of Chamomilla 30C to end all of this.
Robin Murphy used to talk about how he’d be walking down the corridor at the clinic of The National College of Naturopathic Medicine, hear the screaming in the examining room, and say, “Give that child Chamomilla.” I know it sounds a bit like Belladonna, but, look at your reaction to the child. The Belladonna child’s parent feels the need to act, to do something, give a medicine, find a solution, fast! The Chamomilla child’s parent just wants her kid to shut-up! There is no sympathy, the parent is fed up!
This is the exact opposite of Chamomilla–whiny rather than angry and cross. Pulsatilla kids are soft and pitiful with big eyes, they cry too; but, it’s a soft cry that makes you want to help them, their bodies aren’t stiff and rigid, they relax into your arms and are better for your comfort. They’re hot, kick the covers off, want fresh air, the windows opened, thirstless but may say yes to cold drinks only; baby-ish, they want to be softly carried; worse in the evening, better during the day; ruptured ear drums with creamy yellow or greenish, bland discharge from ear. He may have a cough or cold at the same time. Better cool or cold applications.
Look for hypersensitivity in a Hepar sulph case. This is the distinuguishing characteristic, the ear is hypersensitive to touch and cold. There may be sharp and splinter-like pains in the ear. The ear discharge smells offensive or there may be an abscess that’s not discharging.
Also Mercurius solubilus–no distinction between the two. We usually just say “Mercury” or Merc-sol or Merc-viv. So here’s the idea with Mercury: the case is chronic. The ear infection won’t go away or it keeps relapsing–maybe because of repeated courses of antibiotics. His first ear infection may well have been Belladonna, but, he didn’t get it, got antibiotics instead, and the rest is history. Either way, it’s an old case and a weak, sickly patient who only feels better lying down. The Mercury patient is so sweaty, he drenches his pajamas. The sweat smells bad, so does his breath. There’s a lot of salivation, drooling in sleep. The Mercury patient is very sensitive to changes in temperature–he’s only comfortable within a very narrow temperature range; go one degree outside of that and he’s either opening or closing windows or throwing the covers off or putting them back on… The discharge that comes from the ear is green pus or sometimes yellow and gluey; sensations are burning, bursting, shooting, pinching, piercing and other kinds of pains and the discharge is offensive-smelling. Ears may be throbbing, ringing or stopped up. He’s worse at night and from warmth of the bed. There may be a concomitant sore throat that extends to the ears with swollen glands.
Like Belladonna, there is a sudden onset. You might have trouble distinguishing with Belladonna. Generally, an Aconite condition follows exposure to cold/dry winds. The ear is hot and painful, may be throbbing. He is hypersensitive to noise and music. There’s a fever, possibly a dry cough and stopped up nose. He’s very thirsty. Belladonna is thirstless.
You choose Allium cepa when there is a concomitant cold with the ear infection. The cold looks like this: the nose is running like a faucet, the discharge is burning and is burning the upper lip. They are worse in a warm room and better for open air.
You give this when you have a Calc-carb child as opposed to what his ear might look and feel like locally. Calc-carb children are cold and sensitive to cold and may have gotten their ear infection from exposure to cold despite the fact that they love cold drinks and ice cream. They are over-weight and flabby. The child’s head is hot and sweaty. His sweat and stools smell sour. He’s constipated. May have a concomitant sore throat and swollen glands and tonsils. Ear pain is throbbing, discharge is thick, yellow and offensive.
If people would take Ferrum phos right at the beginning of an infection, they might be able to nip it in the bud! I keep Ferrum phos. 200C in a water bottle in the refrigerator (remember to succuss the bottle 5 or 10 times before each dose), it’s been in there for years, and I take a sip every time I think I might be coming down with something–and I never do! P.S. I have Phosphorus 200C on my night table because a couple of times I’ve awakened in the middle of the night with an unbelievable and frightening dry cough as if I had pneumonia, and a dose of Phosphorus 200C makes fast work of it and it’s all over! I find Ferrum phos. works especially well if I wake up in the middle of the night with sore throat. Anyway, it’s for the beginning of an infectious process, take it right away!
Another right-sided ear infection or right-sided ear infections that move to the left ear. Cases that start on the right, but move to the left. The ear feels stopped up and he sometimes hears ringing or buzzing. Discharge is thick, yellow and burning. Look for typical indications for Lycopodium: craving sweets, worse in late afternoon and evening, worse cold air and drafts, gas and bloating, irritable on waking. Prefers warm drinks like tea.
Give when Silica is the constitutional remedy. All the usual indicators of Silica–chilly, shy, pale, tired, yielding, weight loss, thin, frail, weak child with fetid otorrhea, perforated ear drum, deafness, roaring and hissing in ears, sensitive to loud noises, ears stopped up, better yawning or swallowing.
Eustachian tubes blocked. You know when you’re on an airplane, and your ears close and they won’t open up? That’s Kali mur! Also, catarrhal conditions of the middle ear. Glands about the ear may be swollen. Catarrhal deafness. Crackling noises on swallowing or nose-blowing. Itching, or as if a plug in the ears. Eustachian tube may be sore. Kali mur discharges are white.
There may be other remedies but it’s time for my snack, and I’m pretty sure Firuzi wants me to go to bed.
See you again next time!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]
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