Daniel was a cute and cuddly 22-month-old boy with big blue eyes and curly sandy blond hair. His mom brought him to me to treat his chronic ear infections, also known as chronic suppurative otitis media. You may have a child like him. His mom was beside herself because he was constantly sick. When they first came to see me, Daniel had already been on 15 rounds of antibiotics and had myringotomy surgery (ear tubs) for treatment of his recurrent ear infections. Despite this he was still getting frequent ear infections with thick, foul smelling discharge.
Daniel was the kind of kiddo who seemed like he was always getting sick. He caught every “cold” that came around. Every time he would get the slightest sniffle, it would go straight to his ears and he would get smelly, sticky pus drain out of his ears for days. It would never resolve without antibiotics. Treating each individual ear infection with antibiotics was like mopping up the floor with the leaky pipe still pouring out water. The antibiotics didn’t make him a healthier child to help him stop getting ear infections. In addition to his tendency to get sick frequently, in his chronic case Daniel was delayed developmentally with walking, dentition, and language/speech.
After starting homeopathic treatment, he would only occasionally get sick with normal “colds” that every child gets, and he stopped getting those nasty ear infections every month. Additionally, within a month of homeopathic treatment Daniel started walking all over the place and exploded in his speaking skills with a leap in his word count. Within six months, Daniel went from being language delayed to early admittance into preschool. After a year and a half of chronic homeopathic treatment, Daniel has only had one ear infection (treated with antibiotics when the family was on vacation and they went to a local urgent care that put him on antibiotics). He continues to get healthier and healthier.
Daniel’s case illustrates how homeopathy can help kids become healthier overall so that they are no longer as susceptible to chronic acute illnesses like recurrent ear infections. Had I seen David earlier, homeopathy may well have prevented the need for ear tube surgery. Because homeopathy is a holistic therapy that treats the whole person, unrelated developmental problems (walking and speech) improved as well.
Ear Infection Overview:
Ear infections, also known as “acute otitis media”, are the most common diagnosis made by pediatricians, second only to the common cold.(1) However, studies have shown that antibiotics provide little relief in non-severe cases of ear infections with mild ear pain and a fever of less than 102.2°F.(2) In fact, the current standard of care for pediatricians is that for mild cases in children older than 6 months, an observation period of 48 to 72 hours can be recommended to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics that can cause long-term antibiotic resistance.(3)
Ear infections occur most frequently in children between the ages of 6 months to 3 years old due to a lack of immunity against common viruses and bacteria that cause ear infections, as well as an anatomically low eustachian tube angle. Ear infections commonly accompany other upper respiratory infections and cause pain or discomfort in the affected ear. Children may experience ear pain or fullness, decreased hearing, fever, discharge from the ear, and pulling/tugging of the ear. Infants may be asymptomatic or simply just irritable. Since the history is often unreliable due to a young child’s inability to communicate, the most reliable source of diagnosis is a physical exam where your physician will use an otoscope to view the tympanic membrane (ear drum) to look for signs of infection such as bulging, fluid, or discharge.(4)
In conventional medicine, children who have frequent recurrent ear infections are often treated surgically with ear tubes (myringotomy). This procedure makes a tiny incision in the eardrum to relieve pressure caused by excessive build-up of fluid and to help drain pus. Unfortunately, ear tubes don’t address the root cause of the problem, which is the child’s susceptibility to chronic recurrent ear infections.
Homeopathy is safe and effective for ear infections!
Homeopathy is an incredibly safe and effective treatment that we use at Arizona Natural Health Center for both acute and chronic recurrent ear infections.(5) Often, for most cases of acute ear infections, antibiotics are not recommended as the first line of therapy. In acute infections homeopathy can quickly stop the pain and heal the infection. For kiddos with recurrent ear infections, chronic homeopathic treatment helps boost their immune system to make them healthier overall, so they stop getting ear infections.
Homeopathy has been shown in scientific research to be safe and effective for ear infections. One study from 2001 showed that homeopathy resolved ear infections 2.4 times faster than placebo controls and there were no complications (side effects) observed in the study group. In that same study, homeopathy was found to be 14% less expensive than treatment of ear infections with conventional antibiotics.(6) Click here to download the full-text study.
In another research study, homeopathic treatment decreased ear pain one day faster than conventional treatment. Ninety-five percent of those treated with homeopathy never needed treatment with antibiotics. Additionally, in the homeopathy group 70.7% of the children were free from recurrent ear infections in the following year. The remaining 29.3% of the homeopathically treated group only had a maximum of 3 recurrent ear infections. On the other hand, in the conventionally treated group, only 56.5% of the children were free from recurrence and 43.5% had a maximum of 6 recurrent ear infections in the following year.(7) Click here to download the full-text study. As you can see from the research, homeopathy is a safe and effective alternative to antibiotics and ear tubes for treating acute and chronic ear infections.
- Neff MJ. AAP, AAFP release guideline on diagnosis and management of acute otitis media. Am Fam Physician. Jun 1 2004;69(11):2713-5.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Diagnosis and management of acute otitis media. Pediatrics. May 2004;113(5):1451-65.
- Riley, David S., Michael Fischer, Betsy Singh, Max Haidvogl, Marianne Heger. “Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine: An Outcomes Study Comparing Effectiveness in a Primary Care Setting.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Apr 2001, 7(2): 149-159. Click here to read the study abstract.
- Frei H, Thurneysen A. Homeopathy in Acute Otitis Media in Children: Treatment Effect or Spontaneous Resolution? British Homeopathic Journal, 2001, Oct, 90, 4, 180-182. Download full-text study here.
- Friese KH, Kruse S, Ludtke R, Moeller H. The Homoeopathic Treatment of Otitis Media in Children. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 35, 7, 1997, 96-301. Download full-text study here.