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The most frequent visits to a pediatrician within the first year of life can be attributed to upper respiratory tract and ear infections. Approximately %10 of infants by 3 months of age will have had an episode of of acute otitis media and %50 of children by the age of 3 will have had more than 3 episodes. The signs and symptoms of otitis media include pain accompanied by tugging or pulling on the ears, fever, irritability, lislessness, and loss of hearing. Acute otitis media results in inflammation of the middle ear and can be caused by either viral, bacteria or both viral and bacterial infections.
Why are ear infections so common in infants and young ear infections children?
Infants and young children are at a greater risk of developing ear infections because they not only have shorter, more narrow and horizontal Eustachian tubes, but also due to their lack of built up immunity to previous exposure to various infections. With the Eustachian tubes being more horizontal, it makes gravity less likely to help with draining of the fluid from the middle ear into the nasopharynx and relies more heavily on the surrounding structures and muscles to do it’s draining in order for the body to fight off the infection in a timely manner.
How can chiropractic help?
Chiropractic’s role in treating middle ear infections is focused on lessening the severity and decreasing the frequency of middle ear infections, while improving the overall health of the nervous system. This is done by identifying, correcting and maintaining proper spinal alignment to allow the nervous system to function at it’s absolute best. Common findings in infants and young children who suffer from chronic ear infections include subluxations (misalignments) in the upper cervical spine. Upper cervical spine subluxations can cause inflammation within and around the joint, which can a have a negative effect on the nervous system that control the lymphatic system in and around the area and the muscles that help with draining the middle ear. When proper alignment and motion is restored, the body is better able to do what it needs to do in order to drain the fluid from the middle ear into the nasopharynx, where the lymphatics can pick it up and fight off the infection, with the goal of developing antibodies to help protect future exposures.
Call 204-396-5263 today to book an appointment with Dr. Carly to find out if chiropractic care is right for you and your child suffering from chronic ear infections.