Are you or your children prone to sore ears? Amazingly it’s one of the most common reason parents take children to the doctors!
It’s often due to middle ear infections when the build-up of mucus causes the thin tube that runs to the back of the nose (Eustachian tube) to become blocked or swollen which can lead to infection.
In lots of kids this tube is smaller than it should be, so they often retain fluid in their ear which can affect hearing and learning, even when they don’t have a cold.
Due to this level of fluid, even when they get the slightest sniffle, then the build-up of mucus can happen causing an infection. Luckily they usually grow out of this as when they get bigger, as the tube gets bigger too, elevating the fluid problems. For more info click here.
I know this all too well as my eldest son has suffered from the age of 1 and he’s now nearly 5… so I thought I’d share with you a variety of alternative approaches that have I’ve found very effective…
I’m sure you’re aware how incredibly painful ear infections can be and how they are not to be ignored as they can lead to hearing or learning issues. Kids are usually prescribed either oral antibiotics or antibiotic drops, however the overuse of antibiotics and its effect on hearing is something that worries me, let alone the damage antibiotics do to the good bacteria you need in your body and gut.
Our bodies are actually very capable of healing ear infections without intervention, especially if your immune system is functioning well. So, boosting your immune system is key to helping resolve ear infections.
Top 10 ways to combat sore ears:
- Get more sleep. Often hard to do, but sleep is so important. Sleep is when your body repairs itself, rebuilds immunity and carries out important functions in the body and brain.
- Remove sugar from the diet.Sugar depresses immunity and makes it difficult for your natural defences to kick in – especially in children.
- Avoid dairy. Eliminating dairy has proved very effective, especially in children with recurring ear infections. This is because dairy products are usually ‘sticky’ and can stimulate more mucus production. Try removing dairy for a month and see what happens. You can eat alternative dairy products such as almond milk, rice milk etc.
- Herbal or antibacterial ear drops.Commercial herbal ear drops typically contain Garlic, Goldenseal and perhaps Mullein infused into oil. This technique has been used for many many years. You just gently warm the oil and put 2-5 drops into each ear every few hours. The oil feels good and helps soothe the pain, and the antibiotic/antiviral/antifungal properties of the herbs actually penetrate through the ear drum to reach the infection on the other side. Or, you can buy ear drops which contain ingredients known to be naturally antibacterial and antiviral such as Grapefruit Seed Extract and a tiny bit of Tea Tree Oil blended into a soothing amount of Glycerin. Don’t use ear drops if the ear drum has ruptured. Seek immediate medical attention.
- Acupuncture. This can help with pain, but I’ve mainly found it good for draining the excess fluid from the middle ear/Eustachian tube). It also helps balance any deficiencies and therefore boosting immune systems. Acupuncturists also recommend removing damp-forming foods such as dairy, wheat, bananas…
- Use Colloidal Silver.Colloidal silver drops can be placed in the ear canal every 2-4 hours. Colloidal silver heals the ear quickly as it’s antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. It’s also soothing and stimulates the body to heal itself. For more information on colloidal silver click here.
- Use a probiotic and/or fermented foods.Probiotics help boost immunity and keep a balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract. Interestingly 70% of immunity resides in the gut. You can get probiotics designed especially for children, but fermented veggies are also a great way of gaining beneficial bacteria, or try water kefir between meals. (avoid yoghurt probiotic as it’s dairy). You can get some great products, but the one I use for myself is from Arbonne, which has a pre-biotic too (this helps keep the probiotic alive and in your gut for longer making it more effective).
- Use immune boosters. During an active infection, the body will respond well and be able to fight infection better if immunity boosters are consumed. Eating a lot of garlic, onions and turmeric is a great place to start. Taking Vitamin D, D or Monolaurin are also known to boost your body’s ability to fight infection. For a good botanical immunity and antioxidant drink, click here
- Use a heat bag:Applying a bit of warmth to the affected ear is a very effective way to bring soothing relief from the pain. You can get loads of these that you heat in the microwave, or you can make your own…. pour uncooked rice into a clean cotton sock, tie the top, and then microwave the sock in 20-second bursts until it is warm to the touch but not hot. Lay the sock over the ear, repeat as needed.
- Seek medical attention when needed.There are times an antibiotic may be needed. If symptoms or fever remain for more than three days, if the fever is extremely high or if pain is intense, seek treatment immediately.
Disclaimer: Please note Active Silver is a brand of Silver Health Limited and it does not claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information we provide is not intended for medical advice and, as with all other supplementary/alternative products, they shouldn’t be used to replace conventional medical care without consultation from your healthcare provider.