Friday, February 15, 2008

Battling ear infections

Look in Saturday's Ledger-Enquirer for my story about ear infections, including how to help prevent them and how to manage them once they hit.

Here are some additional links on the subject:

Clinical Practice Guideline for Diagnosis and Mangament of Acute Otitis Media, published in the May 2004 issue of Pediatrics (Scroll down to recommendation 3A to get the full details on when the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians suggest that observation without antibiotics may be appropriate for an early-stage ear infection)

Trends in Management of Acute Otitis Media Since the Release of the 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics/American Academy of Family Physicians Clinical Practice Guidelines August 2007

Get more Otitis Media facts here.

And a final item of interest. This excerpt from the 2004 Clinical Practice Guideline gives some risk factors for acute otitis media:

A number of factors associated with early or recurrent AOM are not amenable to change including genetic predisposition, premature birth, male gender, Native American/Inuit ethnicity, family history of recurrent otitis media, presence of siblings in the household, and low socioeconomic status.

During infancy and early childhood, reducing the incidence of respiratory tract infections by altering child care center attendance patterns can reduce the incidence of recurrent AOM significantly. The implementation of breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months also seems to be helpful against the development of early episodes of AOM. Avoiding supine bottle feeding ("bottle propping"), reducing or eliminating pacifier use in the second 6 months of life, and eliminating exposure to passive tobacco smoke have been postulated to reduce the incidence of AOM in infancy; however, the utility of these interventions is unclear.

Source: Clinical Practice Guideline for Diagnosis and Mangament of Acute Otitis Media, published in the May 2004 issue of Pediatrics

If you have other advice for coping with ear infections, please share.

5 comments:

April said...

Annie - I'll look forward to reading your article. My Dutch friend tells me that in Holland they NEVER use antibiotics for ear infections. They allow the eardrum to burst, apparently. For my kids, I use the naturopathic remedies of garlic oil drops placed in the ear and then good ol' onion earmuffs (an onion cut in half is steamed, cooled until it is just warm then placed on the offending ear for 5 minutes or so, or as long as the child will stand it). I can't remember precisely, but I think this encourages circulation and has some naturally antimicrobial properties. I usually treat both ears with the garlic drops just in case. Another amazing treatment for congestion in general is the "cold sock treatment." I was told about this by my naturopath and have used it several times with good results. It is described here and probably other places: http://www.heartlandnaturopathic.com/coldsock.htm.
Finally, I have heard that if your child has chronic ear infections, cranial sacral therapy - a subtle type of massage - can stop them by helping the bones of the skull become more optimally aligned. (Since many ear infections are structural in their cause because of the inability of the ears to drain properly) Unfortunately, there are not excellent practitioners all over the U.S.; we are very lucky to have some great ones in Washington.

Dana said...

My ("wellness") chiropractor claims that chronic ear infections can be reduced/eliminated through regular adjustments.

Dana said...

My ("wellness") chiropractor claims that chronic ear infections can be reduced/eliminated through regular adjustments.

Monkey's Mommy said...

Sometimes there are structural deformities that lend children to chronic ear infections (in the case of my son). But through the three PE tube placements we've heard many other remedies aside from antibiotics - including chiropractor adjustments and squirting breastmilk in to the ear. Circumstances didn't allow me to be able to breastfeed so I wasn't ever able to test that one out. We, too, have heard that in England they do not treat them & I have several friend who take a "wait and see" approach.

Annie Addington said...

Fascinating stuff here. I'd really like to try out the onion earmuffs and the cold sock treatment on myself, or the boys, one of these days. When it comes to congestion, I've also become a fan of the neti pot, (disgusting though the practice is -- you pour slightly sea-salted warm water in one nostril and out the other). It's the only way I've been able to kick some of the allergy/sinus issues I've developed since I moved to Columbus. But you can't make a kid do a neti pot. Not a young one anyway...