Ear Infections: Antibiotics Are Not Always the Answer
Your child is crying and pulling on his ear. You’re inclined to make an appointment with the pediatrician. After looking into the ear the pediatrician tells you that the ear is red, with fluid present, and issues a diagnosis of “otitis media with effusion.” Another ear infection. She recommends an antibiotic, “just in case it gets worse,” handing you a prescription for amoxicillin.
Do you fill the prescription? Or wait and see?
If you’re concerned about the overuse of antibiotics, and you want to protect your child’s health, you have a dilemma. Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians agree that antibiotics should not be used to treat this type of ear infection. Yet, much of the worldwide overuse of antibiotics is a result of treating ear infections. Physicians write millions of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions each year to treat this largely viral condition. Many, just to placate an insistent parent.
The fact is, there are many conditions antibiotics cannot treat:
- Viruses – antibiotics have no effect on a virus
- Pain – antibiotics cannot relieve or take away pain
- Ear fluid – antibiotics cannot reduce fluid buildup
In his book, Beyond Antibiotics, Michael Schmidt, DC reports that Gottfried Gutmann, MD, a prominent researcher in the field of manipulative medicine, reported on the treatment of more than 1,000 infants and children using chiropractic adjustments instead of antibiotic treatment. Gutmann found that many common childhood ear, nose, throat and bronchial conditions respond more favorably to chiropractic adjustments than to medications. Turns out, improving nervous system integrity allows the body to resolve these common childhood problems on their own.
If you have or know a child who experiences frequent childhood illness, a visit to a chiropractic office could end the “merry-go-round” of antibiotic usage!