Within the ear, warmth and darkness are the perfect environments for fungus and viruses to flourish. It is estimated that more than 10 million children are treated for ear infections each year in the United States, and that means lots of parents up late at night. Primary otalgia (a/k/a earache) is a pain that originates inside the ear. Typical symptoms can include fever, dizziness, a feeling of pressure along with pain and tightness on the affected side of the head, blocked sinuses, headache, irritability, insomnia and restlessness, as well as changes in appetite.
The most common cause of earaches is an infection (either viral or bacterial) inside of the ear canal, but also may be caused by foreign objects (hair, insects, ear wax) lodged inside the ear, as well as food allergies (often to dairy or wheat).
Ear infections usually start a buildup of fluids in the inner or outer ear canal (commonly in the Eustachian tube) that prevents drainage of fluids. When healthy, the Eustachian tube’s job is to adjust the pressure in the middle ear and drain fluid from it. Middle ear infections are more common in children because the Eustachian tube is much shorter in kids than in adults and more likely to get clogged.
Ear infections can cause mild or severe pain, or there may be no pain at all. In babies, symptoms can often only include fussiness and waking at night, runny nose, or a fever (if fever is present and persistently high, do contact your health provider, and if the baby is under four months old, if any fever is present at all). Commonly suffered in tandem (or shortly after) a cold, an untreated ear infection can put pressure on the eardrum, which can lead to hearing loss, a ruptured eardrum and other problems.
Acupuncture is an excellent ally for kids of all ages (the grown up kind, too). Acupuncture is very helpful and can relieve the pain of an ear infection immediately. Acupuncture is extremely effective in speeding up the recovery time from ear infections and preventing them from coming back by treating both the root cause and the symptoms. I have treated little guys late at night, with wonderful results and gained new believers as well. The point sites are near the ear area, with a few others included. And best of all — the treatment does not hurt!
If you would like to avoid antibiotics, or if they haven’t helped (half of all ear infections are causes by viruses, and antibiotics can only kill bacteria), do consider acupuncture, and hear the sounds of sweet relief for you and your loved ones.
For more information, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
Photo: Vera Kratochvil