Ear Infections

Understanding Ear Infections

Over 110 million prescriptions for antibiotics were written last year. Experts say that up to half were unnecessary or ineffective. That means approximately 55 million prescriptions were taken, often times by our children to treat ear infections, which were unfortunately useless.

Acute otitis media (AOM) is defined as, “fluid in the middle ear accompanied by signs or symptoms of ear infection.” Although uncertainty exists among experts as to the best solution for treating AOM, antibiotics continue to be a first line of defense for the medical profession.

Symptoms/Signs of ear infections:

  • Earache
  • Inner ear appears red
  • Clear fluid, pus, blood
  • Diminished hearing or complex loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability

There are two types of ear infections:

  • Viral - most common type, usually accompanied by upper respiratory infection.
  • Bacterial - can cause discharge of fluid, pus or blood.


Recent research is beginning to reveal the ineffectiveness of antibiotics to treat this illness. In fact, the New England Journal of Medicine reported, “Only 1 in 8 children with ear infections benefit from antibiotics, and researchers found that most subjects who received placebo recovered just as quickly as subjects taking prescription antibiotics.” The study continued, “Within one week 81% of placebo subjects had recuperated.”

The Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) also found that “amoxicillin is not effective...” and, “...concluded that children who took the drug for ear infections were two to six times more likely to have a recurrence of their fluid build up.” Despite this information, amoxicillin still remains the number the number one prescribed drug for ear infections. JAMA also found the only 58% of all myrinotomies (tubes in the ears) were necessary.

Many studies have show the strong connection between neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction of the Eustachian tube (a tube that “drains” the ear) an middle ear infections. Nerve interference cause by vertebral subluxations in the upper part of the neck can lead to improper functioning of the Eustachian tube. Specific chiropractic spinal adjustments reduce the nerve interference, improving the function of the Eustachian tube, and allow the middle ear to heal naturally.


Hendley JO. Clinical practice. Otitis media. N Engl J Med 2002; 347 (15): 1169-74 / Medline ID : 12374878

Froehle RM; Ear Infection: a retrospective study examining improvement from chiropractic care and analyzing for influencing factors. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996; 19(3):169-77 / Medline ID:96294956

Paradise, J. et al., Adeniodectomy and adenotonsillectomy for recurrent acute otitis media. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1999; 282 (10): 945-53.

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