Avoiding Tubes In Your Child’s Ears

All day today I have had a nagging earache in my left ear. It reminded me that I had one of those kids who had frequent ear infections (otitis media) as a child- I’m talking between ages 3-8. During that time, we were in Pennsylvania, far from family, friends, or a network of doctors I knew or trusted. This was also a time when I was practicing little to no natural medicine, and homeopathy was nothing more than a big word that I didn’t understand, much less take.  Dr. John, your typical pediatrician, was strongly suggesting tubes to drain off fluid be installed in Alison’s ears. This is a common practice and routinely done in the case of repeated ear infections in children. But he never told me this;

While ear tube surgery is common, complications can occur in up to half of the children who have them inserted, which include;
• Failure to resolve the ear infections.
• Thickening of the eardrum over time, which affects hearing in a small percentage of patients.
• Persistent perforation after the tube falls out of the eardrum.
• Chronic ear drainage.
• Need for further and more aggressive surgery such as tonsil, adenoid, sinus, or ear surgery.
• Infection
• Hearing loss
• Scarring of the eardrum
• Possible need to keep the ear dry and to use ear plugs
• Foreign body reaction to the tube itself – for example, an allergic reaction to the tube material (rare)

Oh, if I had only known what I know today. The eustachian tube actually changes shape as children grow, allowing the fluids to drain off naturally, and as that happens, they “grow’ out of the infections. Luckily, I opted against the tubes, and ended up agreeing to a low prophylactic dose of antibiotics in the winter of her 7th year, which even now, I would never do.

Today, I would simply reach for Tom’s earache formula which contains hepar sulph, mercurius, capsicum, and chamomilla (this is how I dealt with my earache today). Then I would place a few natural ear drops with grape seed extract and tee tree oil, in little Alison’s ear to help soothe the throbbing (olive oil works good too). Lastly, a nice cup of chamomile tea and honey, to produce sleep.

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