It is around 2 a.m. in the morning. Your child is crying even though you notice the diaper is clean and you have just finished feeding not too long ago.
The agonizing scream overwhelms your sense of hearing and strikes a painful cord in your heart string. You then notice that your child is pulling her ear. If this sounds familiar to you, then you are not alone. Ear infection is one of the most common conditions that affect babies and children.
For years, the standard Western medical treatment for children with middle ear infections, also known as Otitis Media, has been antibiotics and in some severe cases ear tube surgery. Now, a growing number of pediatricians upon evaluation of the child's age, history of recurrent ear infections and other underlying medical conditions, choose to monitor the progression of an ear infection first before resorting to antibiotics. In most cases ear infections resolve on their own, and the fact that antibiotics have been so widely prescribed in the past could have overshadowed the child's self-healing potential.
The treatment of middle ear infections with Chinese medicine (TCM) involves the use of herbal teas or tinctures that are tailored to both your child's constitutional make-up as well as the specific condition being treated. The therapeutic focus when treating middle ear infections with TCM is threefold. First the infection is treated using antiviral herbs, and second, herbs are included to strengthen the immune system and promote the body's own self-healing process. The third major focus is to drain the excess accumulation of fluid that builds up in the ear as a result of the infection. In order to reduce or totally eliminate the need for an ear tube surgery. The added benefit of using Chinese herbal tinctures is that your child will not have to deal with the side effects of antibiotics, which include gastrointestinal upset and mucus production. While in some cases antibiotics have their place and are necessary, you may still use herbal tinctures in tandem to help boost the immune system and prevent future distressing episodes of ear infections.
Besides herbal therapy, our practitioners of Chinese medicine offer nutritional and dietary advice as another important step in preventing ear infections in your child. For instance, we recommend to avoiding dairy products and sweets and to adding more leafy greens and fresh fruits to your child's diet. With your child having fewer ear infections, you will have time to enjoy more affection.