I think we can all say that ear infections are no fun. Whether you have lived with them or seen your kids go through them it can be painful especially with no answers to the problem. But why do some kids get ear infections more often than others? We will find out.
We will start with the anatomy of the ear canal and then delve into why those pesky infections will not go away.
The Ear Canal
The ear canal is the tunnel that connects the outside of our head to the inside where we can hear. It connects the outer ear to the inner ear. Vibration that is made from sound travels into the ear and then does some pretty neat stuff. It makes tiny little bones inside the ear oscillate to transform the vibrations into electrical impulses so our brains can interpret what is being heard. Amazing right?! It is a bit more complicated process than that but that is a basic understanding of it.
Another structure found within the inner ear anatomy is what used to be called the eustachian tube but now more commonly referred to as the auditory tube. This tube has a very important function. It connects the nasopharynx or the back of the throat to the ear! Why is this important? Well when fluid gets built up in the inner ear it needs somewhere to go and that is what this tube does, it helps drain the fluid. Now imagine with me what a stagnant pond looks like. It starts to build up algae and all sorts of gunk. The same thing happens to your inner ear. When the fluid gets built up and can't move it becomes stagnant and bacteria can develop. Thus you get an ear infection!
The infection is caused by the inability to drain the inner ear. It is not bacteria that causes it but the fact that you can't get out the fluid in a proper way makes the environment right for the bacteria to grow. Then you have a problem.
The solution is a simple one. Get the tube to drain again. When an infection has set in it can be painful. Even with antibiotics you still need to get the ear to drain or it will consistently happen over and over again! Not good for the parent of the child! So how to drain it? Well the best and most effective is discovering why it won't drain. The most common we see in our office is the muscles surrounding the neck are very tense and tight and the other is vertebra that affect those nerves that supply the muscles controlling the draining of the auditory tube.
By having your child checked by a chiropractor who knows how to work with kids you can feel safe about getting to the cause of your child's pain! A chiropractor who has seen kids before will help to put any nerves at ease. It is safe and effective.
Seeing your children go through things like this is tough on everyone in the family. We are here to help the needs of your kids! If you have any questions about care for children we would be more than happy to speak over the phone or message!