Can you guess the most common reason for visits to the pediatrician’s office? How about the most common reason antibiotics are prescribed for kids?
The answer to both is…..ear infections!
If you’ve got kids, you’ve probably experienced an ear infection with them at least once. You may see ear pulling, pain, irritability, and fevers that come with the infection. This will most often occur after an upper respiratory infection.
But just because your child has been diagnosed with an infection doesn’t mean antibiotics are necessary! Many ear infections are actually viral and wouldn’t be resolved with antibiotics anyway. Even if the infection IS bacterial, almost 3/4 of infections resolve on their own without antibiotics! Waiting and observing is often the best thing to do.
Now, in the meantime while we’re waiting for the body to do its thing, there are a few options to help speed up the healing process.
One of our favorite at-home remedies for both prevention and treatment is mullein garlic oil. You can use a few drops daily in each ear for prevention if your child is especially prone to infections. If they are showing symptoms of infection or have been diagnosed, then increase dosage to 3-4 times per day. If your child has a known perforation or already has ear tubes, this isn’t a good option for them.
Additionally, one of our favorite treatment options for ear infections–viral or bacterial–is ear insufflation with ozone gas. Ozone is a quick, safe, and affordable option to help directly fight pathogens within the ears.
The process is painless (as long as the eardrum is still intact) and only takes about 10 minutes. Plan on at least 3 treatments to truly see the most benefit. And don’t forget about general immune support–avoiding sugar, getting enough sleep, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, and supplementing with things like Vitamin D, quercetin, and zinc are all important to avoid illness of any kind.
Even if you do all the right things, they still may end up with an infection bad enough to need antibiotics. If so, don’t panic! Just be sure to support their little guts with a high-quality spore-based probiotic, given 2-3 hours away from oral antibiotics.
Lastly, if recurrent infections seem to be an issue, then it’s time to look at food sensitivities. Dairy and gluten are often the most likely culprits. Try cutting out one or both and you may see recurrent infections disappear altogether!