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Assorted Comments on Ear Infection Treatment

The following is NOT medical advice. It is taken from a discussion by parents on alternative methods of treatment for ear infections/earaches. It should NOT be thought of as medical advice. It is simply shared experiences and information. Get your medical advice from your doctor.

Parents - - consider all of this a sharing of experiences and/or information and USE YOUR JUDGMENT concerning the treatment of your child. ALWAYS (Cleft-Talk policy here) defer to the judgment of your medical professional. If you don't agree with that judgment -- seek a second opinion. Many doctors do not ascribe to alternative treatment strategies. In that case, make your best judgment based on your OWN gut feelings as mom and your OWN research and understanding of the principles involved.

Of course, if there is an ear ache, there is likely an ear infection - - GO TO THE DOCTOR!!! Ear aches caused by too much wax are one thing - but ear aches due to infection need medicine - like good antibiotics.

-- Joanne Green
   Director Wide Smiles

Here are various comments from this thread of conversation:

A parent asks: "Does anybody know anything about ear candling? I've heard good things and bad things (getting hair caught on fire, etc) but it sounds like an interesting way to clean out stuff--often used in the alternative scene. . . but I don't know how deeply it affects the ear canal"

---------- Responses: ----------
**When my daughter was just a baby (6 months or so) she got her first ear infection. In addition to the medicine, we were advised to heat a mug or a glass with boiling water and then place a washcloth over the rim of it and place it against her face and the over her ear -- so as to warm the canal and help the fluid drain. The caution is to avoid burning the skin of course, and that is what the tissue is for.

**I don't know a thing about "candling" but the heated mug sounded like it may have the same principle involved.

Anyone else ever do this? It did seem to help. We repeated it a few times over about a 15 minute period. We also had elevated the head of her bed, a marginally successful routine, since she was a baby and would end up down at the bottom of her bed anyway.

**I had a friend from Mexico when I was a teenager, her family had a method of dealing with earaches different than most. When one of the kids complained of an earache they would take newspaper and roll it in to a cone, put the small end in the ear and light the big end! When it got close the end of the paper the session was over and real fast! OK Kids don't try this one at home!!!!!!!!!

**HI GANG !!!!!! A friend of mine at work did try this ear candle...and he swears by it.....says that it cleaned out so much wax and junk, and also improved his hearing.

**I've heard really good things, too, but I'd also heard some scary things about accidentally burning the ear canal, that sort of thing, so finding someone who's done this before would be good. I think it's supposed to work by somehow creating a vacuum or something? Anyways -- it sounded to me like a cleaning method that would be much less likely wash gunk upwards into the middle ear than the water method.

**I'm getting the drift of this now!! Used to be that when one had an earache smoke was blowed into the ear! Now the concept of this was the heat!! Now we know don't blow smoke in there! But I have ear infections occasionally and I lay on a heating pad!! For a child this may not be a easy thing! But a blow dryer blowing in the ear can have similar affects! Or I have heard that salt in a little cloth and heated and held behind the ear can also be helpful! We also know that pearl rice can also be heated in the microwave so that might be an option. Put it in a cloth first and 
tie it off. Could be a mess if it came apart LOL Hope this helps.

**Just got back from my acupuncturist, who said that yes, ear infections are definitely something acupuncture could help. Chinese herbal mixtures would be used as well. She said, though, that the challenge would be to get an infant to be still enough not to disturb the needles during a 30 minute or so treatment. (acupuncture needles don't usually hurt at all, but do sting a little if the energy on a particular channel is disturbed and needing balance. Often, first-timers will notice a mosquito bite-like histamine reaction at the needle site, but it's generally discomfort free other than that) I would definitely look for someone with preferably certification from China, or failing that, a graduate of a good, intensive, several years-long acupuncture program here in the states. There is a lot of talk about Western physicians wanting to add acupuncture to their practices, yet only picking up the very basics in a short course. Acupuncture is an ancient art that takes many years of study to really know well. I've used it for gynecological problems, and it's worked really well. (works great for allergies and sinus infections, too, I've heard)

**I have to agree with ya there. For me the heating pad helped and I have even used the blow dryer on his ears. We also kept the head of his bed mattress raised up a little. Also gave him Benedryl but of course check with you Dr on these things.

**One of the baby catalogues that I get carries a, well I guess you would call it a hot water bottle for the ear. Not too big for a little one to hold for themselves, and not the danger of burning as with a heating pad.

**Just wanted to add my ear infection treatment in here! I spoke with my pediatrician first about this who gave me his blessing to see if it would work. First he showed me the proper way to check the ears and what to look for and explained the different stages of ear infections. I check my kids ears, nose, and throat once a month just to keep tabs on them.

Ok when we have a ear infection beginning we use a mullein and garlic oil compound in my son's ears (actually all my kids) just a few drops warmed up in the infected ear and then a cotton swab placed in the ear too. I also start giving a children echinacea in his juice to help boost his immune system. We use the drops for only a few days and almost every time we have had success! Both the mullein and garlic compound and the echinacea can be found in a health food store.

I do advise you talk to your child's doc before starting a homeopathic treatment. I am lucky mine are very open to it and are willing to let me try. And like I said I speak with them first.

**My mother used to warm this thick liquid up on the stove (it was in a blue bottle with a syringe at the top) and she would put it in my ear. It would make it go away. I had these a lot. But when she put the oil (I think it was oil anyway) in my ear the pain went away. She would then put cotton in the ear too. I think  she did this at night before I went to bed.

**My mom warmed mineral oil, and dropped it in, capped it off with a cotton ball. It helped me too. I'm glad Joanne posted about not putting things into ears that have tubes. I didn't know that.

**I really want to underscore Joanne's message here, even if your doctor prescribes drops, remind the dr. that your child has tubes, just in case. Doug was prescribed drops right after the dr. had looked in his ears, and they hurt when I put them in, when I called the pharmacist, and asked if they would hurt, she said only if they get access to the middle ear (like when they have tubes). I called the Dr back and she prescribes an oral antibiotic, and that got rid of the infection.

**I thought I would add that also if there is any drainage from the ear then there could be a perforation (hole) in the ear drum so you don't want to add any liquid in the ear either...Please consult your Dr on this.

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