Ear Infection In Children

Words: Dr Naveen Kumar BOGGARAPU

Question: My kid tends to suffer from frequent ear pain, or infection. I know of some of my relatives and friends’ kids being subject to such health issues too. Could you kindly let us know the basics of such problems and also how homeopathy can help?

B J, Nagpur

A: Ear pain, or infection, is one childhood illness that compels parents to see their doctor promptly. So also sore throat, although it may not be as simple as it appears on the surface. Homeopathy treats not just the ear, or throat, infection, but also the child presenting with the problem.

Most children experience at least one ear infection [otitis media] each year. In some children, there may be four or more such episodes. The earlier homeopathic treatment is instituted, the quicker the healing effect.

A majority of ear infections are triggered by viruses, or bacteria, especially in day care, school, or swimming pool. Other triggers include siblings with ear infection, exposure to smoke, formula feeding and so on. Research suggests that children with certain health issues, such as throat disorders, allergies, or sinus problems, are at an increased risk of ear infection.

Some children develop glue ear [fluid that looks like glue], after a cough, cold, or ear infection, because of ‘surplus’ mucous. The mucous may build up in the middle ear and not drain well down the ear tube. However, it may be mentioned that glue ear does not always begin with ear infection.

Ear problems can also occur as a result of wax build-up in the ear, or infection, of the outer, inner, and the middle ear — following a cold infection. They may get worse as a result of barotrauma, i.e., during air travel, and also cold infection, in the ear tube. Other causes include infections in the outer ear, after ear piercing, or drastic, sudden changes in weather, or temperature.

Symptoms may appear over a few hours, or they may be gradual. Pain is the most distinctive symptom.

Some kids are more likely to show outward signs of the illness; their health assessment is much easier than that of infants. Infants are less likely to show obvious signs of ear infection. Younger children may, likewise, not report of pain as much as older children do.

Some children may present with fever. In severe cases of infection, the ear drum may rupture. When ear infection is not treated appropriately, it may lead to sepsis and meningitis [brain fever], among other concerns.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy treats not just the earache, or infection, but the child with the problem. In simple terms, it treats the child as a whole. Each child with ear infection ought to have certain physical and emotional symptoms. They may also have a certain type of personality, feelings, likes and dislikes. A suitable homeopathic remedy is prescribed based on these findings. For homeopathic remedies to work, they have to correctly ‘match’ the child’s illness-picture.

  • Aconitum napellus is useful for earache after exposure to cold, dry wind. The ears appear ‘bright red’
  • Belladonna is useful in earaches that come on suddenly with high fever, red face, or ears
  • Chamomilla is useful in ear infections, accompanied by agonising pain. It works best when children have teething problems, along with ear infection
  • Ferrum phosphoricum is useful when the ears are sensitive to touch, or cold, during infection.

Clinical Study 

In a study involving a group of children with acute ear infection [otitis media], published in The British Homeopathic Journal, homeopathic treatment was compared with dummy pill [placebo] to determine whether it provided a quicker resolution of symptoms than placebo. After 12 hours, 72 per cent of children using homeopathy experienced significant relief of symptoms, which was 2.4 times quicker than the response to placebo.

There are more than 15-20 safe and effective homeopathic remedies for ear infection. The remedy that suits a particular child’s symptom-picture in its complete detail is the one that will have the most beneficial effect, or outcome. This is best achieved, at the clinic, under the guidance of a professional homeopathic physician.

Self-Help

  • Allow your child to get plenty of rest; give them homeopathic remedies as advised by your physician
  • Give them lots of fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Consult your professional homeopathic physician promptly, if your child’s symptoms worsen.
Dr NAVEEN KUMAR BOGGARAPU, BHMS, PG Fellow in Homeopathic Dermatology [FCHD], is a Hyderabad-based senior homeopathic physician with a vast clinical experience of 20+ years. A former regional head of a chain of homeopathic clinics in corporate homeopathy, Dr Kumar has a certificate programme in homeopathic paediatrics too. He has participated and presented papers in several homeopathic medical conferences across India.

[This article was first published August 29, 2022].

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