Healing Childhood Ear Infections by Michael A. Schmidt

Healing Childhood Ear Infections: Prevention, Home Care, and Alternative Treatment

by: Dr. Michael A. Schmidt

I had a lot of ear infections growing up.  In one of my early years of life, I had 14 ear infections in 10 months.  I was always on antibiotics, always trying to keep my ears covered, and my earliest memories are waking up in pain in the middle of the night and creeping into my parents’ room for help.  I remember eating applesauce with crushed aspirin in it to take away the pain, and I remember being rocked in our big chair with my ear pressed against my father’s chest, listening to him sing hymns to me while we waited for the aspirin to take effect.  I became allergic to penicillin, ceclor, and sulfa antibiotics.  When I was seven years old, I had tubes put in both of my ears.  For two and a half years after that, I remember my mother taking great pains to keep water out of my ears.  Before I went to swimming lessons, she packed my ears with mold-able wax, covered it with strips of cloth diapers, and put a swim cap over my whole head, all in an attempt to keep my ears dry.  It was a big production for many years.  Finally my tubes fell out, my ears were better, and I’ve only had a handful of ear infections since then.  Thankfully, my ears survived with no hearing loss, but it was a trial for my parents as I was growing up.  For years, I was constantly told to “Cover your ears when you’re outside, Emily!” but it never seemed to make a difference in whether I got an ear infection or not.  Anytime my immune system took any kind of hit, even something as simple as staying up later than usual one night when we were visiting Grandma, I would inevitably get an ear infection.

When I gave birth to my first child, I expected that she would have the same problems with her ears as I did.  But, she didn’t.  I can’t even remember if she had an ear infection during her first year of life.  She did have a red eardrum with some fluid behind it sometime when she was two years old.  At that time, I was seeing an acupuncturist, and she gave me an herbal tincture for Lyd to take orally.  Lyd didn’t like the taste, but I got it down on a regular basis over a few days, and her ear healed up rapidly with no problems since.

When I saw this book on the shelf at my former chiropractor’s office, I was intruigued.  By the time I first saw this book, I had begun my foray into the crunchy, alternative-medicine side of life, and I was interested to know what else could have been done for me in my childhood as an alternative to just giving me more and more antibiotics.  I skimmed a bit of the book and was so interested in what I read that I bought the book.  I now feel sorry for my parents, since there are so many other options for dealing with ear infections that they never knew about, options that might have been able to stop my cycle of ear infections early on, giving everyone a lot more sleep at night.

This book got a lot of use over the past 24 hours once I found out that Curious J had her first ear infection.  Besides chapters with exhaustive research on the various causes of ear infections, there is also a long chapter about alternative treatments for EI’s, treatments that include homeopathy, as well as chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutritional supplements.  The homeopathic section was most interesting to me, and it was from that section that I was able to practice figuring out which homeopathic remedy would suit Curious J best.  I was very proud of myself to learn that my homeopath had chosen the same remedy for J as I had!

Whether you’re a crunchy, alternative health kind of person like me, or a believer in traditional Western medicine, this book has a lot to offer.  Chronic ear infections can be debilitating not only to the child but exhausting to the whole family, both physically and financially.  This book takes a detailed look at ear infections, and people struggling with trying to manage recurrent EI’s will find it very interesting.

Chapters include:

  1. The Scope of the Problem
  2. Antibiotics: Sensible Use or Abuse?
  3. Tubes: Effectiveness, Hazards, and Complications
  4. Hearing Loss and Delayed Development: Myth or Reality?
  5. Causes of Childhood Ear Infections
  6. Home Care for Earaches
  7. Preventing Ear Infections in Your Child
  8. Alternatie Treatment: Some Solutions

The only drawback to this book is that it’s copyrighted 1996.  I’d be interested in seeing a more current revision of this book.  However, I did notice the book Childhood Ear Infections: A Parent’s Guide to Alternative Treatments written by the same author and copyrighted 2004.  So, that might be worth checking out, if you’re in the market for a book along these lines.  If you have a child with chronic ear problems, then this is a book that you definitely want to have on your shelf!