Otitis media commonly emerges when there is improper drainage of the lymph system in the neck, or when the muscle that is supposed to keep bacteria or viruses from entering the eustacean tubes (the tubes in the back of the throat that lead to the inner ear) doesn't work correctly.While both of these things can happen in adults, it usually does not result in an ear infection for two reasons: First, the shape and the length of the eustacean tubes are different in adults, allowing easier drainage and making it more difficult for a bacteria to invade. Second, adults tend to spend more time upright than young children do, which also encourages better drainage and decreases risk of infection.
either case, the underlying root cause of otitis media is usually a
mechanical problem. There is either a reduced or blocked drainage of the
lymph vessels in the neck lymphatic chains that causes a build up of
fluid in the inner ear, or a loss of normal function of the small
muscle at the opening of the eustacean tube in the throat that allows
bacteria and viruses from the mouth to enter the inner ear. Chinese medicine provides a dual approach: restore normal drainage of the ears and neck
lymphatics and stimulate the immune system to resist build up of infection.
the current treatment of choice for medical doctors is to prescribe
oral antibiotics, usually amoxicillin, which can be helpful to get rid
of a bacterial infection. But, according to many research studies,
antibiotics are often not much more effective than the body's own
immune system. And repeated doses of antibiotics can lead to
drug-resistant bacteria as well as weakening the body so that the child merely goes through recurring cycles of ear infections and antibiotics.
Most people have heard about the common practice of placing 'tubes in the ears' to relieve the pressure, and therefore pain, of otitis media. During this surgical procedure, a small opening is made in the eardrum and a small tube is placed in the opening. This opening helps to relieve the pressure in the ear and prevents fluid buildup. After a couple of months, the body pushes the tube out and the hole closes. Although the treatment is often effective, it does not address the underlying cause of the infection, which is the abnormal mechanical functioning of the lymphatics, muscles and nerves.
If your child experiences recurrent ear infections, it is important that you talk to your acupuncturist. Acupuncturists are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will use a gentler type of treatment for children. By helping to restore the normal function of the neck and ear tissues, otitis media can usually be significantly reduced or completely eliminated in most children, without the use of antibiotics and surgery.