First off, Ear Infections is listed in quotes in the title, because all too often ear pain is labeled an infection because it hurts. Not because it is infected. What’s in a name though? Right, I mean, who cares what you call it?
Obviously there is an issue here. The road that is paved by the word infection, is a fearful one. The moment you start throwing around “infection”, is the moment you create urgency before the urgency deserves to be there.
Pain comes from pressure, and pressure could come from infection. But when a doctor looks into your ear canal, and sees a swollen eardrum (tympanic membrane), all they see is a swollen eardrum. They do not see bacteria, they do not see pus, they see swelling. Swelling does not mean infection by nature of swelling.
Swelling is more commonly response to an environmental stress, such as an irritant in the air much like an allergy. The body over produces mucous, and swelling ensues. Thus, we need to consider those things that are good for reducing this problem… the CAUSE of the pain, and not the secondary effect (which is what an infection would best be labeled as).
1. Chiropractic Care of the Atlas
I am a chiropractor, so this makes perfect sense to me. There is a nerve that runs from the Atlas Nerve, or C1 (top bone of the spine) that controls the muscle that changes the tympanic pressure. This muscle does so by wrapping the Eustachian tube, and causing it to pull on the eardrum in varying degrees. This muscle allows you to change pressure in the ear as atmospheric pressure changes.
However, if this muscle is in spasm, or excessive stimulation, it will close off the Eustachian tube, causing a back-up of fluid towards the eardrum, causing pressure, and pain. In many people, a well delivered atlas adjustment, will change the tone of the nerve, and the muscle will respond with relaxation. Fluid flows, and pressure disappears.
2. Hair Dryer
Because fluid flows easier when it is warmed… especially thick mucous. If you have a mucous “plug” in the ear, it would make sense to soften that plug by using heat. A hair dryer on the neck about an inch below the ear, will help loosen any thick hardened mucous. Don’t burn yourself, and don’t be shocked if it is too late in the game for this to work. Hard, dry mucous will not move because of heat alone, which is why the next remedy might be more important.
Whether it be a saline rinse, or a neti pot. Fluid in the nasal passages can assist by slowly eroding a hard mucous plug, every time the fluid comes along a blocked passageway, it will erode some of the mucous that is hardened into place, giving way to a clear passage and flowing mucous eventually.
4. Essential Oils
Though most of the oils are designed to assist in providing comfort over helping to heal. Some of them have the potential to assist you in going the extra mile to get over something by getting you to WIN the day!
The key oils for this use are lavender, meleuca, frankincense, and basil. Protect the ears with a cotton ball in each ear, then rub the concoction above on the neck and around the ears. This can soothe the pain of ear infection, or of pressure.
As a sold out Christian Chiropractor, I can tell you that my children have never been medicated for ear pain, ever. Get on the path!!
Be well and Be blessed – Dr. E