Ear Infections

Ear infections are one of the most common conditions affecting children. It has been noted that 5 million kids per year are diagnosed with ear infections. Chronic cases of ear infections often result in tubes being placed in the ears, a method that has been controversial in its effectiveness. Ear infections actually can be broken down into three categories, each specific to the part of the ear affected: inner ear (otitis interna aka labyrinthitis), middle ear (otitis media), and outer ear (otitis externa aka swimmer's ear). Children's ear infections typically fall into the otitis media category.

Otitis media is caused by fluid build-up. A simple example of how this occurs. Take a 2-liter soda bottle and put it on it's side. After a few seconds, the fluid will balance. Then, take that same bottle and tilt it up just a few degrees. You'll notice that the fluid distribution is altered, as more fluid rushes to one side versus the other. Well, the human ears have a fluid in them called endolymph and perilymph. If the head is balanced, then the fluid will remain balanced. That balance is critical because it is largely responsible for our balance and equilibrium. So, let's say that the head moves off balance just a few degrees. What happens is that the fluid distribution is altered, and more fluid rushes to one side versus the other.

Otitis interna, meanwhile, is caused by a viral infection. It was once treated with anti-biotics. Anti-biotics are rarely used now because they don't have much affect on viruses...they are for bacterial infections. So, NOTE THAT IF YOU ARE EVER diagnosed with a viral infection and they give you an anti-biotic, say "thanks but no thanks" because your body will heal faster without it. Anyhow, viruses have been pinpointed as the cause for inner ear infections. Viruses can be pesky...kind of like ants. And why do we get ants? Ants are scavengers, so they go after food. If you leave food out or don't clean up after yourself, you might get ants if they can get to the mess. That's what they do. Most people put down ant traps or spray them down with a insect repellent to get rid of them. But why did you have ants? Because your messy! Clean up and the ants go away. Well, why do we get a viral infection? Viruses look for hosts that can't resist them so that they may thrive. If your immune system isn't strong enough to fight off a virus, you might get a viral infection if it determines you are a good host. Most people run to the drug store and load up on pills trying to get rid of the infection. But why did you have a viral infection? Because your immune system wasn't strong enough to fight it off! Get the immune system boosted back to its optimal function and the virus goes away!

The lessons to be learned in these cases is 1) When the top bone in the neck misaligns, it does so in such a way that causes the head to be off balance. Because the head rests on the top bone in the neck, the head goes wherever that bone goes. Again, the fluid in the ears is balanced as long as the head is level. The top bone misaligning causes the head to not be balanced. It's simple mechanics influencing function. 2) The immune system is controlled by the brainstem as much as any other organ. A stress to the brainstem decreases the normal function of the immune system. A natural boost to the immune system consists of removing that stress from the brainstem. Again, simple...

Thinking good things for everybody. Next week's edition comes live from Las Vegas, Nevada. Each year, Upper Cervical Health Centers hosts an annual conference where all the Upper Cervical Docs around the country get together. It's awesome...sure to produce a very exciting and passionate edition next week...