All About Ears

The ear canal is the part of the ear that produces wax that we often try to clean out. Earwax is normal for protection from dust and foreign objects and only becomes problematic when it forms a plug.

The eardrum is what practitioners see when they examine the ears. A healthy drum looks pearly.

If the eardrum looks red and bulging, your child (or you) has an ear infection. If the eardrum looks thick, white and veiny, it may mean there is glue ear.

The middle ear is a tiny space behind the eardrum that the small bones that are our hearing mechanism. Sound and noises make the eardrum vibrate and send signals to the bones in the middle ear, and then to the brain. When the middle ear has fluid in it, this affects how the small bones in the middle ear move, which in turn affects hearing.  Hearing is best assessed by an audiologist.

The eustachian or auditory tube connects the middle ear with the back of your nose (naso-pharynx). When you swallow you hear a small click in your ears; the sound of the eustachian tube opening and closing. To keep the middle ear healthy, the eustachian tube needs to open and close several times each minute.

Ear problems occur when the eustachian tube becomes blocked, which can occur when a child has a cold, allergies, tonsillitis or milk ‘backtracking’ up the eustachian tubes when drinking a bottle lying down. Babies eustachian tubes become blocked more easily as they are not fully developed. It’s when the eustachian tube becomes blocked that a middle ear infection is more likely.

Older children can sometimes unblock their eustachian tube by holding their nose and making their ears pop.

Treating ear problems

Most children have a few ear infections before the age of five years old and eventually grow out of them. Some children though, experience repeated ear infections become frequent and respond less and less well to courses of antibiotics. Repeated courses of antibiotics can also deplete natural immunity, and so begins a vicious cycle.

Homeopathic medicines are able to deal with acute ear infections, fever and pain, often quite rapidly. Once the acute ear infection has settled, ear fluid and general health needs to be addressed. A combination of diet, ear exercises and homeopathic treatment can restore normal ear health and resistance to infections.

 

TGA regulations prohibit us from giving self treatment advice for ear infections. Medicine may only be prescribed within the context of a professional consultation.