Why The Current Idea Just Does Not Work
When parents ask their pediatricians why their children get chronic ear infections, the answer is invariably the same. Babies get ear infections because their ear canals are more horizontal than that of an adult. Therefore the fluid cannot drain as well into the throat making the stagnant fluid a breeding ground for bacteria. Sounds reasonable right?
I used to think so until I thought about it a little more. Then I had questions that I still felt needed answering. If babies are born with horizontal ear canals, then why do not all babies get chronic ear infections? I thought perhaps it was because maybe some babies were born with ear canals that were more angled. But then why do some kids only get chronic ear infections in solely one ear? Finally if the answer was as simple as the more horizontal ear canals, then should not the fluid drain out if the baby was not holding its head upright? When the baby is sleeping on one side or another, should not the fluid drain out of the ear? Hoping that the child will outgrow its problem is not an ideal solution. There can be another option besides having tubes placed in the ear canals of kids. That’s what we will discuss in this article.
What Is Another Explanation?
Osteopathic physicians for decades have described that there is an inherent movement that the whole body, including the bones of the head, goes through from the moment one is born until the moment of death. This controversial motion is similar to how a rib cage expands and compresses during respiration but much more subtle. Even though it is a subtle motion, it is important in preventing infection by acting as a fluid pump. I agree that stagnant fluid in the ear becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. However, it is this subtle motion in the developing temporal bones that acts as a pump in the ear canals that drains the ears. Without it working appropriately, bacteria can grow out of control and result in infection. The motion can become dysfunctional in both ears or just one ear. If it is only diminished in one ear, then a child will be prone to infections only in one ear. In addition this pump then works regardless of the position of a baby’s head. Therefore it is not dependent on gravity to drain the ears of the baby. It has been in restoring this subtle pumping motion that allows kids to stop having chronic ear infections.
Watch This Video About Dr. Fulford Treating A Child With Chronic Ear Infections
In the 1980’s Dr. Andrew Weil, with the University of Arizona, made a video about a doctor who was inspirational to him, Dr. Robert Fulford. Dr. Robert Fulford was an osteopathic physician who often treated children with chronic ear infections in his practice. In the movie, Dr. Fulford treats a child who was getting ear infections every couple of weeks. The result was the child no longer having ear infections. This is an example that perhaps we need to reconsider the idea that the only thing that prevents ear infections in babies is how horizontal their ear canals are. Qualified osteopathic physicians can help restore the subtle motion that can prevent create a breeding ground for bacteria.