I love doctors. I am grateful for modern medicine. Sometimes modern medicine works great with a dose of natural help as well. This is one of those times – at least in our family.
My oldest has had one ear infection in his life, and it was when he was three years old and we had no idea what was going on because he had never experienced it. He took antibiotics; it cleared up almost immediately; he was fine.
My two younger kids have had different experiences. Both of them started to get ear infections starting around 9 months old whenever they got a runny nose, which maybe happened every month or two (thankfully not more often. My middle child stopped getting ear infections by the time he was 2 1/2 or 3, except for one random really bad one when he was four. My daughter is now 2 and some change, and has FINALLY stopped getting ear infections. But not because they have stopped, but because we found a solution that works better for us than the conventional antibiotic route.
When my kids get ear infections, they are full-blown awful in both ears. That’s how we roll. Right before Christmas of this year, my daughter got a runny nose which turned into an ear infection. I took her into the doctor, but our normal pediatrician was off, so she was seen by a different doctor. My kids also routinely “fail” antibiotics, especially the ones that they tend to prescribe first, so I mentioned this to the doctor and she prescribed a stronger antibiotic to help hopefully get it kicked before Christmas. That was a blessing and a trial all at once.
Turns out the antibiotic, first of all, didn’t help. At all. I bought an otoscope a while back (pictured above) from the store so I could check on my kids’ ear infections, or check on their ears if I was suspicious of something, and I could see that it was not budging. Second problem was that my daughter developed a very violent gag reflex to the medicine after about five days of taking the antibiotic. She got to the point where she would just throw up. In frustration, and thinking that there had to be a different way to take care of things other than shoving my kid full of medicine, I asked my friends on facebook for their feedback. I was surprised to see how many people help to prevent problems outside of trying antibiotics, and also glad to see that a lot of the answers were consistent.
Armed with their input, and honestly a bit nervous because I am NOT a “natural remedies” person, I went to the health foods store and asked for some help. I found this lovely product (also pictured above), and it has been AMAZING. I gave my daughter a drop in each ear, and rubbed some from her ear down her neck to help get things moving – her complaining about pain went away almost immediately, she slept better, and I could literally watch her ear infection clear up (using my handy-dandy otoscope) over the course of a couple of days. It was awesome.
I was still a bit skeptical, though. I wondered if maybe her ear infection cleared up because it was viral instead of bacterial and had run its natural course (which is why antibiotics may not clear things up). So I thought that we could put it to the test the next time something flared up.
About a month later, she got another runny nose, and came up to me saying, “Ear hurt. Ear drops please.” I gave her a drop in each ear once each day for a couple of days (each day she would complain that her ear hurt), and it never developed into an ear infection. That was the first time in over a year that a runny nose did not develop into an ear infection. It was wonderful.
The same thing happened again about a month later – same results.
For us, this has been a great tip to know – it has saved us a ton of money on doctors bills and prescriptions, even in the last few months; it has kept my daughter from having to go through the pain of ear infections; it has helped us feel grateful as we have been able to sleep through the night because our poor daughter isn’t awake, screaming from ear pain.
Wally’s Ear Oil contains Sweet Almond Oil, Eucaluptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Mullein Extract, Echinacea Oil and Garlic Oil. These different ingredients, alone or in combination, were what my friends recommended most. Those, or colloidal silver.
(1) The product says to use on children 2 and over. My daughter fell into this category (she was a month shy of two when we first tried it), so I have no experience with trying to go outside of those guidelines. I would talk with your doctor about their feelings on using the drops on younger children.
(2) The product also mentions NOT using it if the eardrum is ruptured. This is also where the otoscope could come in handy.
(3) With the otoscope, if you should have one or purchase one, be VEEEEEERY careful when you are putting it into ears to keep a good distance from the eardrum. It gets easier with practice, so maybe try using it on our spouse or an adult friend or an older child, all of whom could presumably sit still for long enough for you to work slowly, before you try it on a younger child. It is not worth the risk of damaging their ears. It is; however, very nice to be able to know what is going on. The one that I bought (Dr. Mom) is great, and comes with several pictures that show you what a “normal” ear looks like and an “infected” ear looks like. It is great to know when there is actually a problem with the ears, and when they are fine. It is a little expensive, but it quickly paid itself off.
I hope this helps someone! Let me know about your ear infection tips too.