The two main types of ear infection are inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal causing swelling and discharge, and otitis media , also known as an inner ear infection . These ear infections can be mild to very, very intense and painful. Children commonly pick up ear infections during the first four years of their life.
Chronic ear infections have been known to affect hearing, so even though infections can sometimes go away on their own, it is important to be watchful because these infections are so common. Some of the things to watch for would be delayed speech, crying more than normal and difficulties in balance, which inner ear infections could cause.
Glue ear is a chronic condition in which the middle ear fills up with a glue-like discharge which impairs normal hearing. It appears to be a consequence of a sudden middle ear ear infection which involves infection of the nose and throat. The eustachian tube becomes blocked which impedes the fluid from draining.
Glue ear may also be associated with chronically enlarged tonsils , adnoids and lymph glands which can also block the eustachian tube, blocking the drainage system.
For the child who has glue ear, the impairment in hearing also often means that the child is slower in learning to talk, and learning in school becomes slower than the average.
Thankfully, glue ear is a painless condition, however the thick fluid inhibits the movement of the small bones in the middle ear that are necessary for hearing.
Sticky eye is most often caused by a blocked tear duct , and is common in newborns because newborns don’t produce tears for about the first three weeks after birth. If the duct closest to the nose is covered with a thin membrane that doesn’t break open fully the tears can accumulate causing an infection in the eye.
Other causes of sticky eye may include infection contracted during childbirth from a mother who has a sexually transmitted disease . For an older child the infection might occur because of the common cold, but could also be from a more serious disorder called conjunctivitis (pink eye), a highly contagious condition, but treatable with antibiotics.
The causes of outer ear infection include:
* Germs carried from the nose or throat via the eustachian tube
* Swollen tonsils might block the opening which might cause a build-up of fluid which could become infected.
* A boil, a scratch or an object in the ear could cause germs to spread, which could cause an infection.
Treatments for ear infection might include:
* Antibiotics if the infection is not viral
* Drugs which relieve pain along with heat pads
* Reflexology has been found to be help for some patients, this treatment would involve massaging the part of the foot which includes the pituitary, pineal and adrenal glands , thymus , ear and spleen.
The treatment for glue ear may include:
* For severe glue ear involves a surgery which inserts fine tubes [grommets] into the ear, which allow fluid to drain, and is helpful for the short term.
* Antibiotics for infection
* Removing of the tonsils, and the adenoids
* A nutritional therapist would most likely advise that milk be removed from the diet, and replaced with a non-dairy source of calcium such as goats milk or soy.
The treatment for sticky eye may include:
* If there is pus and inflammation, one must take swabs and start treatment which are antibiotic eye drops , and warm sterile water, which is slightly saline to clean the eye regularly.
* Antihistamine drops may be give but only under the supervision of an ophthalmologist
* Eyebright might be used for a thick but non-irritant discharge
* An herbalist might suggest washing the eye with the follow herbal infusions: marigold, marsh mallow and golden seal
Some herbal remedies for the ears and eyes also include:
* St John’s Wort
*Hops and Rue (help with pain)
Some herbal remedies for sticky eye, and other eye disorders include
* Wood ear mushrooms (food)
* Broccoli (helps with inflammation)
* I am not a doctor, this is for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for concerns relating to ear and eye problems.