The Earache Trifecta: How To Relieve Your Child’s Ear Pain August 23, 2016
If you are a parent, or your throat feels scratchy just reading the words “back-to-school” and “flu season,” then pay attention, because what I have to share today will save you some tears, precious time and hard-earned vacation days.
During the last school year including the corresponding cold/flu season, our daughter told us that her ear hurt at least 3 times. Want to know how many times she went to the pediatrician or received antibiotics? Zero.
Want to know how many times Jorge or I had to cancel your acupuncture appointment because our daughter was home sick? Zero.
Well of course, right? Our daughter has two 24-hour on-call Acupuncture Physicians at her beck and call. The truth of the matter is that 75% of what we do for our daughter and for the dozens of little people that we treat for ear aches at our office can be done by you in the comfort of your own home.
The keys here are preparation and prevention because this trifecta is all about timing. You’ll need to have everything on-hand because the sooner you implement this method, the more likely you’ll be able to cut that infection off at the pass.
This is not to say that this protocol won’t be helpful if the infection is already in full-swing…at which point, our tried and true method will help expedite the healing and shorten your child’s sick leave.
The Earache Remedy Trifecta
1) Tincture time: We carry a line of pediatric Chinese herbal tinctures that are specifically for kids and that cover a range of issues, but there are two in particular that are fantastic for clearing ear infections. The formula is administered orally using a dropper, and kids tend to really like the taste. In fact, our daughter loves our “Windbreaker” formula so much that she often asks for it when she doesn’t have an ear infection.
We’re here to help determine which of our available formulas are most appropriate for your little one so you can keep it on-hand. We’ll also tell you how to dose it for your child based on their age and weight.
2) ClearPop: When your tearful child comes to you with ear pain and a sad puppy face, try this question out: Should we go to the doctor? Or would you rather try this lollipop first?
ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief is an oral treatment administered like a lollipop but has clinical backing: 4 of 5 kids aged 4-12 years old reported relief from the pain of ear infection within minutes of consuming it. While ClearPop is available in some pharmacies across the country, Family Tree Acupuncture is the only place you can get it locally.
Here’s a bonus: these pops are fantastic for relieving ear pain from air travel. Our daughter was traumatized during her first airplane experience when her ears became painful from the pressure changes. We almost lost her to a lifetime of staycations, but ClearPop turned things around. We absolutely never fly without them, and she’s excited to travel because she knows she gets two every plane trip: one on take-off and one on the descent. Because I know you’re secretly wanting to try one out yourself, you’ll be happy to know that ClearPop is also great for sinus-related ear congestion relief in adults too.
3) Ditch the dairy: Trust me. If you’re not willing to take this advice at face-value, then consider this.
Earaches are basically an inflammation of your middle ear and/or your eustachian tube (that tiny passage connecting the back of your throat to your middle-ear cavity). There are foods that are known to trigger inflammation in the body, especially if you have an intolerance or an allergy to them. One of the biggest triggers of inflammation is dairy (although gluten and sugar are up there as well). A sensitivity or allergy to any of these foods can obstruct your eustachian tube and cause pressure changes in your middle ear, which can create or worsen an infection.
If you or your child are on the cusp of an ear or upper respiratory infection, cut the dairy completely. Fortunately, we live in a day and age where there are plentiful dairy alternatives that are quite delicious, even for the discerning toddler. If your child gets frequent ear infections, we recommend going a step further and cutting out dairy, gluten and sugar from your child’s diet for a few weeks to observe any changes. If you need guidance doing this, we’re here to help.
4) Acupuncture: While technically not part of my “trifecta,” it would be remiss of me to leave this one out since acupuncture is so effective at preventing and treating ear infections. And yes, while it’s not something you can administer to your child at home, we do offer plentiful appointment times at reduced rates for kids. If you’re surprised to hear that we treat kids using acupuncture, check out our recent blog post on 5 Reasons Why Kids Love Getting Acupuncture for more information.
I could write for days about overuse of antibiotics and the effects that this has on the immune system, but I’m going to limit my soap box rant to one concise piece of well-researched information: Children who use antibiotics have a higher incidence of a repeat infection within six weeks than those who don’t use antibiotics.
On the flip side, children who drink sweet herbs, suck on ClearPops, and enjoy dairy-free alternatives to their favorite snacks are skipping off to school while you’re saving that hard-earned vacation time for an actual vacation.
Remember, preparation and prevention are your tools for thriving in the upcoming flu season. Whatever you do, DON’T WAIT until your child wakes you up at 2am with ear pain. Our herbal tinctures and ClearPops are available in plentiful amounts for you to be armed and ready.
PS: If you’re looking for surprisingly simple ways boost your own immunity this fall, you can learn from my own mistakes, which I’ve shared in a previous blog post on Lessons Learned From My Lousy Immunity.0