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Friday, May 20, 2011

Dealing with an Ear Infection Sans Antibiotics

So yesterday I had an appointment with the Naturopath. My mother-in-law even came over and babysat for me so I didn't have to bring J.

I like him a lot! One secretary, natural cures--he's my kinda doc!

He gave me four recommendations/"prescriptions":

1. Stop eating dairy (haha, way ahead of you doc). Dairy thickens mucus and makes one more prone to ear infections, allergies, asthma, and colds.

2. Use a hot steam pack on the ear/neck for three minutes (as hot as possible, and try to seal in the heat with a fleece or plastic cover!). Then use a cold pack for one minute. Repeat three times (ending with the cold pack).

James helped me do this tonight. It was good to have a helper to time and reheat the steamy washcloth.

3. Put 5 drops of "ear oil" (Garlic, Mullien, Olive Oil) in each ear (he said my other one had pressure in it, too) 1-3 times per day.

4. For my cough/lungs/asthma, he gave me a self-made "cough elixir" which basically tasted like cough medicine without sugar, haha--he said it also contained "lobelia", an herb which helped dialate the lungs so I might be able to use my inhaler less.

(5. He also would have recommended the herb "Astragalus" to help boost my immune system, but we decided since I was mostly recovered from my cold I probably don't need it now.)

He also gave me a tip:

Eardrums are remarkably resistant. In the case of an occasional ear infection, the worst case scenario is a burst eardrum. He explained that this is definitely painful, however, he said he saw a guy once just after his ear had burst, and he said it looked really awful. But when he saw him 3 days later, it ALREADY looked pretty good--the membrane had already healed over but you could tell it had been damaged . . . then he saw him again on day 10. He said you literally could not tell anything had happened!

AND he said that by following the above methods, you can probably prevent an ear infection from getting to the point of bursting and help to clear it up quickly!

So as I said, I followed the recommendations to the letter last night. And I definitely feel like the heat/cold thing got things moving! I guess I'm already feeling better because I haven't had to take Aleve or Mucinex all day, which I'd been doing since Friday!


Jason Merritt said...

What your doctor said about eardrums isn't true, they are very fragile! And what he said about "worst case" being a burst eardrum isn't true either. Growing up I had several ear infections a year it seemed (obviously more than average), and I had 10 pairs of tubes surgically put in as I grew up to age 12, to help with persistant ear drums that didn't even heal right with antibiotics.
As a result, when I was 13 the doctors realized I had a hole in my eardrum that would not heal, and they effectively had to perform a skin graft to seal it, the healing process from which took 2 months of not allowing any water in my ear. Another result of the infections not being handled right is that I have a slight hearing loss which won't ever go away. My doctor told me at the end that I was lucky to walk away with as much hearing as I had.

justadrienne said...

Jason, I don't think he was saying that the eardrum wasn't fragile, but that it would recover. And I also don't think he was talking about the "worst case scenario" with chronic cases like yours, but just in the case of ONE ear infection.

However, if you'd never tried it, you should consider giving up dairy. My sister had the SAME thing as you, also had hearing loss because of repeated ear infections and needing to get tubes. Well when she was 12 we discovered she was allergic to dairy and after she stopped eating it she lost 15 lbs of water weight within a few days (she was bloated from allergy), and never got another one (unless she'd eaten dairy).

There is a HUGE amount of evidence linking dairy to chronic ear infections, allergies, asthma, and even colds and recovery time.

If you DO have an allergy and stopped eating dairy, I bet you would notice an immediate difference (within a week). Something to consider!

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