Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • February 2016
Written by 

Childhood ear infections

Childhood ear infections are frightening to parents mostly because they come on suddenly with no warning and at night while fast asleep. Your child is very hot, flushed and glassy eyed with a fever; inner ear problems, inner ear infections and earaches are a simple part of growing up — a sign that your child’s immune system is doing its job!

Why does my child get a fever?

When a child has an earache like an inner ear infection, the immune system and nervous system command many body functions to speed up, part of your normal defense system. All this extra activity produces more work. More work produces more heat. We call this a fever. It is not a bad thing: it is part of your body doing exactly what it needs to do to get rid of the germs. So don’t panic!

How do kids get inner ear problems?

As chiropractors, we see ear infections as a malfunction of the immune system and lowered immune resistance. In other words, the body is not able to fight off the infection. The main cause of lowered immune resistance in the body can be the birth itself. It is very traumatic. The stress associated with the average uncomplicated delivery may easily cause a vertebral subluxation, a misalignment of some of the segments of the spine affecting the way the child’s nervous system reacts to the world around them. Additional factors that are thought to increase risk of ear infection are:

  • Sibling with history of ear infection
  • Bottle-fed infants
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Daycare attendees
  • Prior antibiotic history
  • Male gender

The most common treatments used for inner ear problems are antibiotics, decongestants, tubes in the ears and surgery. You may be surprised to learn that the benefits of all of these are highly questionable and research concludes that recovery time is about the same for children whether medical treatments were done or nothing was done at all. Eighty-eight percent of children with ear infections never need antibiotics, nor do they shorten the span of the infection.

The body knows. In order for this to make sense, parents need to understand that the body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism. In other words, it is designed to heal itself and regulate its own internal functions. When was the last time you had to instruct your stomach how many enzymes and chemicals to produce to digest a meal? The body knows what it’s doing, and it does it perfectly without our meddling.

Chiropractic care is absolutely essential for children, especially in cases where the immune system needs a boost. We have also found that, as an adjunct to chiropractic care, the following will be very helpful in dealing with children who have chronic ear infections:

  • We encourage our parents to avoid using Q-tips or shoving anything into the ear canal. Many parents are not aware that ears are designed to clean themselves; when an object is shoved into the ear canal, it causes this self-cleaning mechanism to be clogged.
  • Warm salt water drops in the nose will often clear the entrance to the Eustachian tube, the blocked passageway between the inner ear and the nose.
  • For the child with a full-blown ear infection, we recommend a touch of warm olive oil or oregano oil poured into the affected ear. This will help to alleviate the considerable discomfort almost immediately.
  • 2,000 to 7,000 mg per day of vitamin C and an 8 ounce glass of raw carrot juice (vitamin A) daily are both beneficial.
  • To give the immune system increased function, have your child take a great multi-vitamin. We recommend Catalyn three times per day from Standard Process.
  • Vitamin B6 has been known to increase immune system function.

And, of course, love, lots of hugs and cuddles will do wonders in helping your child toward a speedy recovery! Join us on Feb. 22 for our “Raising a Superhero Kid” series to learn more!


References: “The Burden of Otitis Media.” Vaccine. M. Rovers.

“Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis Media.” Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Management of Acute Otitis Media.

Dr. Julie Wyss, BS, DC, Webster Certified

Dr. Julie Wyss and her husband Dr. Skip Wyss are the owners and pediatric chiropractors at Wyss Family Clinic of Chiropractic, the largest family chiropractic office in Wisconsin that specializes in pediatrics and pregnancy at 2830 Curry Court Ste #2, Green Bay. The doctors are both certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) in the Webster Technique, used to treat pregnant women and help with optimal fetal positioning for an uncomplicated delivery. The doctors are both completing their CACCPs and DACCPs, 400-hour grueling programs through the ICPA, which raises the bar for chiropractic standards in the care of pregnant women, infants and children. The doctors are both board certified by the state in nutrition, authors, parents, internationally recognized speakers on pregnancy and pediatrics and are very active in their community and nonprofits. You can contact them at 920-468-4199 or via the web at

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