Identifying an Ear Infection in a Child
In most cases a fever is present at the onset or at some point during the infection. The child may or may not have ear pain. A diagnosis is made by a licensed physician using an otoscope. An Otoscope is a medical devise used to look inside the ear. The otoscope can view both the outer and middle ear.
Understanding an Ear Infection
The key to understanding ear infections is to be familiar with the function of the ear canal; this is where the problem occurs. When normal function is present, fluid is allowed to drain away from the middle ear into a system known as the lymphatic system. In abnormal function, fluid is trapped and the middle ear initiates an inflammatory response. As with any inflammatory response, pain is the initial symptom that prompts awareness and concern. But in order for proper function to be resumed to the middle ear, it is important to address the possible structural faults of the ear canal.
The eustachian tube (ear canal) in infants is nearly horizontal and slowly acquires an angle of 45 degrees by the time the child reaches seven years of age. As the child grows and the tube assumes a greater angle, fluid drainage is easier and the tendency to get ear infections later on in childhood begins to decrease. But like all tissue and organ systems of the body, the ear and its inner structures are under the direct influence of the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord. As nerves descend from the intricate centers of the brain, they travel into the spine and exit at various levels in accordance with the structures they govern. The nerves that go to the ear and the surrounding structures exit in the neck. As a result, the bones in our neck that make up our spinal column may pinch these nerves that go to vital organs. Chiropractic is concerned with realigning the bones in our neck to allow nerves to function properly. These misalignments are referred to as subluxations. Chiropractors specialize in locating and removing subluxations to allow our bodies to function optimally.