Cottesloe Naturopathic Clinic
Naturopathic & Homeopathy Clinic Perth WA
       
 

Naturopath Perth: Homeopathy and Naturopathic Treatment of Ear Infections and Glue Ear

     

 


The treatment of children’s ear infections and glue ear is one of the most common and rewarding issues dealt with at this Perth naturopathic clinic. We find that ear aches and infections respond very well to homeopathic treatment. This has been borne out by clinical studies, many of which show that the patient responds quicker to homeopathy than to antibiotic treatment.

There is also evidence that those treated with homeopathic remedies have fewer recurrences of the problem than occurs with those treated by antibiotics. References to some of these studies are discussed on this page.

Not only has the effectiveness of homeopathy in ear infections been vindicated, but also a landmark study has concluded that treating with antibiotics is no better than doing nothing. This trial of 223 children compared (1) parent satisfaction with their child’s care, (2) resolution of symptoms, and (3) failure and recurrence rate. There was no difference in the recurrence rate by day 30 and no difference in the children’s eardrums. (McCormick, P, et al. “Nonsevere acute otitis media in children: a clinical trial comparing outcomes of watchful waiting versus immediate antibiotic treatment. Pediatrics, June 2005; 115 (6): 1455.)

In fact, the thing we would stress is that the body is able to heal itself, given the chance, and we must trust in this process. The beauty of the homeopathic approach is that it does precisely that.

Not only are these ear problems dealt with quickly and effectively, but the whole health of the child is boosted by the approach of naturopathy and homeopathy. This is because we don’t just give remedies to deal with the infection, but we also give treatment for the individual as a whole. In homeopathy, the important aspect of all case management is the prescription of a “constitutional medicine.” In the consultation we look at subtle aspects of the child’s health on all levels, mentally, emotionally and physically.

In 2001 a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial compared individualised homeopathic treatment to placebo for 75 children. In those given placebo there was 19.9% more failures than those treated with homeopathy. In those treated with individualised homeopathy, there was a significant decrease in symptoms 24 and 64 hours after treatment commenced. The most impressive factor in this trial was that improvement and symptom relief occurred rapidly and within the first day. (Jacobs, J, et al. “Homeopathic treatment of acute otitis media in children: a preliminary randomised placebo-controlled trial.” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 20, 2 (February 2001): 132-135.)

The constitutional remedy has a profound effect on all these three aspects of being. It is not the medicine itself that causes the change. It is not a drug, after all. It is just a catalyst that allows the innate healing forces of the body to re-establish balance.

There are always two layers or aspects to the homeopathic treatment of ear infections. One is the constitutional remedy that helps boost the child’s immunity in general and the other are the “acute” remedies to treat earache, pain and fever that the parent can give as needed.

In another trial of 230 children the outcome was rapid resolution of ear infections from homeopathic treatment. Medicines were individually chosen for each child. The researchers found that 39%of patients experienced pain reduction in the first 6 hours and a further 33% after 12 hours. This was 2.4 times faster than placebo as determined by an earlier conventional trial.(Frei H and Thurneysen, A.”Homeopathy in Acute Otitis Media in Children: Treatment Effect or Spontaneous Resolution?” British Homeopathic Journal, October 2001, 90: 180-182.)

Another study compared children given homeopathy for ear infections compared to those given antibiotic treatment. 30% of children given homeopathic medicine experienced improvement in 3 hours, compared to only 11.5% of those given antibiotics. The average duration of pain for those treated with homeopathy was 2 days in total, while the antibiotic group averaged 3 days. More significantly, in the year following 70.7% of those given homeopathy had no further recurrence of ear infections, compared to only 50.6% of those given antibiotics. (Friese, KH, et al. “Acute Otitis Media in Children. A Comparison of Conventional and Homeopathic Treatment.” Biomedical Therapy, 1997, 15, 4: 113-122)

At this Perth naturopathic clinic we also commonly treat ear problems other than acute otitis media. Otitis externa (“swimmer’s ear”) also responds to homeopathic remedies. Glue ear or otitis media with effusion is a very common problem and we have good success in its management. This problem occurs when thick sticky mucus builds up behind the eardrum and fails to drain through the Eustachian tubes. It is normally painless, although secondary infection can occur.

There has been one positive study of the homeopathic management of glue ear. This study was randomised but not double blinded. The researchers found that more children given homeopathic treatment had a normal tympanogram after 12 months than children given conventional medical care. (Harrison, et al, “A Randomised Comparison of Homeopathic and Standard Care for the Treatment of Glue Ear in Children.” Complementary Therapy in Medicine, 1999, 7:132-135.)


 



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