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.
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.)
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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Western Australia 6011
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