Technically, there are several different types of ear infection depending upon which part of the ear is involved, but the one we are discussing here is otitis media, middle ear infection. The middle ear is a chamber just on the other side of the ear drum. The entire purpose of this chamber is to house the three tiniest bones in your body, called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. And the purpose of these three bones is that they connect the eardrum (tympanic membrane) to another very similar membrane in the cochlea (inner ear) where the sound waves are translated into a nerve signal for your brain. Back to the chamber…this chamber actually has a small tube that connects it to the back of the throat called the Eustachian tube. And the whole purpose of the Eustachian tube is to drain fluid from the middle ear chamber and to maintain the pressure in this chamber (when you pop your ears while flying/driving to a higher or lower elevation you are using this Eustachian tube to equalize the pressure in the middle ear chamber).
You have the anatomy. Now the physiology. Anybody’s Eustachian tube can get blocked off for any number of reasons, it’s just that in kids the Eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal, making it more prone to clogging than when they get older. But when it gets clogged then fluid, which is being made constantly by the mucus membranes inside the head and middle ear chamber, begins to build up in the chamber. If the tube never opens then the fluid keeps building up and up and up until the chamber is full. This can hurt incredibly and will impair hearing. But remember that bacteria are a constant part of our life and grow everywhere in our body. The bacteria in the middle ear chamber love this warm moist environment and grow very quickly. Pretty soon, not only is there fluid in the ear, but the middle ear becomes infected. There are grades of infection so not all ear infections are alike. And due to pain thresholds some patients will experience severe pain, while others, like my daughter, can have their eardrum rupture from internal pressure without any pain at all.
To fix an ear infection is simple, just get the Eustachian tube to open up so the junk can drain. In medicine there are three tools for this. The first, most common and least effective is antibiotics. This just kills the bacteria without addressing the real cause, leading in most cases to re-infection. The second is antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medication, but these methods are only mildly effective and subject to some nasty side-effects. The last is ear tubes to bypass the Eustachian tubes altogether, but there are risks to any surgery and lots of side-effects as well.
But there is a simple chiropractic adjustment that quickly and painlessly opens the Eustachian tubes. It is safe and very effective. It was taught to me by Joan Fallon, D.C. when I attended the ICA diplomate program on chiropractic pediatrics over 20 years ago. Dr. Fallon published findings that showed the procedure was effective in correcting 114 out of 116 clinical cases of otitis media. I have done this hundreds of times very successfully. If you want more information on this technique please just ask me. I love helping kids.