media refers to inflammation of the middle ear area just behind
the eardrum. Two out of three children under the age of three
suffer at least one episode of otitis media, and up to one
third experience six or more episodes by the time they start
school. Common symptoms include irritability, difficulty sleeping
and fussiness (in younger children), and ear pain and hearing
loss (in older children).
Antibiotics are standard treatment for this condition, despite
little scientific evidence supporting their use. A case in
point comes from the British Medical Journal, which published
a study comparing antibiotic treatment vs. placebo (no treatment)
for acute otitis media. Among 53 general practices in the
Netherlands, 240 children between six months and two years
of age were randomly selected to receive either amoxicillin
or placebo. Results showed only slight differences between
the two groups with regard to symptom resolution (more common
in the antibiotic group at day four, but similar by day 11);
duration of fever (shortened by one additional day in the
antibiotic group); and crying and/or pain (no differences
between the two groups).
The authors conclude that if seven to eight children with
acute otitis media are given amoxicillin treatment, only one
child will experience symptom improvement by day four. They
suggest that the effectiveness of antibiotics for this condition
is limited, especially in children under two years of age.
Contact your chiropractor for information on nonmedical approaches
to resolving otitis media.
Damoiseaux RAMJ, van Balen FAM, Hoes AW, et al. Primary-care-based
randomized, double-blind trial of amoxicillin versus placebo
for acute otitis media in children aged under 2 years. British
Medical Journal, Feb. 5, 2000: Vol. 320, pp350-54.
To learn more about chiropractic management of childhood
conditions, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/childhood.html