‘Glue ear’ (chronic otitis media) refers to a constant swelling of the middle ear.
It is often present prior to ear infection becoming apparent, when the Eustachian tube is obstructed with fluid. Abnormal eutashian tube function is the underlying cause in virtually all cases of otitis media, as it is the eustachian tube that regulates gas pressure in the middle ear, protects the middle ear from nose and throat secretions and bacteria and clears fliuds. Swallowing should cause active opening of the eustachian tube, however in small children the eustachian tube is smaller and nearer to the horizontal than in adults and does not always clear effectively.
This will cause an uncomfortable pressure build up. However often only a mild ear ache will be noticeable. Take notice of a child holding or pulling at their ears or not appearing to hear normally.
To treat glue ear effectively you must do three things:
1. Firstly in the acute phase encourage the Eustachian tubes to drain.
2. Treat any infection present.
3. Take steps to prevent further mucus build-up.
Applying onion poultices directly to the ear is an excellent way of encouraging the Eustachian tubes to drain as well as acting as an antibiotic.See page on ‘Onion Poultices’.
Rubbing Tiger Balm or Vicks in front of the ear and over the tonsillar glands is also excellent, and acts in a similar manner.
Ear candling also works well as long as no outer ear canal infection is present. Note that this procedure does not remove ear wax as some authorities claim, but does greatly help the drainage of the Eustachian tube.
Ear drops containing herbs such as Echinacea, Sage, Calendula, Golden Seal and Lavender (usually mixed with a carrier oil) are very effective and can also be used as preventatives or to help clear up an existing infection. See creams/ointments/oils .
Colloidal Silver is also effective when ear canal infection is present.
To prevent the eustachian tubes repeatedly becoming blocked (which then leads to infection) you must look for the cause. The role of allergy as a cause of chronic otitis media is firmly established. This can be to foods or to inhalants as allergic reaction causes swelling which then blocks the eustachian tube.
Often you have to look to the diet. Diets too high in dairy protein especially, are going to cause mucus build up. See page on ‘Mucus -excess’.
A low level of enzymes in the stomach is going to have the same effect due to insufficient digestion of proteins. To correct these problems reduce dairy protein intake, especially cheese, Milo, ice cream etc and increase raw foods. Food enzymes; i.e. kiwifruit or papaya or a child’s chewable enzyme tablet used before meals will help hugely. Some enzyme formulas are also available in capsule which can be opened up and sprinkled onto food. See page on ‘Enzymes – facts’. The formation of mucus will be greatly reduced if you take these measures.
To further reduce the incidence of infection (anywhere in the body), increase mineral levels. This needs to be all minerals not just single minerals such as silver or zinc. Colloidal minerals work well (one teaspoon daily for a child). Note that these already contain colloidal silver and you do not need to add extra! Keep that for external use only. See pages on ‘Minerals – facts’ and ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’. The daily use of immune boosting herbals such as Echinacea or Propolis will help in the mean time as the body rids itself of excess muco-proteins.
If possible a daily dose of a product containing Quercetin will help. Quercetin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and also reduces histamine release which overall means that it greatly helps prevent irritation of mucus membranes and reduces swelling. it also supports the immune system.
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