Ear infections present in two major categories based on type of infection (viral or bacterial) and location within the ear canal. The first type, serous otitis media, typically presents as a sensation of fullness and pain in the ear and may be associated with difficulty hearing. This type of infection is viral in nature and therefore, antibiotics are NOT effective. It is typically caused by a narrow or closed Eustachian tube, which allows for negative pressure to build up and allow fluid to accumulate in the ear canal, distinguished by visible fluid bubbles behind the ear drum. Chiropractic management can play a role in opening of the Eustachian tube using gentle adjustments of the of the outer ear to help release the negative pressure and fluid buildup in the middle ear canal.
The second type of common ear infection, acute otitis media, typically presents most commonly in infants, children and some adults, and is described as internal ear pain with pressure and a decrease in ability to hear. This type of ear infection is bacterial in nature and most commonly caused by strep. Pneumoniae, strep. Pyogens, and Haemophilus influenza. Like the serous type, otitis media can be treated using gentle Chiropractic adjusting of the outer ear to reduce negative pressure and fluid in the ear and promote drainage. However it is important to note that since this is a bacterial infection, antibiotic therapy is recommended. Failure to do so could lead to more serious complications.
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