Why Are Ear Infections More Common in Babies and Toddlers? (Is it really because they have horizontal ear tubes)
Waking up to a screaming child in the middle of the night is one of the most heart-breaking things you can experience as a parent. Not only do you want your child to feel better, but it’s exhausting as a parent when you’re constantly up with them and you don’t know how to help.
You may have heard that your child is more susceptible to ear infections when they are young because of their ear tubes (called the ‘eustachian tubes’). These tubes connect the middle of the ear to the back of the throat to help drain fluid and equalize air pressure. If they can’t drain properly, fluid builds up and becomes more susceptible for bacteria and viruses to multiply.
As a child, these tubes are narrower and more horizontal. As a result, it is easier for fluid to build up and become stuck. According to Johns Hopkins, by the time a child is five years old their tubes have changed enough to make drainage easier. Easier drainage is often what helps a child “outgrow” their ear infections.
So if a child’s tubes are the culprit, why don’t all kids get recurring ear infections? At Whole Family Chiropractic, we’ve found that just because ear infections are more common in kids, it doesn’t mean they’re normal. We’ve found that when you can support the ears in draining properly (even for babies & toddlers when they’re at an age with narrow & horizontal tubes), their bodies do fine and they don’t have to suffer with chronic ear infections.
What supports normal drainage? Since the eustachian tubes are located in the neck – natural, normal movements of the neck are key to helping fluids move through these tubes. As your child nurses, chews, swallows, yawns, and moves their neck and jaw around, these movements help stimulate drainage. Think of the last time your ears were plugged and how you may have opened your mouth wide and moved your jaw around to try and get them to open…the same idea applies.
From all the kiddos we’ve seen over the years, we have found a common pattern in those suffering with chronic ear infections – something is misaligned in their neck, preventing this normal movement. Just like how your bathtub won’t empty if the drain is clogged with hair, your child’s ears won’t drain if something is clogging their eustachian tubes. Since these tubes run through the neck, the neck is critical for this to happen successfully.
Because we’ve been able to help so many kiddos’ ears get clear and stay clear (with gentle, neurological chiropractic care – no twisting, turning, popping, or cracking needed), the parents we’ve worked with have been able to see firsthand how important it is for their child’s neck to be aligned and moving well. Not only does a well aligned neck help things clear out quickly if there is an ear infection, but as a child’s body gets stronger and is able to adapt better, we commonly see chronic ear infections become a thing of the past. They don’t even get them in the first place. This is EVEN THOUGH they are still at a young age where ear infections may be “common” because of narrow, horizontal tubes.
We believe that the body is designed to be healthy to function normally. When it does this, your kiddo can be healthy and can feel good. If you’re looking for help for your child with recurring ear infections, reach out and see if we can help. We love helping you, as a parent, to feel confident that you’re doing the right thing to help your child be their healthiest.
Call us at 651-789-0033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment for your kiddo.
Interested in understanding more? Check out this webinar:
Help to Break the Cycle of Recurring Ear Infections and Antibiotics