Pediatricians have been urged by their own American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) to discuss with parents the option of “watchful waiting” for most one-sided ear infections in children rather than prescribing antibiotics. The guidelines for managing ear infections in children were released on February 25, 2013.
These new guidelines have been adopted in an attempt to decrease the use of antibiotics in children. One-sided ear infections tend to resolve on their own and antibiotics often have little beneficial effect. The guidelines suggest reserving antibiotics for bilateral ear infections, for more severe infections, or when significant fluid build-up in the middle ear is documented by testing, not by visual inspection alone.
The report emphasizes that ear infections are diagnosed and antibiotics routinely prescribed when an eardrum appears red, but antibiotics in these situations may do more harm than good. In addition, the report confirms that the prescription of antibiotics is not an appropriate measure to prevent recurrences of ear infections.
This opens the path for pediatricians to avoid the overuse of antibiotics and also conform to recommended standards of care.
Holistic practitioners have consistently decried the over-prescription of antibiotics for simple conditions like ear infections, which are so easily managed with alternatives to conventional drug treatment. Ear infections can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines and with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory herbal formulas.
Homeopathic medicines including Belladonna, Hepar sulph, and Pulsatilla have been used for centuries by parents and practitioners alike. And many Chinese herbal formulas have been developed for acute ear infections, such as Children’s Ear Formula developed by Dr. Jake Fratkin and distributed by Golden Flower.
For further descriptions of the holistic treatment of middle ear problems and recurrent ear infections in children click here.