Earaches and ear infections are common complaints in children. Most children have at least one event of ear infection each year. Parents need to take good care and also seek quick, effective medical treatment to avoid complications.
Earaches may result from a build-up of wax in the ear, or infection of the outer, inner, and the middle ear — after a bout of cold, for instance — or ear injury (e.g., piercing). Sometimes, the body’s natural mechanisms for fighting infection may be compromised or undermined. This happens when a child’s ears are exposed to extremes of temperature, or ear infections are suppressed by antibiotic use or overuse.
Most ear infections are caused by viruses and/or bacteria. Other causes are allergy, blockage of the ear canal, day-care, school, siblings, exposure to smoke (tobacco, cigarette), formula feeding, etc., When the condition is not treated suitably, ear infections may lead to sepsis, meningitis (brain fever) and so on.
Homeopathy differs from conventional medicine. It treats not just the earache or infection, but the child with the problem, as a whole, safely. Every child with ear infection presents a distinctive array of pain/infection symptoms, temperament, feelings, likes and dislikes. For homeopathic medicines to work, they have to suitably match each child’s unique, individual illness-picture.
In one study, 230 children with ear infection were treated with either homeopathy or placebo (dummy pills). The homeopathy group achieved pain control in 72% children after 12 hours. This was 2.4 times quicker than the placebo group. There were no complications observed in the group treated with homeopathic medicines. When compared to conventional treatment, the homoeopathic approach was also 14% less expensive.
Aconitum Napellus is useful when an earache comes on suddenly after exposure to cold, dry wind. Belladonna is handy when earache is ‘throbbing’ with redness. Ferrum Phosphoricum is effective when ear symptoms have just surfaced. Hepar Sulphuris is indicated when earache is extremely painful or infection is advanced. Other useful remedies are Mercurius Solubilis, Pulsatilla, etc.. The bottom line: the homeopathic medicine that suits a particular child’s complaint-picture the best is the one that will provide the most optimal therapeutic results.
Article by Dr Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Times of India on 15 February 2010