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Homeopathic Remedies to Alleviate the Pain of Glue Ear

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 211 - January 2014

Ear problems are common in both children and adults and can be extremely distressing to the sufferer. Otitis media, otherwise known as ‘glue ear’ is a condition that affects mainly children being most prevalent between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, with an estimate that one in five children will be affected between these ages; about 8 in every 10 children will have experienced glue ear by the time they reach the age of 10. Otitis media is described as inflammation of the middle ear that causes the tympanic membrane to redden and bulge out.

June Sayer

The ear is divided into three parts: the external ear, the middle ear which is directly behind the eardrum and the inner ear which has two functional units, the first being the auditory apparatus that is concerned with aspects of hearing such as sound, pitch, loudness and direction, the second being the vestibular apparatus that is concerned with posture and balance.

A thin layer of fibrous tissue known as the tympanic membrane attached to a ring of bone that separates the external ear from the middle ear, commonly referred to as the eardrum, vibrates in response to sound waves. A tube connecting the middle ear to the back of the throat - the Eustachian tube - lets in air from the throat to maintain equal pressure on both sides of the eardrum and to drain fluid from the middle ear.  Glue ear is a persistent build-up of fluid that prevents the tiny bones in the ear from moving freely; as a result, the sound vibrations can’t get through to the inner ear easily and hearing is affected. It is not known what causes this build-up of fluid, although it may be related to a problem with the Eustachian tube and could be associated with enlarged adenoids or other factors such as previous ear infections or ‘allergies’.

An infant growing up in a household who has not been breastfed or where adults smoke may have an increased risk of this condition.  Frequent ear infections are twice as common in learning-disabled children; many factors associated with hyperactivity are also associated with otitis media.

If glue ear does lasts longer than three months and there is significant hearing loss, the conventional treatment would be minor surgery to insert grommets into the ear to help drain the fluid and possibly the removal of the adenoids.

So what does homeopathy have to offer in this instance? Well as is the case with any named condition, homeopaths look at the symptoms as they are presented and search for a homeopathic remedy that matches these symptoms. In the homeopathic clinical repertory there are a number of remedies listed; I would like to run though a few of those that I have used with beneficial results.

Aconite

A remedy to use where pain in the ear comes on suddenly and particularly after the person has been exposed to cold dry winds. The external ear is hot, red, painful and swollen and the person will complain of earache, with sensitivity to noises and music, particularly is unbearable. The person would be demonstrating signs of being anxious and fearful.

Belladonna

This remedy is excellent for an acute situation where the child would cry out in their sleep, complain of throbbing pains and the ear is hot to the touch. The pain can be so severe that the child may be delirious and feverish.

Chamomilla

Another very useful remedy for childhood ailments. They tend to be oversensitive and temperamental individuals, dislike being looked at and extremely hard to please and they are highly sensitive to the wind, as this tends to bring on earaches. The earache drives them frantic and the pain to them is intolerable. They may also have one cheek red and hot and the other pale.

Pulsatilla

Earaches and ear infections that tend to occur after an infectious illness such as measles; the left ear is affected more than the right. They tend to suffer with catarrhal conditions and their hearing is impaired with a sensation that the ears were stopped up. What might seem odd is that they can hear better in a car! The nasal catarrh that accompanies this complaint is discoloured yellowish green.  Their temperament is one of changeability; they can be moody and contradictory.

Kali Mur

A remedy that is listed for catarrhal conditions and one that I have used with great success when a young child was brought in to me with impaired hearing. At the first appointment she was unable to respond to my questions without me repeating them in a louder tone and sat and read quietly as I directed my questioning to her mother. After a couple of months this young girl came in and conversed with me easily and I did not have to raise my tone. The mother reported that her daughter was much happier as a result of the improvement in hearing and her schoolwork had greatly improved.

Of course it is important that the underlying constitution is taken into consideration when any case study is made so as to identify any other factors that might be contributing to the condition. Having studied nutrition I have found that the diet of many children includes a large amount of dairy. As dairy is known to be mucous forming, reducing the intake often gives favourable results, particularly when combined with homeopathic remedies.

If grommets are inserted and the child has to undergo minor surgery, homeopathic remedies can be helpful in dealing with any emotional issues that may arise prior to the operation.

References

Van Wynsberghe D, Noback C, Carola R. Human Anatomy and Physiology 3rd Edition, McGraw Hill.

Black’s Medical Dictionary 37th Edition, A & C Black.

Murray M ND and Pizzorno J ND, Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine.  revised 2nd Edition, Little, Brown and Company. 1999.

Murphy, Robin ND. Homeopathic Clinical Reportory 3rd Edition, Lotus Health Institute. 2007.

Murphy, Robin ND, Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd Edition, Lotus Health Institute.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/glue-ear/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol FNTP Homoeopath became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Southend on Sea, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01268 928223;  june@betterhealthnow.co.uk  www.betterhealthnow.co.uk   www.homeopathinessex.co.uk   

 

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