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Homeopathic Management of Acute Otitis Media

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Homeopathic Management of Acute Otitis Media

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Otitis media is a painful condition frequently encountered in children under five.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At February 23, 2017
Reviewed AtMarch 20, 2024

What Is Acute Otitis Media?

Acute otitis media (AOM) is the presence of inflammation in the middle ear accompanied by the rapid onset of signs and symptoms of an ear infection. It is one of the most troublesome diseases and persists for days to weeks, characterized by severe pain and inflammation of the tympanic membrane. In addition, some systemic manifestations, like increased body temperature and tiredness, may be seen.

Although acute otitis media is a typical condition in young children, it may occur in all ages, including neonates. However, recurrent ear infections can lead to chronic issues, such as developmental delay of the ear and its associated structures and hearing loss. It has been said that more than half of the child population would have had at least one episode of AOM.

What Are the Symptoms of Acute Otitis Media (Ear Infection)?

  • Pain in the ear.

  • Dull and tired due to low energy.

  • Fever.

  • The accumulation of liquid in the middle causes hearing loss.

  • Formation of pus in the ear.

  • Lack of balance in children.

  • Reduced sleep.

  • Heaviness in the ears.

  • Dryness of the ears.

  • Irritation.

  • Low appetite.

What Is the Cause of Acute Otitis Media?

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 40 million children worldwide with hearing impairments are over three years of age. The leading cause of it is acute otitis media. Frequently, it occurs in infants and children.

The pathogenesis of acute otitis media is multifactorial, which includes:

  • Infection.

  • Immature immune status.

  • Impaired eustachian tube function.

  • Allergy.

  • Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) are the most common causative organisms.

What Is the Route of Infection?

The route of infection is mainly through the eustachian tube and external ear infection.

The damage to normal tubal function includes:

  • Middle ear ventilation.

  • Ciliary clearance.

Drainage results from the pathogens multiplying and colonizing in the nasopharynx, which may acquire entry into the middle ear. They may then reproduce, leading to the symptoms of acute otitis media.

What Are the Risk Factors of Acute Otitis Media?

The risk factors of acute otitis media include:

  • Age - 6 to 15 months.

  • Gender - More common in boys.

The child may also get infected due to passive factors such as smoking, craniofacial abnormalities, and bottle feeding.

Some other common risk factors of acute otitis media are frequent infection of the respiratory tract, prolonged use of the bottle for feeding, nasal allergy, congenital disability like cleft palate, etc. However, recurrent acute otitis media is seen more commonly in pacifier users, who are usually fed supine or in whom the first episode of acute otitis media occurred more than six months ago. In addition, acute otitis media is most common in the winter season.

What Is the Incidence and Prevalence Rate of Otitis Media?

The prevalence of acute otitis media is annually reported and declared mostly in July and December, where children under five years are most commonly affected. It has been said that the prevalence of acute otitis media varies from 2 to 25 % and chronic suppurative otitis media from 5 to 35 %. The prevalence rate of acute otitis media in India is about 15 to 20 %, and chronic suppurative otitis media is 5 to 8 %. The prevalence of otitis media is high worldwide, and it is the primary causative factor of impaired hearing in developing countries.

What Are the Clinical Manifestations of Otitis Media?

Symptoms frequently encountered are pain in the ear, excessive crying, fever, cough, nasal discharge, hearing loss, rubbing, etc. Pain can be difficult to diagnose in young children, as they may drag at or point to the ear that hurts, seem irritable, disinterested in meals, and continue to vomit.

How Can We Prevent Acute Otitis Media?

Some tips to prevent acute otitis media are:

  • Prolonged breastfeeding.

  • The bottle-fed child should be correctly fed in the upright position.

  • Frequently wash the hands and toys to reduce the likelihood of getting a cold or other respiratory infections.

  • Avoid smoking cigarettes.

  • Do not give infants a pacifier.

  • Get flu shots and pneumococcal vaccines without fail, as they determine the child's immunity.

What Is Homeopathic Management for Acute Otitis Media?

Homeopathy is very efficacious in improving the signs and symptoms of otitis media and breaking the tendency for disease recurrence. Though the treatment is completely based on individual patients' complaints, these medicines are frequently used for acute otitis media. But remember that this is only a guide and should only be used with the proper consultation of a well-trained homeopathic physician. Belladonna, Chamomilla, Sulfur, Mercurius solubilis, Silicea, and Pulsatilla are the medicines used separately on the strict indication for managing otitis media.

1) Belladonna:

This homeopathic medication would be prescribed when people have the following symptoms, but it is one of the poisonous plants and should be taken under the physician's instructions.

  • A throbbing and pulsating ache in the ear.

  • Pain-causing delirium.

  • Autophony - hearing one's voice in the ear.

  • When a child cries out in sleep.

  • Oversensitivity to the slightest breeze of air or touch.

  • Sudden, violent attack of pain with redness.

  • A rush of blood to head and face.

  • When pain comes and goes in repeated attacks.

  • Burning heat, dryness, and bright redness are very marked.

  • Noises in the ear.

2) Chamomilla:

Many people have used this plant to help with sleep, and it would be prescribed by health care providers for otitis media when people have the following symptoms:

  • Stitching pain.

  • Ear pain with soreness.

  • Shouting in the ears of flowing water.

  • Susceptible to cold wind about ears or noise.

  • Progression of ear pain from warmth.

  • Swelling and heat-driving hopeless patient.

3) Dulcamara:

This homeopathic treatment is mainly prescribed for joint pain and would be prescribed when individuals have the following symptoms:

  • Ear pain.

  • Buzzing sound and stitches.

  • Pain and a nauseous feeling the whole night prevent sleep.

  • Infections from cold and damp weather exposure.

Conclusion

Homeopathy management is an effective traditional treatment in acute otitis media, and there is no significant difference between other classes of drugs in the main outcome. It has been said that symptomatic improvement was more rapid in the homeopathy treatment, and there was a significant difference in antibiotic requirements, favoring homeopathy.

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Dr. Ashish Kumar Dixit
Dr. Ashish Kumar Dixit

Homeopathy

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