Disease Proof

Inner Ear Infections, Antibiotics No Help

Last Friday we learned that ear infections are over-treated. In case you missed it. Here’s a quote from Dr. Fuhrman that helps explain why:
Studies show that the majority of ear infections are of viral etiology. For example, 75 percent of pediatric ear infections were caused by common respiratory viruses in a microbiological survey.1 Generally speaking, the use of antibiotics should be reserved for serious or life-threatening infections, not conditions that the body is well-equipped to resolve on its own.
Now, here’s more reason to hold the antibiotics. New research has determined that antibiotics do little for inner eat infections. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
Dutch researchers did a meta-analysis of several previously published studies and found the results don't support the use of antibiotics for the fluid buildup that can accompany inner ear infections.
"Due to the marginal effect and the known negative effects of prescribing antibiotics, such as the development of antibiotic resistance and side effects, we do not recommend prescribing antibiotics to prevent middle ear effusion," said lead researcher Maroeska M. Rovers, from the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands.


Ear infections are very common among infants and children. They can lead to fluid buildup in the ear, which is known as otitis media with effusion. This buildup can result in hearing loss, which can affect language development, cognitive development, behavior and quality of life, according to the researchers.
Hey parents, do me a favor. In the comments tell me what you do when your young children get ear infections—I imagine its tough to resist just taking them to the doctor.
1. Bowman S, Gortmaker S, Ebbeling C, et al. Effects of fast-food consumption on energy intake and diet quality among children in a national household survey. Pediatrics 2004;113(1):112-118.
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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Rebekah - March 9, 2008 2:50 PM

Being a parent of a child who had chronic ear infections, and one not fond of the effects of antibiotics, I thought I would share this natural remedy with you. It only requires two ingredients: Garlic and olive oil. Chop one clove of garlic and place in one table spoon of 100% virgin olive oil. (Carefully) Place over a flame until the oil bubbles in the spoon. Remove from heat and let cool. Do this again two more times. Let cool until it is a little more than lukewarm to the touch but not too hot.(gentle heat helps with the pain)Drain the olive oil into a small glass and toss out the garlic. Use a small dropper and place 3 to 4 drops in the affected ear every few hours. (use cotton to keep in place). The garlic is a natural antibiotic that is released with the boiling of the oil. It has worked every time for our family and there are no side effects. This helps whether the ear has an actual infection or is just an earache.Since it is natural, the body does not have to develop any immunity to it.

Nikole - May 22, 2008 1:53 PM

Our son suffered from multiple ear infections that left his ears permanently filled with fluid, requiring tubes. However, after the tubes fell out, the ear infections returned. We now treat his ear infections by preventing them: we have entirely removed dairy and wheat from his diet. He has been ear-infection free for 8 months now!

Debbie - December 7, 2008 11:02 AM

I think you really mean "middle" ear infections, not "inner" ear infections. Problems in the inner ear manifest primarily as balance problems and vertigo (dizziness). Middle ear infections (otitis media) are the common childhood problem.
--Debbie Bennett, MS CCC, Speech & Language Pathologist

suzanne - April 5, 2009 9:04 AM

I had many ear infections as a child and still had them as an adult. Just sticking my finger in my ear made them sore and inflamed. I found out about glyconutrients and started eating them each day. No more ear infections, gum sensitivity and increased vision. Naturally I give this to my 6 year old son too. If I am not vigilant in giving him this powder sometimes he gets an earache (we are swim a lot). this makes me vigilant to make sure he gets it each day.

April - May 29, 2010 9:32 PM

It's good to know I am not the only parent who is pouring olive oil and garlic in my children's ears. Since using olive oil infused with garlic, we have had no visits to the Dr.s office for ear infections. Actually, I have treated nearly every ailment with garlic, either as a rub on their feet, to treat a rash that the doc said would 'run its course in a year or so' - which took a week or so to treat the rash and no sign was left.

It's just not safe to use over the counter drugs any more. They are so often being recalled, but I have yet to see an ad for garlic recall.

Maria Carmen - October 31, 2010 6:02 PM

I got infectionin my ears and I bleeding some times, but the fluid is all the time,the doctor gave to me,Klacid, clarithromicin, I need stop becouse I feel sick, I have a hole, and I don't know if it will be safe to put olive and garly inside. Please can you tell me what can be the best treatment in this case? thank you

jamie - July 14, 2012 12:05 PM

i have had an middle ear infection for three weeks, ringing in the ear three different antibiotics, and now three shots of rcephin. still not better, ent informed me one ear is better but still the other is infected. please help going crazy, missed work

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