Ear Infections: What Might Be A Culprit

Ear infections. They make babies screech and toddlers get those puffy-pink faces stained with tears. I remember having a handful of them as a child and wanting to cry out from the pain, but at the same time block out every little noise that was causing that sharp, throbbing pain. 

Why do ear infections occur so often in young children?
Most children get middle ear infections at one time or another because the eustachian tube that connects the ear and the throat are smaller and bendier, allowing germs to get trapped.

Will my child need antibiotics?
In most cases, no. Most cases of ear infection clear up on their own or are caused by viruses that won’t be affected by antibiotics. However, if it’s not clearing up after a day or two, or your child is in a lot of pain, take him or her to the doctor.

 What can contribute to ear infections?
Surprisingly enough, dairy allergies are a common culprit. An undiagnosed dairy allergy in conjunction with those sippy cups full of warm milk may be linked with ear infections. A dairy elimination for a few months may help clear up recurrent ear infections. 

Milk Bottle Row

Besides the obvious places, where can dairy be hiding in my food?

  • Cereals, labeled under “whey protein isolates”, “casein”, or “nonfat milk powder”
  • Cereal bars
  • Prepared breadcrumbs; panko can be a good substitute 
  • Processed sandwich breads
  • Quick breads, like banana, corn bread, etc. 
  • Yeast breads
  • Crackers
  • Granola
  • Meat-look for “Kosher”
  • Battered and fried foods

My child has an ear infection. What can I do right now?

  • Check out our blog post on foods that boost the immune system
  • Warm compresses 
  • Plenty of rest with a quiet environment
  • If they are not improving, take them to the doctor! Always trust your instinct on this one.
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