Friday, March 5, 2010
Ear Infections: A Normal Part of Childhood?
We know a nine-year-old boy who just got his fourth set of ear tubes. When I heard he was going in for his fourth surgical implantation of ear tubes, I was a bit shocked and amazed. That is just a lot of surgeries, anesthesia, and ear tubes for a young boy! And what it the reason for all of the ear tubes? He has repeated ear infections that are pretty significant.
This got me thinking about the apparent ear infection epidemic among children. Ear infections are always such a hot topic among moms of young children. It seems that pretty much all kids are getting repeated ear infections and a good amount of children are getting surgical implantation of ear tubes.
So why is this happening? Why so many ear infections? Well, it is probably not what you would expect. According to Richard Moskowitz, M.D., vaccinations are the cause of the great ear infection epidemic. Vaccination causes mucosal immunity to be weak, often leading to ear infections in children. Otitis Media (ear infection) is the buildup of water in the ear, which often requires tubes for drainage. Amazingly, the particular strain of Otitis Media that is running rampant today was not known until the late 1940s and early 1950s. And guess what big event happened in the 1940s? That was when the massive vaccination programs began in the United States.
And we've got more startling information about ear infections. At least half of all American children have had Otitis Media by their first birthday. More than 40% of kids get repeated ear infections by age 6. Otitis Media accounts for 26 million visits to physicians each year. About 1 million children have tubes implanted into their ears each year.
And, there is even more to the story. Otitis Media is almost always treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics lead to yeast and gastrointestinal dysbiosis. And, what issues do almost all children with autism have? Yes, that would be yeast and gastrointestinal dysbiosis. So, there seems to be a definite antibiotic = autism connection. That will be a topic for another day...