May, 03
2013

Rocket Science and Ear Infections

doug-headshot-bw In 2009, The British Medical Journal discovered that the most common antibiotic drug prescribed for childhood ear infections, Amoxicillin, actually increased a child’s likeliness of getting another ear infection more by 20%. Four years later, as you might guess, Amoxicillin is still the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for inner ear infections.

Reporting on the findings, a health reported stated: “Antibiotics may reduce the length and severity of the initial ear infection, but may also result in a higher number of recurrent infections and antibiotic resistance.”
Hoping that one-day scientists will finally see the light, I will once again lend my hypothesis as to why this is occurring. Antibiotics no longer work for one of two reasons:
1. The infection is not bacterial
2. We continue to abuse antibiotics to the point that they are no longer ineffective.
This is not bacteria’s fault, rather the prescribers’ fault. 
The ear canal is a dark moist tunnel that is vulnerable to fungal growth. Why then is every infection of the ear medically treated with anti-bacterial drugs? Due to their safety, in lieu of antibiotics, I believe that the prescription drug Nystatin should be considered in addition to a drop of virgin olive oil in the effected ear. In a matter of two years, this approach would simultaneously diminish the child’s resistance to antibiotics, (if and when truly needed) and also prove to be far more effective in curing the ear infection than using antibiotics, which are now causing the very infections they are prescribed to treat. This isn’t rocket science, but I don’t see physicians changing their prescription habits soon. Therefore, it is important for parents to have this knowledge before the slippery slope of overmedicating begins.