Ear Infections (and Dairy Allergies)
Do you ever wonder why some kids get lots of ear infections, often resulting in multiple doses of antibiotics and eventually tubes in their ears? Why don't the antibiotics ever completely solve the problem?
Ears require drainage by the eustachian tube, which opens into the back of the throat. In young children this tube is not fully developed and is very susceptible to being blocked by inflammation. Anything that causes inflammation can block the eustachian tube, resulting in a warm moist breeding ground for bacteria in the inner ear.
Antibiotics kill the bacteria, temporarily, but they don't change the inflammation of the eustachian tube or the breeding ground. This is when placing a tube through the tympanic membrane is recommended. These don't solve the inflammatory problem either, but they do get the drainage going.
The real cause of the problem is the inflammation of the eustachian tube. Usually this inflammation is caused by a food allergy, most often dairy. Children generally drink and eat a lot of dairy. Invariably it's the very first food introduced into the diet.
A milk allergy is by far the most common cause of ear infections. Removing dairy from the diet will usually result in complete resolution of this problem. However, occasionally further food allergy testing is required to determine the source of the inflammation.