ENT Center of Austin - Doctor's Blog

Alternative Ear Infection Therapies - A Mixed Blessing

Back in the day, we used to call them a couple of things. Home remedies. Old Wives Tales. Stuff that you cook cook-up under your roof. 


Funky Internet Stuff

When it comes to ear infections, the Old Wives have moved to the Internet and have decided to explore a bunch of medical issues:

  • Toothpaste for bee stings
  • Apply a cut onion to soothe bee stings
  • Olive oil for children's earaches
  • Vick's VapoRub or thyme oil for toenail fungus
  • Vinegar or oatmeal for sunburns
  • Duct tape for warts
  • Clear nail polish or hot water for bug bites
  • Baby or talcum powder for greasy hair
  • Bacon sandwich for hangovers

All we can say is try them at your own peril. They're just a tad too homeopathic for us.

Hold On

Alternative ear infection treatments are just that. Most have never gone through a clinical trial. Using them on yourself is one thing. But if your child has an ear issue, it's no time to experiment on an untested home remedy. Chiropractic care has been put through its paces, however the results are mixed at best.

As for homeopathic remedies, we're stepping into a controversial brew. Usually, it involves highly diluted ingredients of natural substances -- like minerals and plants. These semi-quack cures are not monitored and not under full regulatory oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Line At The Bottom

Got some tips for you if you should ever consider subjecting your kids to your inner mad scientist.

  • Don't do anything without talking to us first. We can filter-out the noise. Another matter that the ENT Center of Austin will take into consideration is how it may render other medication useless. Even worse, an alternative remedy could — such as herbal supplements — alter the effect of other therapies or medications. Occasionally a dose of weirdness could create dangerous drug interactions.
  • With anyone who legitimately practices alternative medicine, make sure you bone-up on their credentials. Take control of your health decisions by always doing as much research as possible. Do not cherry-pick the information.
  • Find out as much as you can about the treatment recommended. What's involved? What are the options? Are there any side-effects? Risks?
  • Don't expect your insurance to cover the cost of treatment. There's a good chance your policy will pay you diddly for alternative treatments.

Incidentally, a bacon sandwich to alleviate a hangover may not be out of the ballpark. When you booze it up the night before, your body loses a lot of sodium. Bacon is salty. Frankly, we'd suggest getting a bottle of Gatorade and slugging that down. It will re-balance your electrolytes.

Original Source: http://austinentmd.com

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