Chiropractic and Ear Issues

Ear issues can be very frustrating to deal with. In some cases they can be extremely painful and can interfere with you being able to get on with your day to day life, as they are very distracting. While standard medical interventions can sometimes help, they are sometimes not enough to help your ear issue resolve, and you may be looking for something different to try and resolve your issue. Or perhaps you are just wanting a more natural remedy. Chiropractic care might be the natural solution you are looking for. Chiropractic care has shown to be very effective for people dealing with issues such as ear infections, tinnitus, or blocked ears. This article will talk about some of the main ear issues there are, and how chiropractic care can help resolve your ear issues.

Chiropractic and Ear IssuesEar infections: An ear infection is inflammation that occurs in the middle ear, due to fluid build up behind the ear drum. This is also called otitis media. Ear infections can happen to anyone, but they are particularly common in children. Over 80% of children have had at least one ear infection by the time they turn 3. This is because the Eustachian tubes in children are smaller and are under developed, meaning they lay flatter in the ear. This causes them to not drain as easily, leading to a build up of fluid and eventually inflammation and infection. It is also because young children don’t have a fully developed immune system yet, meaning that it is harder for their bodies to fight off an ear infection if one occurs. Some signs of an ear infection in children include trouble sleeping, crying often, pulling or tugging at their ears, fever, or mild pain in their ear.

Tinnitus: Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing noise happening in either one or both ears. It may be constant or it may come and go. It is commonly associated with hearing loss. Tinnitus can be caused by many things, such as a build up of earwax, a perforated ear drum, an ear infection, exposure to a loud noise, due to a head injury or whiplash, or as a side effect to some medications. Those who suffer from Ménière’s disease will also likely deal with tinnitus.

Blocked ears: Your Eustachian tube is normally closed, but when you swallow or yawn it lets air into your middle ear. If your Eustachian tube isn’t working properly, this can cause reduced air pressure in the middle ear, which pulls your ear drum inwards. This can cause pain and can cause your ear to feel blocked. It may also affect your hearing in that ear. The most common cause of this happening is a blocked nose, as the swelling causes the entrance to the Eustachian tube to close. Anything that changes the air pressure in you ears can also cause the blocking of your ears, such as going in an airplane or going scuba diving. Smoking can also affect the function of your Eustachian tube.

Vertigo: Vertigo is a sensation of spinning, falling, or tumbling in space, or feeling like your surroundings are moving while you are stood still. While this may not seem like an ear issue, your vestibular/balance system is located in your ears. Vertigo can happen for many reasons, such as BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), Ménière’s disease, a head or neck injury, a brain issue such as a tumour or a stroke, a migraine, or due to some medications. Some common symptoms that often accompany vertigo include feeling nauseas, vomiting, abnormal eye movements, a headache, sweating, ringing in the ears, or hearing loss.

How can chiropractic care help with these ear issues?

There are a few different ways that chiropractic care can help with your ear issues. The first way is by ensuring your nervous system is functioning without interference. Your nervous system controls every little thing that happens in your body, and there are nerves that branch out from your spinal cord to every part of your body, including your ears. Sometimes areas of the spine stop moving correctly and can interfere with how the nervous system is functioning. If this is happening in an area that involves nerves that connect to the ears and vestibular system, it can cause issues with the ears. If you brain is unable to accurately perceive what is happening in your ear and vestibular system, it wont be able to properly control the healing process, meaning ear issues may not resolve quickly or to 100%. By adjusting your spine, (in the case of your ears, particularly the cervical spine) this removes the interference from the nervous system, meaning it is able to properly detect what is happening in your ears, and can effectively control the healing of whatever ear issue you are dealing with. Another way chiropractic care can help is through balancing out the spine and the muscles. If the joints of the upper cervical spine are misaligned, this can cause an imbalance of the muscles in the head, which can contribute to issues such as an ear infection. When the muscles in the head are balanced this can help with things such as drainage of the Eustachian tube in the ear, minimising the chance of acquiring an ear infection. Another way chiropractic can help is through specific adjustments of the ear and cranial bones. There are chiropractic techniques that have adjustments of the ear and cranial bones that directly affect the health of the ear. These adjustments have been shown to improve things such as blocked ears, tinnitus, and vertigo, as they allow the Eustachian tubes to drain effectively. Overall, chiropractic care is a natural and effective way of dealing with ear issues that you may be suffering from, so if the standard medical route hasn’t been working for you, or if you just want a more natural option, maybe you should give chiropractic care a go!