Ear, Nose and Throat Infections

What Are Nose, Throat and Ear Infections?

Nose, throat and ear infections are very common today, especially within the first couple of years of life. Infections can occur in the middle ear, tonsils, adenoids, sinuses, or other parts of these small, moist areas. Doctors who treat these infections are ear, nose and throat doctors, or simply, ENTs.

More children suffer from upper respiratory infections than ever before. Some diagnoses familiar to many parents are:

  • Otitis media
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Allergies
  • Rhinitis
  • Hay fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Strep throat

Some specialists believe that chronic nose, throat and ear infections, and using antibiotics to treat them, may lead to developmental delays, ADHD and/or autism.

What Your Doctor May Tell You About Nose, Throat and Ear Infections

Pediatric ENTs usually diagnose infections in the ears, nose and throat with conventional tools such as swabs, x-rays, lab tests, CT scans, and by taking a medical history. Standard, conventional treatment protocols usually include medications, such as antibiotics, to treat the infections, surgery to remove infected tissues or place ear tubes, or even both medications and surgery.

If infections are chronic, doctors often prescribe prophylactic or long term usage of antibiotics, sometimes accompanied by the insertion of ear tubes in a procedure called a tympanostomy. These tubes are believed to reduce recurrent ear infections by draining persistent fluid in the middle-ear cavity, which causes the mucous membrane to become inflamed, making it very susceptible to an infection by whatever bacteria are lurking in the nose and throat. An estimated 700,000 ear tubes are inserted into children’s ears in the United States each year to prevent ear infections.

Parents are usually advised to see a physician immediately to start a treatment protocol as soon as possible to avoid further aggravated problems.

Another Way to Think About Infections of the Ears, Nose and Throat

Common childhood infections of the ears, nose and throat could be symptoms of underlying immune dysfunction often related to food and environmental allergies, nutritional deficiencies or other underlying imbalances. Chronic upper respiratory infections may also be allergy-related.

Children with immune system issues and allergies often have other symptoms such as:

Doris Rapp, MD found that treating the underlying issues involving the immune system allows the body to heal itself naturally, and without unnecessary side effects from invasive treatments. Her book, Is This Your Child?, is a must-read for any parent interested in alternatives to medication and surgery.

The Role of Food Allergies

In a classic 1994 study, another allergist Talal Nsouli, MD at Georgetown University School of Medicine noticed that many of the children he treated for food allergies also had chronic ear infections or hearing loss. He began to wonder: Could allergies be causing their ear problems?

Intrigued, Nsouli and his colleagues gave three standard allergy tests to children aged 18 months to nine years to check for sensitivities to foods, including milk, wheat, eggs, and peanuts. All had had either a three-month bout with otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) or had repeated episodes over a period of five months. In his sample of 104 children, 81 children showed allergies, most of them to milk or wheat.

For the next four months, offending foods were eliminated from their diets. Seventy got better. When the foods were then added back, and within four months, 66 children got ear infections again–strong evidence that allergies and ear infections are linked. Nsouli suggests that parents whose children have persistent ear infections ask their pediatricians about allergy testing.

Ear, Nose and Throat Healing Checklist

Make Lifestyle Changes

  • Get 10 hours of sleep per night (or more if your child is under 10)
  • Get outside every day
  • Get an hour of exercise or movement per day
  • Sync circadian rhythm by getting up when the sun does and going to bed after it sets
  • Limit screen time as much as possible
  • Use blue-blocking lightbulbs and glasses at night, especially when looking at screens
  • Put bare feet in wet ground when possible
  • Drink half body weight in ounces of water

Eat a Clean Diet

Use Only High-Quality Fats

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil (unheated)
  • Avocados
  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Duck fat
  • Grass-fed beef tallow
  • Cod liver oil (unheated)
  • Walnut oil (unheated)

Remove Vegetable Oils and Trans Fats

  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils (Crisco, etc.)
  • Margarine

Include High-Quality Protein with Every Meal

  • Pasture-raised eggs, chicken and other fowl
  • Grass-fed beef, lamb and other red meats
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Add Fermented Foods and Probiotics

These will keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong.

  • Eat kefir yogurts, if dairy is tolerated
  • Eat fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kim chi
  • Eat umeboshi plums, which are very alkalizing
  • Eat miso soup, if soy is tolerated
  • Take a quality probiotic, such as VSL #3, Gut Pro, Dr. Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics, Garden of Life, Klaire Labs. Work with your practitioner for a more targeted probiotic.

Optimize Blood Sugar

Blood sugar that is too high can lead to excess inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

Blood sugar that is too low can lead to attention and behavioral problems.

We recommend keeping blood sugar optimized so that it's neither too low nor too high.

Do an Elimination Diet

Children with chronic health conditions often have hidden food sensitivities and intolerances that exacerbate their symptoms. With an elimination diet, remove potentially inflammatory foods such as:

  • Casein
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts

Clean up Your Environment

  • Identify and remove possible environmental triggers, such as mold, dust, pet dander, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
  • Identify and remove possible toxic exposures in the home from purchased products, such as detergents, soaps, lotions, and other cleaning and personal care products
  • Remove animals (both live and stuffed!)
  • Remove carpets
  • Use non-toxic cleaners
  • Use non-toxic building materials

Lower Stress Levels

Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens become more active when the body is in a state of stress.

By teaching your child ways to self-regulate with practices such as prayer, reiki, meditation, yoga, qi gong, tai chi and the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), they can become good advocates for themselves and become active participants in the recovery process.

Practitioners of techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining) and jin shin jyutsu can lower stress levels for your child, as well.

See a NAET or BioSET Practitioner

Children with chronic health conditions typically also have food allergies and/or food sensitivities and intolerances.

NAET (Namudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) and BioSET are two non-invasive methods of allergy elimination.

See a Homeopath, Naturopath or Homotoxicologist

These practitioners can diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

Ask Your Practitioner to Run Some Laboratory Tests

  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for possible food sensitivities and allergies
  • Nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D
  • NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs for malabsorption, gut dysbiosis, cellular energy, mitochondrial metabolism, neurotransmitter metabolism, vitamin deficiencies, toxin exposure and detoxification need
  • Organic Acid Test (OAT) for yeast overgrowth, other microbial infections and oxalates
  • Inflammation markers such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
  • Fasting blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA)

Use Digestive Aids with your Practitioner's Guidance

  • Betaine hydrochloric acid
  • Digestive enzymes with DPP-IV for gluten and casein intolerances
  • Proteolytic enzymes
  • BiCarb
  • Bromelain
  • Papaya

Use Supplements with Your Practitioner's Guidance

Always work with your practitioner to determine the brand, type and dosage of supplements. Common supplements include the following:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin D3
  • Methylated B complex vitamins
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine and other minerals
  • Others

Help Your Child Detoxify

  • Make sure your child is pooping every day. Learn more about how to clear up constipation and diarrhea.
  • Have your child exercise or move every day. Sweating carries toxins out of the body.
  • See a homotoxicologist, naturopath or homeopath for drainage remedies and detoxification aids.
  • Optimize blood sugar to allow the liver to spend more time detoxing rather than processing sugar.
  • Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children.
  • Infared saunas can detox heavy metals through the skin by sweating. However, this form of detoxification may not be suitable for young children who lack the ability to sweat.
  • Epsom salt baths add sulfur transdermally to help with detox.

See a Chiropractor

A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve bodily functions.

Work with a Health Coach

Our Epidemic Answers health coaches are trained to understand the root causes of your child's chronic health condition.

They provide hands-on helping with the practical matters of healing such as cooking healthy foods, removing toxins from the household and helping you work more efficiently with your practitioner.

See an Acupuncturist

Acupuncture can help lower stress and anxiety. It can also help with blood-sugar and hormonal regulation.

Use homeopathy specific for:

Ear infections:

  • Apis mellifica
  • Belladonna
  • Pulsatilla

Eye infections:

  • Hepar sulphur

Throat infections

  • Mercurius vivus
  • Mercurius solubilis

Consider using Schueller’s cell tissue salts which can be effective as well.

Use ozone therapy:

Ozone (through the ears) can help effectively heal bacteria in upper respiratory infections.

Still Looking for Answers?

Visit the Epidemic Answers Practitioner Directory to find a practitioner near you.

Join us inside our online membership community for parents, Healing Together, where you’ll find even more healing resources, expert guidance, and a community to support you every step of your child’s healing journey.

Sources & References

Adams, J.D., et al. Otitis Media and Related Complications Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 May;46(5):1636-42.

Bell, I.R., et al. Homeopathic medications as clinical alternatives for symptomatic care of acute otitis media and upper respiratory infections in children. Global Adv Health Med. 2013 Jan;2(1):32-43.

Frieri, M. Asthma linked with rhinosinusitis: An extensive review. Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2014;5(1):41-9.

Jacobs, J., et al. Homeopathic treatment of acute otitis media in children: a preliminary randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pediatric Infect Dis J. 2001 Feb;20(2):177-83.

Juntti, H., et al. Cow’s milk allergy is associated with recurrent otitis media during childhood. Acta Otolaryngol. 1999;119:867–873.

Konstantareas, M.M., et al. Ear infections in autistic and normal children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 1987 Dec;17(4):585-94.

Nsouli, T.M., et al. The role of food allergy in serious otitis media. Ann Allergy. 1994 Sep; 66:91.

Ramakrishnan, J.B.. The role of food allergy in otolaryngology disorders. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;18:195–199.

Taylor, J.A., et al. Homeopathic Ear Drops as an Adjunct in Reducing Antibiotic Usage in Children With Acute Otitis Media. Global Pediatr Health. 2014 Nov 21;1:2333794X14559395.

Zemotti, E.M., et al. Otitis media with effusion and atopy: is there a causal relationship? World Allergy Organ J. 2017; 10(1): 37.


Neustaedter, Randall. The Holistic Baby Guide: Alternative Care for Common Health Problems. New Harbinger Publications, 2010.

Schmidt, Michael. Healing Childhood Ear Infections. 1996.

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