Revolution in Ear Infection Treatment

Contrary to common practice, most children with ear infections should not be treated with antibiotics, according to powerful, evidence-based guidelines released in March 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. While some of us have been following this approach for years, currently in the United States there are more than 10 million antibiotic prescriptions for the 5 million ear infections diagnosed in children each year – about half of all the antibiotic prescriptions in young children are for ear infections.

Some kids really need them, but most do not. Each time a child takes a course of antibiotics, future infections become harder to treat. A typical healthy child carries a pound or two of rapidly evolving microscopic bacteria in his or her body. Antibiotics cause the selective breeding of the more resistant strains, which leads to the use of newer, harsher, more expensive antibiotics, with more side effects. For decades, this cycle has been getting worse. But with these new guidelines, it’s all about to change.

Follow the links below to read the entire story.
Revolution in Ear Infection Treatment
Focus on Pain
The Antibiotic Hoax
The Diagnosis Secret
One Thing is Certain
Vanilla Ear Infections/Red Hot Infections
Who Should Get Antibiotics?
What Does Observe Mean?
The Bottom Line: How well Does Observation Work?

Published on: March 11, 2004
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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