In Focus:

Ear infection treatment: Do alternative therapies work?

Alternative ear infection treatments abound on the internet and in books and magazines. They include chiropractic adjustments, homeopathy, herbal eardrops and others.

Perhaps you're seeking alternative treatments for your or your child's ear infection because you're concerned about using antibiotics or because your doctor has recommended watchful waiting. You may turn to alternative treatments to ease discomfort.


In most cases, however, researchers haven't studied alternative ear infection treatments adequately using widely accepted scientific methods. For this reason, alternative ear infection treatments aren't generally recommended for use in children.

Some alternative ear infection treatments have been studied with mixed results.

  • Homeopathy. A controversial treatment for ear infection, homeopathy involves using highly diluted preparations of natural substances, typically plants and minerals, to treat symptoms of illness.

    Study results have been mixed, and it remains unclear whether this treatment is of any benefit. Many such products aren't monitored and are subject to limited regulatory oversight by the Fo

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