Food Allergies and Ear Infections

By Heather Legg

We often think of ear infections connected to seasonal allergies, even environmental ones like dust allergies because we know those cause congestion and excess fluid. However, they can also be caused by food allergies. Mostly we think of food allergies and anaphylactic symptoms like hives and swelling, but they can also cause congestion, eczema and irritability. Because of the congestion and excess fluid, ear infections commonly occur in children with food allergies, even undiagnosed ones.

According to parenting at ivillage.com,

“Much recent research is showing that allergies can be the culprit in middle ear infections. This is because food allergies can cause nasal congestion and also congestion in the eustachian tubes that connect the nose and ear. This allows fluid to collect in the middle ear which can lead to infections. Most pediatricians treat ear infections with antibiotics or drainage tubes, which doesn’t get to the cause of the problem.”

“Milk allergies are often the underlying cause of repeated colds and ear infections, due to fluid building up in the respiratory passages, sinuses, and eustachian tubes of the ears.”

Because infants all have milk, whether by breast or formula, until diagnosed with an allergy, this is when ear infections can be quite common.

I read an article about an 8 1/2 month old baby who had already had nine ear infections. the recommendation was to switch to a formula not containing milk, or at least eliminating it completely from the mother’s diet. I also had a friend whose child had a lot of problems with ears and coughing until she took milk out of his diet. It not only cleared put he congestion and ear trouble, but also made him less irritable and happier all around.

Usually there’s a reason for all that’s happening within the body. It may be something that can be fixed with diet, or it may be more than that. Be sure to cover all of your bases while trying to find the root of the problems. Luckily, milk is an allergy that is often grown out of, so eliminating it for even a little while may make things better, than gradually introduce it again once your child is older.

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