Case Report: Recurrent Otitis Media

Girl, born 1988. Upon her initial visit to my office at the age of 12 months, she had had "seven ear infections" during the past four months (since October) and had been continuously on a variety of antibiotics, currently on Ceclor with Dimetapp. Otherwise, no major illness in the past. Had four DPT and four Polio (TOPV) doses, the last one in October. 

Examination: Pink ear drums bilaterally without signs of bacterial infection. Afebrile. Otherwise normal findings. Relatively slim, restless child. 

Treatment: Erysidoron 1/Levisticum rad. D3 aa and Pneumodoron 1,3 drops QID of each. Ferrum phosphoricum comp., 4 pillules QID, Aconitum comp.. (Wala), 3 drops to each ear TID, all to be continued for ten days. The parents decided to discontinue antibiotics immediately. 

Two weeks later, the parents reported that there had been no fever, but the baby still tugs the right ear. She sleeps at night. Exam: Mild irritation of both ear drums, less than before. Normal regional glands, afebrile. Treatment: Levisticum rad. D3 and Agropyron comp. (Wala), each TID for three weeks; Calcon 1 and 2. 

Three and a half weeks after the first visit: left ear drum inflamed, right drum mildly congested. Playful baby. Another course of the initial treatment was given. 

Five weeks after the initial visit: both ears normal. Agropyron comp. for three weeks. Calcon 1 & 2 for three months. 

About three months later, the child went through a febrile (103 degrees) viral infection which, to the amazement of the parents, did not require antibiotics. 

A year later, at the age of two, a bronchitis developed into a purulent bilateral otitis which recurred two weeks later, requiring antibiotic treatment both times, in addition to the natural medication. The girl is now 51/2 years old and did not require any further antibiotic treatment. 

Summary: This case stands for many similar ones, where the infant's immune system had to deal with early immunizations, unnecessary antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs, resulting in an endless string of otitis media. The skepticism of the parents of this first child melted when they saw her go through the first febrile illness without antibiotics. (The family later became committed to Waldorf education). 

In comparison, the young sister, now three years old, has had one dose of Tetanus toxoid at the age of two as her only immunization so far (and she is due for her second dose!); she has had no ear infections and never needed antibiotics. 

There seems to be a connection between the flood of early infantile immunizations and the epidemic of recurrent infantile Otitis media. I therefore advise all young parents about the benefit of delayed and individualized immunizations. I have usually included Pneumodoron 1 in the treatment as described, even in addition to the ingredients of Ferrum phosphoricum compound, because Aconitum addresses the sudden and painful character of Otitis, while Bryonia helps to treat the inflammation of inner membranes. 

Addendum: The above case was presented on October 15,1994 to the Board of the American College of Anthroposophically-Extended Medicine in Spring Valley, New York. It was intended then, and also in this publication, as a sharing of therapeutic experience among doctors trained in anthroposophic medicine. For the readers who are new to this field, I like to add a list of ingredients of the medications mentioned and some literature references. It would exceed the scope of this contribution to try to describe the way the medications work and how to handle antibiotics and immunizations in children from a viewpoint of anthroposophic medicine. 

Erysidoron 1 (Weleda) - Apis D3/Belladonna, planta tola D3 aa 

Pneumodoron 1 (Weleda) - Aconitum Napellus, planta tota D2 5gm; Bryonia, rad. D2 lOgm ad lOOgm 

Ferrum phosph. comp. (Weleda) - lOOgm of pellets: Aconitum Napellus, pl.tot.Dl O.igm; Bryonia Dl 0.6gm; Eucalyptus, follium Dl 0.5gm; Eupatorium perfoliatum, herba Dl 0.4gm; Ferrum phosphor. D6 Igm; Sabadilla, semen Dl O.igm 

Aconitum comp. eardrops (Wala) lOgm contain Aconitum e tubere D9 oleos. 1 gm; Quartz D9 oleos. Igm; Camphora O.igm; Lavandula aether- oleum O.igh 

Agropyron comp.. (Wala) pellets: lOOgm are prepared using Agropyron e radice D3 Igm; Taraxacum planta tota D4 1gm; CinabarD6 Igm; Kalium carbonic. e cinere Fagi D9 O.1gm 

Calcon 1 (Weleda): lOOgm contain Apatite D5 lOgm/Cucurbita flosD2 lOgm Calcon 2 (Weleda): lOOgm contain Calcarea carb. Dl/Quercuscort.D3 lOgm 

For further information consult: Otto Wolff, The Anthroposophical Approach to Medicine; Anthroposophic Press, N.Y. 

Weleda Pharmacy Medicines, Handbook for Physicians; Weleda, Congers, N.Y. Wala Therapeutic Preparations (Handbook); Wala Heilmittel, Eckwalden, Germany 

Bertram von Zabern, M.D. 

43 Colbum Road 

Wilton, NH 03086