Earache in children is one of the most difficult conditions to treat satisfactorily in general practice.

A mother brought in her 6 year old son. Hot, miserable, hand over his ear, crying.

Quite a sick child in fact. For three days and sleepless nights he was in pain being plied with frequent doses of paracetamol to no avail. On examination, he had a high fever and was quite moribund, but apart from the very red, glowing, blistered eardrum of bullous tympanitis (you can see a blister on the surface of the eardrum in the picture), there was nothing else to be found.

But this condition is invariably very painful.

blister on eardrum healed with wheatgrass
Blister on eardrum.

With mother’s permission, I instilled a few drops of wheatgrass extract into the child’s ear then chatted to her while I jotted down some notes. Altogether, about ten minutes had passed, and I asked the boy to get down off the couch.

But there was no response – he was fast asleep!

When he awoke, his pain had all but disappeared. The following day, the tympanic membrane (eardrum) was no longer blistered and red and both the boy and his mother had had a peaceful night’s sleep.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.