Ears: Infection

For a family doctor, a child with ear ache (otitis media) can be very difficult to manage, let alone cure. Other than oral analgesics, and perhaps antibiotics if the ear is infected, there is no possible way the child's pain can be relieved.


A young mother brought in her 6 year old son. He was hot, miserable and holding his hand over his ear.

For three days and sleepless nights his mother had done her best to keep him comfortable, plying him with paracetamol (a pain killer and temperature normaliser) to no avail.

He was clearly in pain and had a high fever, but apart from a very red, glowing and blistered eardrum, there was nothing to find on examination.

He had bullous tympanitis - a blister on the surface of the eardrum, as shown in the picture below. But how to relieve his pain?

Bullous tympanitis.
Bullous tympanitis.

With mother’s permission, I put a few drops of wheatgrass extract into the child’s ear, then jotted down a few notes in is medical record. No more than ten minutes had passed, when I asked the boy to get down off the couch.

But he was fast asleep!

When he woke, his pain had gone, and the following day at review, the blister on his eardrum was no longer visible and  there was no sign of inflammation.

Both the boy and his mother had had a peaceful night’s sleep.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

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