INFLAMATION OF EARS: Otitis media, is inflammation in the cavity of the middle ear. Medical authors tell us that otitis media is very common in babies and young children. This may be so in babies and children fed as they advise, but it is nor so in those who are fed and cared for Hygienically.

SYMPTOMS: The symptoms are earache, and sometimes a discharge from the ear. In some cases there is no ache and the first indication of trouble is the discharge. Fever, crying, and restlessness are the chief symptoms in babies. The child may continually place its hand on its ear. The child will often scream and it keeps this up no matter what is done for it. In other cases, where there is apparently no pain, there is fever.

CAUSES: Exposure to cold is the cause, according to popular superstition. Medical superstition has is that the condition arises out of an acute cold, an infection in back of the nose, etc. Otitis media is an extension of catarrh which passes up the Eustachian tube to the middle ear and is due to the same things that cause catarrh in any other part of the body.

CARE OF THE PATIENT: Most cases of this trouble last but a few hours and, while they cause considerable pain, do not result in a discharge or any serious trouble. The old fashioned "remedy" was to place a hot "poultice" over the ear--a bag of hot ashes, hot peach-tree leaves, hot sand, etc., depending on which of these substances one placed his faith in. I recall an instance when my father filled his pipe with tobacco and lit it. Placing a thin cloth over the bowl of the pipe and placing the end of the stem near the entrance of my ear, he blew through the cloth and sent the hot smoke into my painful ear. This soon brought relief, as will heat, however applied. The "virtue" in the poultices did not lay in the ashes or the leaves, but in the heat Today the hot-water bottle or the therapeutic lamp are used for the same purpose and with about as much blind faith in their "curative" powers.

The heat gives relief from pain, but I doubt that it is in any way beneficial. I am inclined to think it is harmful. I know that doctors and parents tend to consider the condition cured when the pain is relieved. The basic causes of the trouble are not corrected.

These children should be put to bed and all food with- held from, them so long as the pain lasts. After this their diet and hygiene should be adjusted in such a manner as to produce and maintain health. If this is done there will be no recurrence.

Do not syringe the ears. Keep everything out of the child's ear.