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Case Study

An Acute Case
Manjusha Vad.
` Phyt.

My patient was a 3 1/2 yrs old girl studying in nursery. She was brought for pain in both ears since one week. It had started after playing HOLI in school, when coloured water had entered her ears. Oil with garlic and other home measures had been given with no relief. The pain came suddenly and she would wake up from sleep crying with pain. Pains continued off and on throughout the day. Mastoid process tender on pressure brownish black cerumen from ears without any offensive smell. No other watery or suppurative discharge.

This was an acute case with an causative factor of recent onset, so I considered only the presenting symptoms.

The child was irritable and weepy due to pain. First I gave Chamomilla and thenBelladonna with only partial relief. The pain would subside, only to return after 2-3 days. This continued for around 10 days. It was very difficult to elicit more information from the child which prompted me to ask leading questions, but without any success. The mother could not throw much light.

Next time I decided to remain silent and see what the child had to say herself and signalled the mother to keep quiet. The following were the symptoms the girl spontaneously came out with. "Both my ears pain simultaneously. I have no cough, no pain in the throat but I find that swallowing even water, difficult as it causes pain in ears.". Taking the two symptoms- 1) Ears-pain swallowing on (KR 305) 2) Ears-aching both ears (PHR 96) phyt.

(There is a small sub rubric Ear Aching Swallowing on in Ph repertory, but I preferred taking the large one in Kent).

Also referring Phataks Materia Medica on-Phytolacca Page 468-Ears-pain both ears worse on swallowing (italics).

Phytolacca 200, 1 dose, was given immediately to be followed by 2nd dose at night and SL OD for a week. She came back to report that the pain stopped the very next day, never to return again. Tenderness of the mastoid process had gone completely.