Natural Home Remedies for Ear Infection or Earache

One can have ear infections at any age. Earache and felling ill are the first symptoms. Antibiotics are given only in a few cases, whereas painkillers are prescribed as the main treatment. Usually the infection clears in a few days.

The two main types of ear infections are those that occur in the outer ear canal (otitis externa) and those that occur in the tiny space behind the eardrum (middle ear).

Even though earache is a common symptom of ear infection, al earaches are not infections. A common cause of mild earache is a build-up of mucous in the middle ear after a cold, which usually clears in a few days.

Sometimes, the pain that is felt in the ear is from other causes like jaw joint pain or tooth problems (referred otalgia).

Swimmer Ear (Otitis Externa):

This condition can crop up when bacteria nestle into an outer ear canal that is warm and moist. Being in the water a lot also tends to wash away the natural oily, waxy substance that normally lines and protects the canal.

Bacteria can then get the upper hand and you get an infection. Water can be left in your ear after taking a shower, or poking around with a bobby pin or cotton-tipped swab can scratch the delicate skin in the ear canal and break down the barrier against bacteria, resulting in an outer ear canal infection also called otitis externa.

Resist the urge to scratch, as that will make the problem worse. Don’t let the water sit in your ear. Shake the water to dry the ear is to roll the corner of a soft cotton handkerchief and use it to mop the canal.

Middle Ear Infection (Otits Media):

Middle-ear infection (known medically as otitis media) is the most common illness in babies and young children. The outer ear is connected to an air-containing space called the middle ear.

The air pressure in the middle ear is equalized more than one thousand times a day every time you swallow, through the Eustachian tube, which also carries fluid away from the middle ear.

When a cold or an allergy is present, the Eustachian tube swells and air is absorbed by the lining of the middle ear, creating a partial vacuum, and fluid weeps from the lining of the middle ear. Bacteria or viruses infect the stagnant, warm fluid in the middle ear.

Children may be more prone to middle-ear infections as their Eustachian tubes are shorter and straighter than those in adults; they get colds and sore throats more often than adults as their immune system is not fully developed. Most bouts of ear infection will clear within two or three days, on their own without treatment.

Antibiotics are mostly prescribed in the following cases:

  • Children under the age of two years (babies are at a greater risk of complications)
  • Severe infection
  • Infection not settling within 2-3 days
  • Complications

Prevention:

• Keep your child away from other kids who have infections.

• Take care of nasal allergies and teach your child to blow the nose gently.

• Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke.

• Avoid giving a bottle of milk or formula to a baby who is lying on hits/her back, because the nutrient-rich liquid can flow into the Eustachian tube during swallowing and pool there, creating a breeding ground for infectious organisms. Prop the child’s head up on pillows.

• Occasionally, some children have recurring bouts of ear infections close together. If this occurs, the ENT specialist may advise a long course of antibiotics to prevent further bouts from occurring.

• At times, the ENT specialist may advise the insertion of a grommet of tymponostomy tube into the eardrum if ear infections are a tiny pipe that helps to drain fluid out from the middle ear and allow proper ventilation of the middle ear.

Complication of Middle Ear Infections:

It is possible for some fluid to stagnate behind the eardrum for almost two weeks which can cause some blocked feeling in the affected ear. This should clear up on its own.

However, sometimes the fluid persists beyond 4-6 weeks is spite of adequate medication. This condition is called glue ear. The fluid needs to be drained and sometimes a grommet is inserted.

In some cases the eardrum perforates to let out the fluid from the middle ear. Most often the drum heals naturally when the infection clears.

If perforation remains, long term surgical treatment might be needed. A rare and serious infection called mastoiditis can cause brain abscess if it spreads deeper into the inner ear.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

Home Remedies for Ear Infection

Home Remedies of Ear Infection:

1. Garlic and Salt Home Remedy for Earache:

How to:
• Take 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.
• Add a pinch of salt.
• Mix them well.
• Take a clean piece of muslin cloth.
• Place this paste on the cloth.
• Now place this cloth on the infected ear.

2. Basil Leaves Home Remedy for Earache:

How to:
• Take a few basil leaves also known as Tulasi leaves.
• Crush it to make a fine paste.
• Place it on a sieve and extract its juice.
• Pour 2 to 3 drops of this juice in the infected ear.

Tips:

• Often one experiences ear ache due to high altitude or while traveling in an airplane. Chew some gum or try yawning. This will contract the muscles and open the Eustachian tube.

• Make it a practice to get your ear cleaned by a doctor regularly.

• Do not try to clean it yourself with your fingers or any sharp objects like a pen or toothbrush.

• If you swim wear ear plugs to protect your ear from infections.

SOURCE: Homeveda

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