What is an ear infection?
Ears are some of the most delicate sense organs. If they are not cared properly, it may cause several problems, including ear infection. Ear infection is a very common problem, diagnosed in infants and children, even common in adults now-a-days. The general term used for ear infection is “Otitis Media” or chronic ear infection. Very few people know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of an ear infection. If we suffer with an ear pain, we always try to sort out a quick remedy to overcome it. Before going through the series of home remedies, let us understand the symptoms and causes of an ear infection.
Ear infection mainly occurs in the middle part of the ear. The ear drum becomes weak due to the infection of the middle part of the ear. It is caused when the ear is blocked by the mucus or fluid behind the ear drum. This affects the hearing sense of an individual. Ear infections are also caused by food allergies, upper respiratory problems, environmental allergies, genetics, internal injuries, and nutritional deficiencies.
Infants and Children
Ear infections are very painful. The infant or children can’t express their pain in the ears. But, the common things to be noticed are as follows:
- Tugging at ears
- Trouble sleeping
- Fluid drainage from the ear
- Unusual crying
- Hearing problems
A few symptoms of ear infection in adults are:
- Swelling of the middle ear
- Terrible pain in ear
Apart from these symptoms, high fever, headache, vomiting, poor sound response and diarrhoea are generally seen in adults and children.
Ear infection may result in various permanent changes in the ear and to the nearby bones if proper treatment is not taken on time. Some of the possible complications include:
- Cyst in the middle ear
- Hardening of the middle ear tissue
- Mastoid bone infection
- Damage to that portion of the ear that assists in maintaining balance
- Paralysis of the face
- Inflammation in or around the brain
- Ongoing drainage from a hole in the eardrum
Natural Home Remedies to Treat Ear Infection
How to cure and treat an ear infection? It is human nature that whenever a person faces health problem, he/ she has one word on mouth, i.e. “Doctor”. A person must always try to find out some natural remedies for the cure of ear infection, before consulting a doctor. No doubt, antibiotics are the common solution to get instant relief. But, sometimes, these medications may lead to severe side effects. Therefore, here are some home remedies for curing ear infection that are absolutely natural and harmless.
- Heating Pad/ Warm Water Bottle
To get quick relief, first and foremost remedy one should opt is to press a heating pad or warm water bottle against the ear. You can also dip a clean cloth in lukewarm water and apply it on the infected ear. It is to be kept in mind that the heating procedure should not exceed for a long period of time. Start with five minutes, and repeat the process, if required.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known for its mild antibacterial and healing properties. With the use of tea tree oil, one can get instant relief in ear pain. Prepare a mixture of one tsp of apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3 drops of tea tree oil, and a tsp of colloidal silver. Slightly warm this mixture. Put your head on a towel, keeping the infected ear upright. With the help of dropper, put the mixture in the ear, and leave it for five minutes. After sometime, turn your head and let the mixture drain out completely. Follow this procedure thrice a day for effective results.
Garlic is considered to have antimicrobial and pain relieving characteristics. Put some drops of fresh garlic oil or juice in the infected ear. This will provide an immediate relief. The process should be practised three times in a day.
Else, boil 2-3 garlic cloves in water for five minutes. Add some salt after crushing the cloves. Wrap up the mixture in a clean cloth and put it on the infected ear.
Apart from making these mixtures, one can eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves to facilitate the healing process.
- Mango Leaf Juice
The extracts of mango leaf are effective for the treatment of ear infection. Take two or three mango leaves. Grind or crush them to extract juice. Slightly warm the extracted juice. Put 2-3 drops of juice in the infected ear with the help of a dropper. Leave it for a few minutes. After sometime, you will feel relief in the earache. If the procedure is practised for three times a day, then ear infection will surely get healed.
Onion is not only used as the main ingredient for cooking, but also used for medicinal cure. It is very beneficial for ear infection. Take a small onion and chop it. Put the chopped onion in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. After microwaving, allow it to cool and extract its juice. Put two-three drops of onion juice in the infected ear and leave it for a few minutes. After sometime, turn your head and drain out the juice from the ear.
You can also bake the onion for 30 minutes. After baking, cut in into two pieces. Wrap one piece of baked onion in a cotton cloth and place it on the infected ear for at least five minutes. If required, repeat the process after ten minutes.
Salt is considered to be the best remedy, available at home. Microwave one cup of salt for at least 5-6 minutes. After that, put the hot salt in a sock. Tie the open end of the sock using a rubber band. Lie down and put the sock under the infected ear for ten minutes. The heat from the sock will facilitate in draining out the fluid from the ear. To get relief in swelling and pain, the process should be repeated multiple times in a day.
Basil leaves are also one of the remedies used to get relief in ear infections and minor earache. Take 4-5 holy basil leaves. Crush them to extract their juice. Apply the extracted juice around the infected area. It should not be put into the ear canal.
Apart from this, mixture of basil juice and coconut oil can also be used for healing the ear infection. Take a cotton ball and dip it into the mixture. Apply it gently on the inner part, outer edge and behind the ear. This process should be practised two times in a day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the best solution for removing fungus from the ear. Prepare a solution of apple cider vinegar and water, taking both in equal quantity. You can also use alcohol in place of water. Take a cotton ball and soak it in the solution. Put the soaked cotton ball in the ear for almost five minutes. Now, remove the cotton ball and lay down on the opposite side to flush out the solution from the ear. To dry the ear, you can use a hair dryer.
White vinegar can also be used in place of apple cider vinegar.
- Breast Milk
Breastfeeding infants have very fewer infections than a normal child or adult. Breast milk is considered as the best remedy for curing any type of ear infection. It is also used for treating eye infections, minor cuts, wounds or burns. It has natural antibodies, which lessen swelling and pain. With the help of dropper, put 2-3 drops of breast milk in the infected ear. If the process is repeated after every two hours, ear infection will surely get cured.
- Olive Oil
As we all know, ear infection is mainly caused due to the deposits of wax in the ear, which results in germination of bacteria and fungus. This ultimately blocks the ear. Olive oil is one of the best solutions to this problem. Warm some olive oil. After warming, put some drops of warm oil into the infected ear. Olive oil will help in softening the wax. The wax can be removed safely with the help of a cotton bud. Don’t put the bud too far in the ear; otherwise, it may damage your eardrum.
Mustard oil can also be used to treat the ear infection.
- Mullein Drops
Mullein is a wild flowering plant grown in several areas. To get relief in ear infection, take a teaspoon of mullein flowers and put them into ½ cup of boiling water. Allow it to cool. Now, mix one tbsp mullein tea and one tbsp olive oil in it. Leave the mixture for overnight. Put one drop of the resulted mixture in the infected ear. Instead of preparing mullein oil at home, you can also buy it from the market.
Homeopathic Remedies for Ear Infection
Apart from the above mentioned natural remedies, homeopathic remedies are also available for healing the ear infection. Here are some recommended homeopathic remedies for ear infection.
- Homeopathic Ear Drops
These ear drops are easy to use and very effective in getting immediate relief from earache.
- Homeopathic Earache Tablets
These tablets are taken orally for treating the ear infection.
It is used when ear is red, and the patient is suffering from high fever along with intense earache.
When yellow or green discharge from ears and nose is seen, it may be used.
- Hepar Sulphuris
It is beneficial in the case of sharp earache and thick coloured discharge.
- Mercurius solubilis
It is used when extreme ear pain is accompanied with pus formation.
It is used for intolerable ear pain in children.
Dosage: After one dose, wait for its reaction. If there is a complete relief, stop taking the medicine. If you don’t get relief, take the medicine for next time. The frequency of dosage depends on the condition of an individual. If no effect is seen within a considerable time, consult a physician.
A person should take necessary preventive measures for avoiding ear infection. Follow the below mentioned measures:
- Wash your hands frequently to stop the spread of infection.
- Avoid smoking
- Breastfeeding is best for infants, but, if you are feeding your baby with bottle, hold him/her upright.
- Get your child immunized with PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine).
- Prevent the common cold