Do you often feel a sense of irritability and discomfort that makes you pull, rub and tug your ear? If you nodded your head to say yes! Alert! Ear infection might be on its way to trouble you.
Depending on the severity of the cause and how long you have been ignoring your ear’s call for help, the extent of trouble may vary. So the earlier you pay attention, the lesser you suffer!
A mild ear infection may not always need the consultation of an ENT specialist. You can always go for home remedies and let your body deal with small things naturally. But be cautious about it! Your ear is one of the most sensitive parts of your body that shouldn’t be experimented with.
Home remedies for ear infection
1.Essential oils for ear infection
But it’s worth mentioning that neither neat nor diluted oil should be directly poured into the ear. There’s a proper how-to that should be strictly followed.
Also, note that the mentioned recipe is to be used only in case of mild infection that might be a result of common cold. Get your eardrum checked and go for this remedy only if things aren’t serious!
- Prepare your solution of essential oil by adding 6 drops of lavender oil a teaspoon of sweet almond oil or virgin olive oil.
- Next, apply three drops of the solution so obtained to a cotton ball
- Place this cotton ball in the external opening of your ear.
- Do not squeeze out the oil directly into your ear.
- Repeat it as and when required.
If you haven’t got your ear checked, go for this safer alternative.
- Take a soft cloth and soak it in hot water.
- Ring out the excess and drop the essential oil onto this hot cloth.
- Gently apply the cloth to the affected area so as to get relieved from pain or swelling instantly.
- You may also use essential oils’ preparation for gently massaging the affected area.
Vinegar works smartly on the ear to alter its pH so that the new microenvironment is no longer a picnic spot for the microbes! But again, be careful! Use only organic apple cider vinegar and do not go for this remedy if your ear drum is somehow broken or damaged.
- Take about 1-2 ml of apple cider vinegar and heat it.
- With the help of a dropper or cotton plug, place a few drops of the vinegar in the painful ear. Do not forget to test the temperature of the solution on your wrist before putting it into your ear.
- Cover your ear with a cotton plug and lie down with the affected ear facing up so that the vinegar can easily penetrate deep inside.
You can also use apple cider vinegar as home remedy for stuffy nose along with ear infection.
3. Coconut oil
Using coconut oil is an alternative that gives a tough competition to a good number of antibiotics in terms of safety and effectiveness. And when it’s about aching ear, you can blindly go with the coconut oil thing and enjoy the goodness that it offers.
- Melt the coconut oil and fill it in a bottle that has a dropper nozzle.
- Lie down and pour some drops of coconut oil in the infected ear. It would be better to take assistance from someone as dropping the oil correctly in your own ear might be difficult.
- Keep lying with the infected ear up for some 3-4 minutes and place a small cotton ball in your external ear to avoid the oil’s exit.
- Repeat the process at least twice a day to kill the culprit bacteria, viruses or any other infection causing microbe.
4. Breast milk
Breast milk is a pool of essential antibodies that have enough potential to safeguard the infant from infections. And for a problem such as an ear infection that is common to both infants and adults, breast milk is a sure shot solution.
- Put 3-4 drops of breast milk into the irritated ear.
- Make sure that you aren’t directly pouring the drops into the ear. Let the administration be through the entrance of ear canal.
Breast milk can also be used as home remedy for diaper rash.
So you thought that the vapors from the onion are meant only to make you cry? Well, they have got something good to do to your aching ears! All you need to do is prepare an onion ear muff.
The warmth will alleviate our pain and the goodness of vapors will eliminate the infectious agents hiding right there inside your ear.
How to go about it
- Cut an onion into two halves and scoop out its innermost rings.
- Heat the onion until it is warm enough to produce steam.
- Take a towel and allow it to wrap the warm onion.
- Cup this over your affected ear until it retains warmth.
Repeat as per your needs to get relieved.
6. Garlic or Garlic oil
The versatile properties of garlic aren’t there just to add taste to your recipe. The key aromatic compound allicin in garlic codes for amazing antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that make infection causing microbes find an exit from your body.
Here’s how you can make use of garlic to treat ear infection
- Take few garlic cloves, crush them and wrap it in a piece of soft cloth.
- Place this cloth in your external ear for a good half an hour.
- Take some garlic cloves and heat it in a pan that has a teaspoon full of mustard or sesame oil.
- Let the mixture cook for few minutes.
- When the temperature comes down to a bearable point, gently massage the affected area by applying the prepared oil.
7. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a convenient alternative to antiseptics. When applied to cuts, burns, and wounds, it releases oxygen that leads to foam formation. It is by virtue of this effervescence reaction that the affected area gets rid of infections and is cleaned in one go.
The same theory works for ear infection where the goal is to kill the infection causing microbes. But only if the ear drum isn’t punctured.
- Take a weak hydrogen peroxide solution (preferably 3% ) and put about 5-10 drops of it into your ear canal.
- In few seconds or so, you’ll feel foam-like sensation in your ear. Do not panic! This is normal.
- Lie down in a position with affected ear up and wait for the bubbling to stop. It may take 10-15minutes.
- Stand up and tilt your ear in opposite direction so as to drain out the excess solution.
- Wipe the peroxide remains with a cloth.
- Rinse your ear well with clean water. You may use a spray bottle for this purpose or simply go for a shower and hold your ear under water.
This will help you get rid of ear wax and the infectious particles that stick to it.
Microbes hate vinegar as it is toxic to them. The acidic environment that the presence of vinegar creates, doesn’t allow bacteria and other microorganisms to proliferate and this is the key to winning over infections.
Here’s how vinegar can help you get rid of ear infections
Follow these steps
- Use a sterile dropper to pour about 3-4 drops of white vinegar in the irritated ear.
- Lie down and relax till the vinegar reaches the site of action, i.e. deep inside your ear canal.
- Place a cotton plug to avoid leaking of the solution out of your ear as you walk.
- You can repeat the process several times a day or as and when required.
- You can replace vinegar with 50% solution of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide or vinegar and water.
Just ensure the temperature of these solutions before pouring them into your ear. They should be at room temperature.
9. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a proven alternative for prescription antibiotics that kill the good microbes too. The remedy has been into action since centuries and the effectiveness of the same in treating ailments has never disappointed patients.
As far as ear infection is concerned, application of tea tree oil unclogs the ear by removing dirt, kills the bacteria through its antimicrobial properties and relieves from pain through its anti-inflammatory properties.
Method to use tea tree oil for ear infection
- Take a bowl filled with about 2 cups of water.
- Add 3 drops of tea tree oil to it and let the solution boil.
- Next, take the bowl off the stove.
- Lean over the bowl with a towel draped over your head.
- Inhale the steam for few minutes.
Alternatively, you may simply use tea tree oil while preparing your essential oil solution to irrigate your infected ear or go for a massage with few drops of tea tree oil.
10. Juices for ear infection
If you are using juices, you can be sure that you are getting the most of it. Juices are the best options to go for since the goodness is completely squeezed and the fluid nature ensures that the active ingredients reach exactly the site of action.
Here are some effective options that you can go for, to get your aching ear relieved.
- Juice from Basil leaves
Basil is known to reduce infection and pain. Prepare the basil juice as follows to get immediate relief from a discomforting ear.
- Take about 5-6 basil leaves and extract juice from it.
- Use this to wipe around the ear. Make sure that the juice doesn’t enter the ear.
- You may also want to mix readily available basil oil and coconut oil in 1:1 ratio and use the resulting solution to wipe the edges, back and inside of the ear with the help of cotton.
- Mango leaf juice
Extract of mango leaf is a magic remedy that kills pain in few minutes. To calm down your aching ear, you can use the mango leaf juice as below
- Crush few mango leaves to obtain a fresh extract.
- Slightly heat the juice. Do not let it boil. Let it be warm enough to soothe the painful ear.
- Put 3-4 drops of this juice in your ear and the job is done.
- When used for several times a day, it takes hardly 2-3 days to get away with the infection completely.
Homeopathy remedies for ear infection
Unlike allopathic treatment that is often complicated due to the side effects that come along, homeopathy turns up to be the safest option that is capable enough to deal with the worse of the pains immediately.
Especially for ear infections, homoeopathy is already a step ahead of other therapies.
Have a look at some of the homeopathic remedies and try to relate your symptoms to get the best out of it.
1. Aconite (Acon.)
This one can be considered to deal with an ear infection at the initial stage itself. These children have a hot external ear that is hypersensitive to noise. The pain in the ear is intense and the condition is accompanied by a congested nose, dry cough and increased thirst.
2. Belladona (Bell.)
Bell addresses symptoms that include rapid onset of intense pain often, in the right ear. Redness in ear and dilation of pupils also counts in. The head of the patient is relatively hotter than his feet and hands. The pain shoots with exposure to light, noise and air.
3. Calcarea carbonica (Calc.)
This remedy can effectively treat an ear infection that follows colds. The suffering child sweats a lot, especially while sleeping and is usually pale with a large head. He is sensitive to milk and dairy products and often craves for sweets and eggs.
Note : This isn’t a whole comprehensive list but few of the common remedies. You should always consult a registered homeopath doctor before going with any of these even if you are confident about the symptoms.
Causes and symptoms of ear infection
Ear infection is mostly due to bacterial or viral infection as common as cough and cold that makes mucus accumulate in middle ear. This is then followed by blockage of a thin tube, called Eustachian tube which connects middle ear and back of the nose. Now, the mucus has no option but to stick to the middle ear and create a perfect environment for microbes to organize a grand party!
Typically, an ear infection will
- Make you feel pressurized in the ear
- Can cause a low-grade fever
- Make your ear drain pus-like substance
- Steal your attentiveness and make you unresponsive for quiet sounds
The worst scenario is when it gets into its full-fledged form and cause permanent hearing loss as well as a sense of balance in the body.
Signs of baby ear infection
The easiest way to know if the ear infection is troubling your baby is to observe his mood and deviation from daily activities. Follow the list below and see if any of these symptoms matches with your baby’s activities
- Babies pull, grab and tug their ears for all reasons. But if this is something that you are observing very recently, it might be a sign of his ear pain. Do not panic! Check for other symptoms too.
- Babies are usually prone to diarrhea. But certain ear infection causing microbes do travel gastrointestinal tract and lead to problems such as vomiting, stomach upset, indigestion and diarrhea. As a result of it, his appetite may reduce and he may not be willing to take more than a few sips of milk from the bottle or breast.
- You may also look for yellow or whitish pus-like substance dripping out or detect a foul smell from the ear. This one is a sure alarm, indicating an ear infection.
- If the baby is struggling with in ear infection, he might find lying down discomforting and sleeping difficult as the pain elevates while one lies flat.
- Examine the baby for the onset of low-grade fever and fussiness.
Ear infection in babies more details.
How to prevent ear infection
Anyone and everyone is prone to ear infection, regardless of the age. The best you can do to save yourself from the onset of mildest of the ear ailments is take as many precautions as you can to stay away from irritants, infectious agents and everything that might block your ear canal.
Here’s what all can be done
- Wash your hands often. This will reduce the risk of microbes reaching your ear.
- Stay away from smoke and tobacco fumes. These little particles can create havoc once they get trapped in the tiny hairs of your ear.
- Breastfeed your baby at least until he is 3 months old. Breast milk has sufficient antibodies to keep your newborn protected against the microbes.
- Keep your baby up-to-date with immunization.
- Make distance from all the agents that can cause common cold. An ear infection usually follows cold.
Need to dig more deeper about ear infection check at webmd.
Are ear infections contagious?
It depends on the causative organism. The attack of the cold virus is, of course, contagious. So if the ear infection is due to this microbe, the answer is yes.
But if it is the bacteria that reside inside the ear to cause infection, you can relax! The infection won’t spread.
Ear Infection Take Home Message in Picture