Ear infections occur when bacteria, viruses, and rarely yeast attack the sections of your ear. There are three areas in the ear where ear infection can take place in children and adults.
Outer ear infection
Outer ear infection can take place in the outer opening of the ear and the ear canal. This connects the external ear to the eardrum. This infection is medically known as otitis externa. It is also called swimmer’s ear. Swimming, bathing, and showering on the daily basis can cause an outer ear infection. The water left inside the ear can become a birthplace for bacteria. This infection also occurs when the ear canal becomes injured. Using headphones can damage this fragile skin.
Symptoms of outer ear infection are swelling, redness, heat, itching, discomfort in the ear, and muffled hearing. It can cause severe pain in the head, neck, and face.
Middle ear infection
Middle ear infection is medically known as otitis media. Viruses and bacteria cause a middle ear infection. Symptoms of middle ear infection include severe earache, fever, nausea, vomiting, hearing problem, mild deafness, and ear discharge.
Inner ear infection
Inner ear infection is also an outcome of viral and bacterial attack. There are inflammation and irritation in the ear and it is responsible for balance and hearing called labyrinthitis. Symptoms of ear infection are dizziness, spinning sensation, nausea, vomiting,problems with balance or walking, hearing loss, and earache or ear pain.
We can treat ear infections at home with various simple and convenient remedies. The respective article discusses simple remedial hacks which can treat ear infections and decrease their risks too.
First of all, let’s have a look at some general precautions to prevent ear infections.
- Keep your ear as dry as possible
- Use soft earplugs or cotton during bathing or showering
- You should avoid scratching the inner ear even with cotton swabs
- Use swimming cap during swimming
- You should dry your head and ear with a towel after bathing or swimming
- A warm or cold compress can eliminate ear pain
Make ear-drop mixture at home by adding 50% mixture of rubbing alcohol, 25% white vinegar, and 25% distilled water, mix them well and use after swimming this will help to dry up excess water.
Home remedies for ear infections
Following are some remedial measures that you can try at your home to treat ear infections.
Tea tree oil
The oil of tea tree has strong antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It is very beneficial in reducing earache. It reduces discomfort. You can use a few drops of tea tree oil with olive oil for sensitivity.
Sleep without putting pressure on the ear
Sleeping positions affect the ear very sharply. Some positions can alleviate the pain and some can become the cause of an earache. You should not put pressure on the affected ear. Do not put the effected ear to ups and down. You should use an extra pillow for upraising your head this will help to drain the ear faster.
Some exercises are worthwhile to treat ear infections at home. Sometimes an infection occurs by putting pressure on the ear canal. Some neck rotation exercises can mitigate this pressure.
Follow these steps to execute neck rotation exercise.
- Sit straight in the ground and keep your feet flat on the surface.
- Slowly turn your neck and head to the right until your head is aligned with your right shoulder.
- Slowly turn your neck and head to the right until your head is parallel with your left shoulder.
- Try to cover your ear with your shoulder by raising your shoulder high.
- Hold, then gently straighten more and count five and then relax and make the movement slowly.
- Repeat these frequently throughout waking hours.
Ginger is very useful for reducing the ear pain because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful in reducing earache. You can use it by adding ginger in warmed oil and ginger juice as well. But the most important thing is that apply it to the outer area of the ear canal and do not put directly into the ear.
Garlic is very beneficial for treating ear infections at home because it has antibiotic and pain relieving properties. Crush a garlic in olive or sesame oil for several minutes. After sometime, strain the garlic and apply the oil into the ear canal.
Use of olive oil is a folk remedy but it is not scientifically proven. Most of the people use warm drops of olive oil to cure an earache. People put the olive oil drops in the ear canal and it soothes the ear pain. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP), few warm drops of olive oil could be safe and quite effective. Before using olive oil you should make sure that the temperature of olive oil must be in accordance with your body temperature so that you can prevent burning of your eardrum.
Onions are not the replacement of medical attention but it is very useful to cure ear infection just like garlic. Heat up the onion in the microwave for one or two minutes and then strain the liquid from onion and apply the drops into the ear. Lie down for 10 minutes and then flow out the liquid from the ear. Repeat this method if needed.
If your child is fighting with ear ache you can do your best to make him comfortable by taking their mind off the pain in several ways. Let him play with his favorite toys and give him a bubble bath, pick up his favorite snacks, let him play with your phone and tablet, let them watch a movie or cartoon whatever they like. This method is not only for children but also for adults. You can read your favorite book or watch a movie to take your mind off the ear pain.
Massage may help to reduce the pain of ear infection. Apply pressure on starting point just behind the ear and down the neck by using a downward motion. Work forward to the front of ears. This massage may beneficial to drain excess fluid and prevent the ear pain from getting worse.