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Ear infections can be incredibly uncomfortable—causing pain, restlessness, and even lack of sleep. While adults do get ear infections, this condition is much more common with children. One of the most difficult things is watching your child endure pain. You may be searching for natural ear infection remedies so you can try to help take that pain away.
Well, I can help. This natural home remedy for ear infections is effective and super simple. You have to try it.
I should also mention it really works for all ages! Because ear infections are no picnic for adults to endure either.
In this article: -
What is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection also called an otitis media, is one of the most common causes of earaches. This, combined with how common ear pain is, makes knowing ear infection remedies absolutely essential.
When the ear becomes infected, it means that inflammation and fluid buildup are lurking inside of your ear and are wreaking havoc. Essentially, fluid gets trapped behind the eardrum and begins to build up, this creates the perfect place for bacteria to hang out, and then the bacteria cause inflammation. This, of course, leads to pain. However, it could also cause temporary hearing loss in that ear, or at least partial hearing loss.
There are different types of ear infections. For example, an acute otitis externa is an infection that occurs in the ear canal. This is also commonly referred to as swimmer's ear. But, otitis media is an infection that goes on in the inner part of the ear that is actually called the middle ear. The middle ear is where the eardrum is.
Ear Infections in Children
Ear infections can happen to anyone, but children are especially susceptible to them. Kids between the ages of two and four may be at the highest risk.
Why is this?
Well, you have the outer ear, which is the part of the ear you can see. Then you have a small space or hole that goes into the inner part of the ear. This is where the infection occurs—behind the eardrum. The infection is taking place in the inner part of the ear, not the external, but the exact part of the ear where most infection occurs is called the middle ear.
There is also a small drainage tube, called the eustachian tube, that connects the inner part of the ear where the middle ear is to the back of the throat. This drainage tube allows mucus to drain to the back of the throat, and it also helps equalize pressure.
In adults, this tube sits vertically, which allows better drainage. However, in children, the tube is not as vertical, and it can't drain as easily. When a child has an ear infection, the fluid and puss that build up behind the eardrum can't drain and become backed up. This pressure on the eardrum causes a lot of pain and can even cause the eardrum to rupture or burst.
These small horizontal tubes also make it easier for bacteria and viruses to find their way into the ear to cause issues. Not only that, but the eustachian tubes are also more narrow in children making it easier for them to become blocked.
Ear pain or an earache is one of the main signs of an ear infection. But, here are a few other symptoms to be on the lookout for:
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Sinus congestion
- Ear pain
- Ear popping
- Ringing in the ears
For an adult, these symptoms are easy to notice, and you can easily let somebody know how you're feeling. This might not be the same for a child though. So, how do you know if your child is experiencing an ear infection?
Ear infections may also be easier to spot in an older child because they may be able to come to you and complain about their ear bothering them. But, a younger child may show signs of an ear infection by tugging at the ear or just being more fussy and cranky than usual.
There are a number of things that can cause an ear infection. Even the weather can play a part in the situation. For example, it seems like most ear infections happen in the winter or early spring.
The most common causes of ear infections are pre-existing illnesses that develop into an earache. A cold, throat infection, allergies, or even acid reflux can cause the eustachian tubes to swell—keeping the mucus from draining. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and make pus behind the eardrum.
You may also experience an earache or ear pain that isn't due to an infection. For instance, if you have ever flown, as the plane takes off or lands, you may have experienced intense pressure in your ears. This will cause ear pain or maybe even a headache. This isn't necessarily because of infection though.
In this situation, what you need to do is gently pull your ears directly outward while opening your mouth. This should help the fluid that has been temporarily blocked, drain, and relieve pressure.
Young children have the highest risk of developing ear infections. This is mostly because of their horizontal ear tubes and their underdeveloped immune systems. Young children that go to preschool or daycare may also be at a higher risk simply because of being around other children.
While the ear infection itself is not contagious, the virus or infection that led to the ear infection very well may be.
Sugar and milk also create the perfect breeding ground for an ear infection. So, if your child is prone to ear infections, you may want to cut back their sugar intake. Infants who are bottle-fed especially when lying down are also more prone to ear infections.
Ear infections in adults typically happen because of a cold, infection, or virus that causes the ear tubes to swell.
However, if you're a person with a weakened immune system or inflammation in the inner structure of the ear, you may be more prone to ear infections. Adults with diabetes may also be more susceptible.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, is an organization of 60,000 pediatric doctors of different kinds that are dedicated to the health of children. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, otitis media (an ear infection) is typically treated with antibiotics, pain relievers, or simple observation. This usual course of action would depend on the child's age and the severity of their symptoms.
An adult's go-to solution for an earache would probably be to pop a pain-reliever like acetaminophen. While this may work for the pain and may also help reduce a fever that can accompany an infection, it's important to keep in mind that the purpose of pain relievers like acetaminophen is not to treat an infection.
If the infection in your middle ear is severe, you don't want to risk experiencing hearing loss or a ruptured eardrum by not taking care of it.
Antibiotics may be necessary, but in some cases, if the infection isn't severe, your physician may want to use the watchful waiting method before jumping straight to antibiotics. This gives your immune system the chance to fight the infection first.
It's essential to follow what your doctor recommends as far as treatment if you or your loved one has an ear infection.
However, you should know that there are natural alternatives or home remedies for ear infections. If you're in that watchful waiting period, you may want to give ear infection remedies a try.
The Best Natural Remedy
Out of all of the ear infection remedies that I know of, one stands out. In my opinion, garlic oil is the best natural remedy for ear infections.
Let me tell you why.
Garlic has been used for thousands of years for its natural medicinal properties. Garlic is a powerhouse herb when it comes to ear infection remedies. It has anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Garlic is one of nature's best antibiotics.
Different forms of garlic, like garlic cloves, are used for fighting illnesses. But, for ear infections, garlic oil is what I have found works best. You can find garlic oil online or in health stores.
How Does it Work?
Alongside the incredible medicinal properties of garlic, it's also known to empower the immune system. This means that garlic oil can really help get to the root of what's causing the infection and kill the harmful bacteria.
Garlic oil is very friendly to your body's own healthy microbes, but it will help kill pathogenic microbes like yeast and fungus. A little garlic oil in the ear should help naturally kill any harmful microbes that are getting in there.
This method of using garlic oil works for the whole family—young children, older, children, adults, and even the furriest member of the family! That's right; you can even use garlic oil on your dog.
In dogs, frequent scratching at the ear can be a sign of an ear infection. Many different things can cause ear infections in dogs. Different breeds seem to be more susceptible to them. Dogs that like to to go for a swim are also more likely to get an ear infection.
So, if Fido has been scratching his ear a lot, he may have an ear infection. A drop of garlic oil may help clear it right up.
How to use:
For Older Children (7+) and Adults
- Simply let one drop of oil goes into the ear to start killing those harmful bacteria.
For Younger Children
- Dilute one drop of garlic oil in one tsp. of olive oil. Then, take a drop of the mixture and put it into the ear.
Note: Olive oil is known to be soothing to infection as well, and is often used as a carrier oil because it may help reduce inflammation.
- Just one drop of garlic oil in the dog's ear should help clear up the infection fast.
This incredible home remedy has withstood the test of time.
Give it a try. Let me know how it works for you.