In This Article:
Home Remedies For Ear Infections
Otitis is an inflammatory ear disorder that can be caused by viruses or bacteria and may be associated with fluid stagnation within the ear zone or mucus accumulation. Ear pain is most common in children, but it is no less common in adults. At present, at least once in a lifetime, everyone has suffered from ear pain. This usually occurs after a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. Earache may also appear after emptying the nose and lying down to sleep. The cause of this is the fluids in the Eustachian tube. They exert pressure on the ear, causing pain and discomfort. This pain often occurs at night sleep disturbance. But do not ignore it and count on it to pass. There are home remedies that can help relieve pain and get rid of it for good.
Understanding ear inflammation
Ear inflammation is an exceptionally painful disease. Most often, it is a complication of untreated viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Usually for the treatment of ear inflammation, the laryngologist gives antibiotics and painkillers. Home remedies for acute ear pain are equally effective.
Cold exposure or allergies may also contribute to the appearance of thymus. The outer otitis affects the external auditory channel and sees among its causes mainly bacteria and poor ear hygiene. The otitis media, most annoying and painful, may be associated with colds and catarrhs, which contribute to inflammation of the middle ear.
It should be kept in mind that ear problems are more serious if they affect the inner parts of the ear and are less dangerous if, however, they concern the outside parts. If infection is not properly treated, it can also cause hearing loss (partial or total), hearing problems, dizziness, and malaise during certain activities.
The external otitis: it is characterized by edema, pain, redness, temporary loss of hearing. This type of otitis is mainly caused by bacteria and to a lesser extent by viruses or fungi.
The median otitis is very common in children and among the symptoms we remember fever, pain, irritability, partial loss of hearing, and lack of appetite. It occurs when fluid and mucus block the space between the tympanic membrane and the inner ear. Some people are very susceptible to such infections and suffer chronically.
The internal otitis may cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting and loss of balance. It is manifested when the inner part of the ear is inflamed. The internal otitis is also known as labyrinthine. It’s not very common, but its symptoms are intense.
The term ‘otalgia’ is used in the medical field to indicate general earache. The severity of the disorder and the intensity of the pain depend clearly on the cause that triggered the otalgia. Earache can be perceived as continuous, intermittent, pulsating, rhythmic, dull or unbearable. Contrary to what can be intuited, otalgia is not just a matter of ear disease: often, earache is secondary to other conditions, such as sinusitis, tonsillitis, colds, flu, toothache, migraine and throat cancer. More often than not, otalgia does not remain circumscribed in the ears: most often the pain also arises at the neck and small of the neck, making it a real discomfort.
In general, two forms of earache can be distinguished:
- Primary otalgia: earache originates within the organ
- Secondary Otalgia (also referred to as ‘reported’ otalgia): earache originates ‘outside’ and does not depend on the disease of the ears
In the primary form of otalgia, perceived pain depends on external or internal ear damage. The secondary form of otalgia is also called ‘reported’ to indicate that pain is perceived at the ear level, although it originates in other places. The ear region is innervated by four cranial nerves and two spinal innervations, and consequently a lesion or pathology in these communication paths can lead to otalgia.
In this sense, the triggering causes of secondary otalgia are:
- Toothache and teeth abscess (cause of very common ears), bruxism, swollen parotid: caused by facial nerve lesions
- Pharyngitis, tonsillitis, rhinopharyngitis, oropharyngeal carcinoma: caused by glossopharyngeal nerve lesions
- Oral cavity carcinoma, trigeminal neuralgia, sinusitis, nasal obstruction: caused by trigeminal nerve lesions
- Laryngopharyngeal, laryngeal carcinoma, bronchitis, esophagitis: caused by vague nerve damage.
- Cervical arthrosis, cervical pain and cervical lesions can also cause otalgia.
- Whenever a precise cause cannot be traced back to idiopathic otalgia.
The earache investigative examination begins with the history, namely by collecting information directly from the patient. The physician will analyze the pain intensity, duration, possible difficulty swallowing, toothache, baseline and past history of the patient (in terms of previous illnesses).
Otoscopic examination is useful in identifying the possible causes of pain in the ears (e.g. middle ear infection, wax cap etc.). If the aforementioned diagnostic survey does not produce any satisfactory results, the analysis and evaluation of the integrity of the cranial nerves is carried out. For a proper diagnostic examination, it is advisable to also examine nose, paranasal sinuses, oropharynx, rhinopharynx, parotid, larynx and trachea to evaluate their health status. Audiography and chest x-ray may also sometimes be performed for further investigation. In the event of dysphagia, intermittent fever, lymphadenopathy, voice tone alteration and sudden weight loss, it is essential to consider the possibility of ongoing neoplastic disease.
Ear infections remedies and therapies: when doctor’s help is mandatory
Extensively recurring is influenza-induced otalgia (cold, sinusitis, influenza, etc.): in this case, the disorder should be treated with generic therapeutic aids such as paracetamol (to lower the fever), ibuprofen and aspirin (to reduce the pain: do not administer acetylsalicylic acid to children under 12 years of age). Another effective remedy to reduce otalgia is the application of hot packs directly on the ear: heat, in fact, reduces and relieves – albeit temporarily – the pain in the ears.
Otitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the ear. Complication common to many influenza illnesses, otitis is generally due to bacterial or viral insults.
Depending on the ear part involved, it is possible to distinguish several forms of otitis:
- Inner otitis: inflammation involves the inner ear.
- Otitis media (middle ear infection): probably the most common variant in children is an inflammation of the middle ear.
- External otitis: in addition to involving the external auditory channel, this form of otitis tends to affect the eardrum. However, the tympanic membrane is not always compromised.
- Myringitis: otitis assumes the precise conifer of myringitis when the inflammatory-inflammatory process only affects the tympanic membrane.
Regardless of the auricular area affected by the infection, all the various forms of otitis may be acute or chronic. There is talk of acute otitis when inflammation ends definitively over a short period, without necessarily having to cure; unlike, otitis chronicles when the patient, failing to spontaneously eradicate the pathogen shortly, requires specific healing medications. The symptom common to all the different forms of otitis is earache (otalgia): the intensity of the pain and the presence of other symptoms (e.g., loss of balance, dizziness, nausea, etc.) ear area affected by inflammation.
Inner ear infection
The inner ear is made up of sense organs used for balance and hearing regulation. Inner ear infection is better known as labyrinthine, since inflammation mainly involves the labyrinth: it is a small inner ear portion formed by organs maintaining balance and listening to sounds.
Although it is not possible to come up with absolute certainty to the triggering cause, the inner ear infection appears to be caused by:
- Bacterial or viral infections, such as mumps (oracles) or acute otitis
- Meningitis or meningoencephalitis: in these cases, the inner ear infection manifests itself in its purulent variant
- Violent allergic reactions to substances / drugs (eg antibiotics)
- Extreme stress
In addition to the alleged causes listed above, some potential risk factors have been identified that predispose the patient to the internal case. Among the most likely, there are listed: violent coughing, excessive strain and abrupt movements.
Internal otitis (inner ear infection) usually starts with dizziness, always violent and acute. The clinical picture is complemented by anxiety, confusion, difficulty balancing, whistling (tinnitus), head trauma, nausea, nystagmus, stomach ache, pallor and hearing loss. Inner ear infection can therefore cause considerable discomforts, sometimes leading to depression and panic attacks.
Suspected inner ear infection can be confirmed by multiple diagnostic tests:
- Test of auditory auditory trunk-encephalic response
- Electrongmography (electronic motion detection of eye globes)
- Bacterial culture test
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Tomography)
The cure for the inner ear infection depends on the cause that comes to the origin and severity of the symptoms. Antiviral drugs and antibiotics are used in therapy when the inner ear infection depends, respectively, on viral and bacterial infections.
Antiemetic drugs are indicated to divert the feeling of nausea-induced dizziness while anticholinergics are used to relieve the affected patient. Benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also indicated to remove anxiety and depression in patients affected by inner ear infection. To reduce headache inflammation, corticosteroid medications are recommended. When the drugs are not enough to completely cure the disorder, the inner ear infection should be treated with surgery to correct any damage to the ear.
Middle ear infection
Otitis media (middle ear infection) is a typical infant infection that occurs at the middle ear level, precisely in the space between the tympanic membrane and the inner ear. The acute variant is probably the most common of all. Most often, middle ear infection is diagnosed in children after a simple cold: respiratory tract infections, extending along the Eustachian tube, can in fact reach the middle ear, causing damage. Let us recall briefly that Eustachian tube is a canal linking the nose with the middle ear. In addition to colds, pharyngitis, allergies and enlargement of adenoids can predispose the patient to the average lesion.
Middle ear infection is accompanied by pain and inflammation of the ear, associated with the characteristic symptoms of the triggering disease: sore throat, fever / febrile, nasal congestion (closed nose), and coughing.
In some cases, middle ear infection is manifested in the purulent variant: in such fractures, earache is accompanied by the release of purulent material (pus) from the ear canal. When middle ear infection is not thoroughly treated, the clinical picture may be exacerbated by drilling the eardrum, impairing hearing ability, and tinnitus.
Middle ear infection can be determined by multiple diagnostic tests:
- Examination with the otoscope (diagnostic survey for excellence)
- Timpanometry: evaluates the eardrum movement and the pressure inside the middle ear
- Timpanogram: evaluates the presence of fluid / mucus in the middle ear and the functionality of the Eustachian tube
- Audiometric examination
Therapy depends on the triggering cause: antibiotics are indicated in case of proven bacterial infection, while antivirals – where necessary – are indicated for the treatment of viral infections. For pain control, the patient suffering from middle ear infection may receive analgesic and anti-inflammatory therapeutic aids, useful for speeding up healing times: paracetamol, ibuprofen and hydrocortisone (topical application, directly in the ear canal) are the most commonly used.
Ear canal infection
External otitis, also called the swimmer otitis or ear canal infection, is an acute or chronic inflammation of the external ear canal. Specifically, ear canal infection mainly involves the external epithelium of the external auditory conduit; despite the above, the infection may extend even deeper.
The pathogenic agents involved in the etiopathogenesis of external humans are mainly bacteria and viruses (especially herpetic viruses); sometimes, fungi may also be involved. The acute ear canal infection, typical of children, is often the result of medium purulent eczema or otitis, responsible for the progressive maceration of the ear canal skin. External otitis may be favored by some predisposing factors, such as cold, moisture, drying of the ear canal, or wax accumulation (cap). Chronic ear canal infection is typical of diseased, immunocompromised, diabetic or serious vitamin deficiencies.
External otitis tends to start with an annoying itching sensation, which soon becomes more or less intense pain located in external auditory structures. Headache is accentuated during chewing or just touching the ear. External otitis may be accompanied by erythema, hyperemia (increased blood in the outer ear), edema, alteration of auditory capacity or otoremia (purulent / serous secretion from the auditory canal).
Ear canal infection can be confirmed by an otoscopy examination, useful for detecting the presence of edema and hyperemia. Even in this case, the most appropriate therapy depends on the triggering cause: therapeutic aids (to relieve pain), antibiotics (in case of bacterial infection) and antiviral (if the cause of external anxiety depends on viral insults).
Ear infections baby
Ear infections in children are a very common disorder, which can be caused by a number of factors. Ear infection is an inflammation affecting the ear and can be both acute and chronic. There are various types and the most common – but not the only – form in the pediatric population is the so-called middle ear infection (i.e. inflammation of the middle ear). Ear infection is a disease that can affect indifferently children of any age and gender, although the incidence of ear infections is higher in children under the age of four. In most cases, otitis in children is the result of colds or influenza illnesses, and is caused by bacterial infections or, sometimes, viral infections.
In pediatric patients, microorganisms responsible for airway infections can easily reach the ear by spreading them into the Eustachian tube, which is the channel that connects the nose to the ear. This diffusion of pathogenic microorganisms from the airways into the ear of children is favored by the anatomy of the ear itself. Indeed, in children the Eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal than that of adults, and this favors the passage of pathogens, hence the onset of hitch.
Ear infection in children – as well as that affecting adult patients – may cause headache symptoms such as:
- Pain in the ear that can make baby’s feeding difficult;
- Reducing the ear canal;
- Release of purulent material from the ear canal (in case the otite manifests itself in the purulent variant);
- Sensation of numbness in the ears.
In association with this typical symptomatology, otitis in children can also be accompanied by symptoms of disease that has favored their development (such as, for example, colds or flu), including:
- Sore throat;
- Nasal congestion.
Therapy aimed at treating ear infection in children varies according to a variety of factors, such as the type of infection that caused the disorder, the child’s age, the severity of the ear infection and the possible consequences of it (perforation of the tympanic membrane, hearing problems, etc.). In some cases, otitis in children is self-healing and resolves spontaneously, especially when it is caused by viral infections.
For this reason, before taking interventional drug therapies, in milder cases, doctors prefer to first administer anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or analgesics such as paracetamol and, depending on the child’s response, evaluate in followed whether or not to prescribe a different therapy.
In the event that ear infection should not be resolved spontaneously and in more severe cases, the physician may decide to prescribe the administration of specific drugs to eradicate the microorganism responsible for the disease. Therefore, if the cause of otitis in children lies in a bacterial infection, the pediatrician will establish adequate antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics that are used to treat ear infection in children can be administered either orally (generally in the form of syrups, suspensions or oral drops) or by ear (in the form of ear drops). The most active ingredients in this field are amoxicillin, cefixima and ciprofloxacin (ear drops). Paracetamol may also be given concomitantly with antibiotic therapy to give the baby the pain caused by ear infections and to lower the possible fever associated with it.
Home remedies for internal ear inflammation
Here are some useful natural remedies to know for dealing with otitis. If you have trouble with your ears – find some simple and effective tips below to help you avoid serious problems.
Garlic is considered an effective natural remedy for otitis due to its antimicrobial properties. It is advisable to bring two or three garlic cloves to boil in the water, crush them by adding a pinch of salt and wrap them in a handkerchief to be placed near the ear. Garlic juice can also be used in the case of otitis, as if it were ears drops. Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic, so it is worthwhile to reach for it in the fight with ear inflammation and accompanying acute pain. Squeeze the juice out of one garlic clove and apply it to your aching ear.
One of the best known remedies of the grandmother for otitis is to use extra virgin olive oil. Oil should be briefly heated in small quantities, or scooped with a lukewarm teaspoon. At this point, two or three drops of olive oil should be dropped in each ear.
Olive oil for children. This is one of the most popular ways. Heat oil gently, so that it is not too warm, certainly not hot, not to damage the ear. In total, the amount of oil appied to the ear, is about 3 to 5 drops. The pain should stop. The oil acts like an lube, moisturizes the ear and helps to get rid of itching and infection. In case the ear pain is caused by the accumulation of wax (it is the so called wax cork compressing the inside of the ear) it must be thinned. For this purpose use baby olive oil or olive oil, heating the teaspoon to the body temperature. Apply 3-5 drops to the ear and after about 2 minutes, remove the wax with a piece of tissue or a towel. Removing the ear wax will make it easier to massage the place just behind the ear. During massage, press on the ear channel gently. Oil moisturizes the ear and helps fight itching and infection.
Olive oil remedy No 2. Heat half a tablespoon of olive oil and tap a cotton ball. Place it at the entrance of the ear and let it act for an hour.
Olive oil remedy No 3. Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes and add a crushed garlic clove. Then let it cool and immerse a cotton swab in it, then put into the orifice of the ear.
Chamomile can be used in two ways in case of otitis. On the one hand, it is possible to prepare a chamomile infusion, so that if the otitis is aggravated by excess mucus, the obstructed channels are released. The chamomile infusion can also be used lukewarm, with the addition of a few drops of olive oil, to moisten a cotton swab to position in the ear area.
Chamomile remedy No 2. Let ten camomile flowers be macerated in four tablespoons of olive oil for two days. Apply a cotton swab and apply it to your ear that hurts. This remedy is also indicated in case of pain due to excessive wax production.
Salt and rice
A tepid wrap applied at ear level may be helpful in otitis cases in children in order to relieve pain. You can form a bag of cloth to pour rice or large salt, to heat for a few minutes in the oven or on the thermosyphon. The wrap should not be hot, it should only be lukewarm, and should be placed on the outside of the ear for ten minutes.
Lobelia extract represents a herbal remedy considered useful in otitis. You can use it by dropping a few drops in your ear pained by pain. After application, it is necessary to rinse the ear. It is good to turn to a herbalist to make the us of herbs more effective.
Essential oils supplements are useful to release mucus from the ear canals and the respiratory tract. Essential oils are made of essential lavender oil and essential oil of eucalyptus. Fill a glass bowl of boiling water and add three drops of each essential oil to it. Then you will have to breathe in the steam, covering your head with a towel.
Verbascum Thapsus, also known as mullein, may be useful in otitis cases for the preparation of a strong infusion to be obtained by pouring a teaspoon of its flowers in a half cup of boiling water. It is therefore necessary to mix a spoon of mullein infusion with a spoonful of olive oil and let it rest all night. You can then apply a drop of the preparation to the ear in which the infection is present. This remedy is derived from “The Handbook to Alternatives to Chemical Medicine”.
Ice bag and cotton ball
A cotton swab can be positioned at the mouth of the ear to protect the affected area from infection by external agents, especially when you are away from home; this can help accelerate healing. In some cases, heat may increase inflammation. To counteract annoyance and possible swelling, it is suggested that an ice bag is briefly attached to the ear.
Like garlic, onion is also considered to be a true natural medicine suitable for counteracting the otitis. Some onion slices can be chopped and boiled, or baked in a frying pan. They should therefore be collected in a clean handkerchief or in a sterile gauze and used to place a wrap on the ear zone.
Onion remedy No 2. Cook the whole onion until tender. Warmly wrap a clean cloth and place it in your ear. Hold for a few minutes, then apply to the other ear.
Onion remedy No 3. Cut a sliced onion and chop it. Put it in a cloth and heat it to the microwave. Apply the wrap on your ear that hurts.
You can take care of your ears and face the otitis also through nutrition. Introducing foods rich in vitamin C stimulates the immune system and helps it fight off infections.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can be very useful if you have an infection in the ears. It’s also a very effective analgesic, so do not hesitate to try this home remedy if someone in your family, including you, experiences a severe ears pain. The way to use ginger to reduce inflammation and eliminate pain is very simple, you just have to put about three drops of ginger juice in your ear and tap it with a little cotton. In just a few minutes you will begin to see its calming effect. Also fresh ginger juice in the amount of a few drops introduced into the ear will help get rid of the pain. Ginger has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, so you will feel better.
Licorice is a herb with well-known medicinal properties and is useful for effectively treating ear pain. To prepare a treatment against this disorder you simply need to heat some liquorice root extract into two tablespoons of butter to form a pasta. Next, apply this pasta on the outside of the ear. The pasta must be lukewarm, allowing it to produce effect until you notice any improvements.
Heat two handfuls of rice in a canvas bag or cloth. Put it on the pillow and press it against the sick ear.
In ear infections, warm wraps work as warming up and analgesic agents. Use a hot water bottle or warm towel wrapped as a pillow. Put your head on the side of your aching ear and wait for the pain to pass.
Treatment of lime or ginger
Squeeze the juice out of fresh lemon or ginger and drop a few drops into your ear. Lemon and ginger are anti-inflammatory and will quickly deal with inflammation of the ear.
Add them to your meals. Sharp spices will clean the tubules and additionally bactericidal effect. Eat well seasoned, hot soup. It will clear the canals and bring relief.
Fold fresh geranium leaf and place in ear. Pain should pass quickly.
Another good way is the mint leaves, and the juice from them is exactly the right one. Apply a few drops straight to your ear to bring relief.
Hair dryer for ear pain
Turn on the dryer and place it on the warm air stream for the lowest power. Set it about 20-30 cm from the ear and direct the airflow towards the turbinate. Place a warm air stream on the dryer and point it towards the turban at a distance of 20-30 cm. Warm air entering the ear alleviates pain. Blow air for no more than 5 minutes. Warm air should get into your ear and thus relieve the pain. You can also sit near the heater close to the ear, it will work just like the dryer. Do not blow the air for more than 3 to 5 minutes.
Put a cup of salt in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Place the salt dip into a sock, taking care not to burn. Apply a salt-filled sock to the infected ear and “extract” the secretion from it.
Immerse a piece of cloth in a hot water, twist it off, put it in your ear and wait until it cools. Evaporating damp air will increase circulation, reducing swelling and pain. Fill a warm water bag with warm water, wrap it in a cloth or towel and apply it to your ear that hurts. Heat is a powerful analgesic and causes the blood to reach the area by eliminating the infection.
Hot water remedy No 2. Wrap a bottle of warm water in a towel. Use it as a pillow. Lie on it by applying a painful ear. Heat from the bottle should relieve the pain. In ear infections, warm wraps work warming up and analgesic. Use a hot water bottle or warm towel wrapped as a pillow. Put your head on the side of your aching ear and wait for the pain to pass.
Take 1 tablespoon of pure almond oil and add 2 drops of essential lavender and chamomile oil and 3 drops of essential tea oil. Mix the oils and heat them. Insert 2 drops of warm mixture into the infected ear twice a day. You can also rub the mixture into the inner and outer ear, as well as in the nape or soak it with a cloth and use as a compress.
Almond oil remedy No 2
Heat two tablespoons of almond oil and allow to cool to room temperature. Apply two drops of this oil in the auditory duct and cover with a cotton swab to protect it.
Chew a chewing gum containing xylitol. They prevent gingivitis, tooth decay and plaque formation, they fight bacteria but they can also hurt the ear, thereby reducing the pain associated with inflammation. Xylitol gum also helps prevent infections of the inner ear, preventing bacteria from the mouth from getting into your nose and ears. Chewing a gum, and even chewing food, will help to vent the Eustachian tube. This will reduce the pressure on the ear and thus ease the pain.
Pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide into the infected ear. Wait until it starts to “foil”.
This is the method of Chinese medicine, which also helps to get rid of ear pain. Place the index finger and heart ring in the letter V and place it in your ear. Push your fingers to the ear at the base and push the pressure up your fingers. Wait for a few seconds and press them from the tips to the base. Repeat 36 times.
Wash, cut and chop three large apricots. Heat them in a frying pan and prepare a cataplasm on the ear that will hurts.
Chop a handful of basil leaves and another handful of plantain leaves. Heat it up, let it cool and then use the paste to make a cataplasm on the ear that hurts.
Olive oil and garlic
In a clean and dry glass container, pour six drops of olive oil and the contents of a vitamin E capsule. Then add two crushed garlic cloves and stir well to uniformize the mixture. Close the container and heat it to a bain-marine for one minute. Once ready, filter the mixture and apply a few drops to the ear. This remedy is not recommended if the tympanum is perforated or if pus is released from the ear.
Boil two tablespoons of absinthe in one liter of water for 10 minutes. Let it cool and then close the ear to the container for steam to enter.
Pour two tablespoons of oak bark into half a cup of boiling water. Cover and let cool. Bake a cotton ball and place it at the entrance of the ear.
Sprinkle a lemon and dip a cotton swab with the juice obtained. Place it gently at the entrance of the ear (without going too deep) for ten minutes before going to sleep. This remedy is great when pain is caused by a wax buildup.
Boil a handful of oregano leaves and half a cup of water for three minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Filter the water and transfer it to a dropper. Apply three drops to your ear that will hurts (if the eardrum is not perforated).
Roast a potato and wrap it in a cloth. Apply it as hot as if it was a wrap on your ear that hurts.
Boil half a cup of water with a handful of sea salt. Dampen a piece of cloth cloth and apply it to your ear that hurts.
Grate a radish and warm it. Then wrap it in a piece of cloth or cloth not too often and put it on the ear that hurts until it cools down.
Pour three or four drops of aloe vera gel into the auditory tube by bending the side head for a few minutes. We strongly recommend this remedy in case of perforated tympanum.
Chop a handful of beet leaves and extract the juice. Transfer the juice into a dropper and pour three or four drops into your ear that hurts.
A few simple rules that will help prevent pain and ear infections.
- Frequent ear infections can be a symptom of food allergy. It usually involves dairy products, wheat, corn, peanuts or oranges (citrus fruits). Try not to eat these products for a while and see what the result will be. Then enter them one at a time. If your ear will start hurting you again – you probably found the culprit, so remove it permanently from your diet.
- When you have runny nose – blow your nose gently. If you blow too hard, the bacteria that can lead to infection being “pushed” from the sinuses to the middle ear.
- Chew sugarless chewing gum containing a sweetener called xylitol. It is a substance derived from birch bark (in small quantities also found in strawberries and plums). Studies have shown that children chewing two dragees of such gum five times a day by 40% less likely to have ear infections.
- Drink plenty of water daily – it is necessary to thin the mucus and secretions, and the muscles that work on swallowing help to unlock the clogged ears by opening the mouth of the Eustachian tube and draining the secretion accumulated in the middle ear.
- Rinse the throat with warm salt water – it improves blood circulation in the nasopharynx area and thus reduces congestion and edema blocking the drainage through the Eustachian tube.
- If you have pain in your ear, use an extra pillow to keep your head slightly higher than usual so it will help to drain the fluid from your ear and thus reduce pain. Lie on the side, and under the infected ear warmer, you can also use a towel soaked in hot water – warmth accelerates blood circulation and helps to reduce the pressure. Use a hair dryer and heat your ear from about 15 cm away so that the warm (not hot) air stream falls directly into your ear.
- Eat garlic – 1-2 garlic cloves daily, garlic has bacteriophage and virucidal properties. Garlic cloves can be chewed or crushed, mixed with olive oil and spread on bread. If your body badly tolerates raw garlic, take garlic capsules from pharmacy. You can also prepare antibiotic ear drops – squeeze a clove of garlic, add a few drops of juice to a teaspoon of olive oil, stir and drop into the sick ear.
- Proper ear cleaning is a skill especially needed for people who have ear wax deposits close to tympanum, which can cause frequent ear disease. However, the following must be observed:
- Do not put any foreign objects (especially sharp ones) in the ear, as they may pierce the eardrum, as well as cleaning the ears with a cotton wool or finger, as this can push wax into the ear and clog the ear canal.
- For earwashing, use a special earwash, as well as hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil or glycerin, which soften the excess wax. Each ear must be allowed 2 drops, the excess may flow out. The treatment is repeated for 2 days. After softening the wax, it should be rinsed with, for example, using a pear and water with a temperature close to that of the body – a stream of water must be introduced under a small, controlled pressure.
- Regular cleaning of the ears should be performed on average once a month, but not more often, as excessive rinsing deprives the ear of the necessary natural protection, which is wax.
- Avoid using cotton fibers to clean your ears
- Treat yourself in case of throat infections
- Strengthen the immune system
- Avoid sharing and exchanging headphones with other people
- Avoid diving in ponds, lakes or rivers
- Do not immerse yourself in swimming pools with too much chlorine
- Do not introduce strange objects in your ears
- Sleep on the side to facilitate drainage.
As you can see, natural remedies for relieving ears pain are very easy to accomplish, they are also prepared with ingredients that everyone normally has in their own kitchen and that being natural products have no side effects.
How to prevent ear infection and take a better care of your ears
The ear is a very complex organ that plays a fundamental role in perceiving sounds, as well as contributing to balance and balance in the body. Unfortunately, the noises we are exposed on daily basis, neglected disturbances and poor hygienic and behavioral habits can affect the hearing in time. Let’s look at what to pay attention to protect your ears from unpleasant consequences.
Excessive noise is the most aggressive agent for the auditory device. According to World Health Organization data, almost every day the noise pollution threshold of 65 decibels is exceeded. Prevention of hearing loss consists mainly of limiting the duration and intensity of the noise exposure. Pay particular attention to strong and sudden sounds (products, for example, pneumatic hammers, horns and sirens).
To reduce the risk of damage, when experiencing very noisy environments – such as a concert or a disco – it is advisable to get away from the source of noise from time to time.
In a room with high volume music, it is best not to stay close to the speakers. In general, then, it should be remembered that when you feel a sense of nuisance, it means that the volume is really too high. With portable mp3 players and other technology devices, music in the ears can even reach 100 decibels, equivalent to the noise of a chainsaw in action or a takeoff plane. Clearly, this kind of stress, repeated more than an hour a day, almost inevitably leads to a reduction in hearing ability.
To listen to music, it is best to use the external headphones: the sound transmitted by the earphones, placed directly in the earpiece, is more traumatic to the eardrum membrane. Also, it is advisable to moderate the volume and keep it at a level so you can hear the surrounding sounds in the background.
In the auditory duct, a series of tiny glands produce wax, an oily secretion that serves to protect the ear tissues. This ‘waste’ material is able to spontaneously sip out of the ear, carrying powder granules or something else. If it is pushed inside by the fingers or the bad use of cotton sticks, the wax can accumulate. The formation of the so-called ‘wax plug’ prevents the sounds from being heard clearly and causes congestion.
When you clean your ears, it’s a good habit to confine yourself to the more outer part (where there are creases). For normal ears cleaning, use water and a non-foaming soap. Once a month, drops and ear sprays can be used. The use of cotton sticks (or q-tips) should be avoided or at least limited to the outer part of the ear. The risk is to damage the eardrum or compact the wax to the final area of the auditory canal, occluding. The wax plug should be removed from the doctor with a warm water jet gently in the ear using a special syringe.
During airplane trips
During an airplane trip, sudden altitude passages can alter the pressure in the eardrum. Therefore, in the landing and take-off phases, passengers may perceive the annoying feeling of ‘blocked ears’. Occasionally, the lack of middle ear compensation for external pressure can cause the tympanic membrane to break.
During early signs of plugged ears should be enough to yawn, swallow (as if you were drinking in small sips), or chew a chewing gum to aid the passage of the air through Eustachian tubes. Alternatively, you can try to blow the air out of your nose while keeping your nostrils closed. However, when the discomfort becomes a severe pain, it is advisable to consult a doctor to investigate the causes, as it may indicate a more serious underlying problem.
Pool or seawater can contain some harmful germs for the ears. Therefore, possible backstroke in the auditory canal may favor an ear infection. During a swim, the ears can be protected with special waterproof earbuds or wearing a headset. In general, when you leave the pool or go back to the shore, it is useful to rinse your ears with drinking water and dry them carefully.
After showering, to eliminate the moisture that favors the multiplication of potentially pathogenic microorganisms in the auditory canal, it is possible to use the hot and dry air of the hairdryer. Be careful, however, to use it properly: the hairdryer should be placed at a distance of at least 30 cm from the head, so the air jet should be directed for a few moments to the ears.
Other stressful factors harming ears
Some drugs are potentially harmful to the ears. If necessary, they cannot be avoided, but they must always be taken on a doctor’s advice. The factors affecting the toxicity include dose, duration of therapy, overall dosage throughout life, simultaneous administration to other drugs with ototoxic potential and genetic predisposition.
Smoking also has consequences on hearing cells: smokers have a higher risk of developing hearing problems than those who do not have this vice. Nicotine, in fact, stiffens the walls of blood vessels that irrigate the auditory apparatus, worsening local microcirculation and reducing oxygen intake.
In the course of therapy with drugs that can cause problems in the ears, it is essential to always follow the doctor’s instructions. Ototoxic drugs should not be used for topical applications in the event of a perforation of the tympanic membrane; it is necessary to avoid that they penetrate and spread in the inner ear.
As for smoking, however, if you cannot quit, try at least to decrease the number of daily cigarettes: the higher the frequency with which you smoke, the greater the risk of compromising your hearing.
Very low winter temperatures can cause painful symptoms at the ear level, so that it is necessary to protect it appropriately. The outside of the ear, in fact, contains sensory nerves whose stimulation can cause pain. The tympanum, being a thin membrane and rich in blood vessels, is also very sensitive to cold. In addition, stricter winter temperatures tend to weaken immune defenses: viruses and bacteria pass more easily from throat to ear through Eustachian tubes.
In winter, to protect your ears from the cold, it is a good habit to use a cap or earmuff. In addition to protecting this area, these accessories help to avoid dissipating the heat of the outer ear, particularly exposed to weather. Also, wearing a scarf protects the throat, which is attached to the ears through the Eustachian tubes.
Regular nose hygiene reduces the chance of ear infection. For this purpose, it is possible to perform nasal washings with sterile saline or marine solutions (ready to use and available in pharmacy).