An ear infection can occur at the outer, middle and inner ear parts. The most common infections are experienced in the middle and outer ear. If you are experiencing mild or severe pain, hearing problems, weird sounds in the ear, pain and swelling, and staggering while walking, you could be having ear infections.
The most common cause of ear infections is bacteria and fungi trapped in the middle ear. Children suffer from ear infections more than adults do because they are in constant contact with dirt carrying the infection-causing germs. Water that is trapped in the middle ear after an activity like swimming can also cause ear infection since it is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Home Remedies for Ear Infections
Medical studies shows that over 80% of ear infections heal on their own. Therefore, if you are experiencing this problem, you do not need to worry. Here are some home remedies for ear infections:
If you have an ear infection, you may experience intense pain. Fortunately, you can deal with the pain by consuming over the counter drugs, known for pain relieving. Please note that with children, you might need to seek medical assistance since some drugs that contain aspirin cannot be administered to them.
Warm Water Compress
Dip a soft piece of cloth in warm water and place over the affected ear. Compress it for a few seconds until the cloth loses the heat. Repeat this for three times. The heat helps to ease swelling of the outer ear, caused by ear infection.
Wrap a few pieces of ice cubes in a paper or a towel. Use the ice to compress the infected ear for some few minutes. The cold effect helps ease the pain by reducing the redness and swelling.
Massaging the area around the infected area, back and forth on the upper and lower jaws, helps relieve pressure inside the ear. It also helps remove the water trapped in the inner ear. This water is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, fungi or viruses that cause ear infection.
Sucking helps reduce the pressure caused by fluids and earwax. When the pressure reduces, the pain eases away. It also helps release the fluids trapped, eliminating the chances for the growth of bacteria, fungi or viruses.
Using Eardrops to Treat Ear Infections
Water trapped after swimming or bathing and earwax often build up pressure in the ear. Those fluids facilitate the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses that cause infections. Eardrops help ease pressure in the infected area of the ear. They are available in the local drug store and often do not need prescription.
You can even make your own drops at home by mixing cider, vinegar and alcohol. The main reason for using cider vinegar and alcohol is that they contain acetic acid that inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi or viruses. What you do is mix equal proportions of these three, then pour five to ten drops in the affected ear, cover it with a piece of cotton and lean on the side to allow the mixture to settle in the ear. After a few minutes, let it flow out of the ear. Repeat this process as many times as you desire until the infection heals. Alternatively, you can gargle this mixture to help fight the bacteria causing the infection since the ear, nose, and the mouth are closely connected.
Breast Milk for Treating Ear Infections in Babies
Breast milk contains antibodies that protect a baby from ear infections. It is believed that breast milk changes depending on the microbes the baby is exposed to. Therefore, you should breastfeed your baby as much as possible. Medics recommend breastfeeding for at least six months so that the baby makes most use of the antibodies. Children can also use breast milk as ear drops. The anti-bacterial properties of the milk will help fight the multiplication of bacteria, fungi or viruses. Pour five to ten drops of the milk into the ear, and lean on the side to allow the milk settle in the ear then let it flow out after some few minutes. Repeat this process every day until the infection heals.
As much as these home remedies work for most people, they should not be used an alternative for your doctor’s advice. If ear infections go beyond three days or are very severe, you should seek medical assistance immediately. You should also note these remedies are not applicable to people with damaged eardrums or those that have plastic tubes in their ears.