The Best Guide to Treat an Ear Infection at Home
We can all agree that neglecting ear infection could lead to severe problems. At the same time, it's a common issue happening to both adults and babies, which is why you should understand how it functions. Especially if you have newborn on the way!
What Is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection is a severe issue that occurs when viral or bacterial infection affects the middle ear. The middle ear is the section of your ear, which is right behind the eardrum. You should be careful because ear infections are extremely painful due to fluid build-up and middle ear inflammation. You can use home remedies for ear infection, but before doing that, read the rest of the article:
Causes of ear infection
The ear infection has many causes. It happens when Eustachian tube inside the ear becomes blocked or swollen. That will cause the fluid buildup inside your middle ear. The main causes for ear infections are:
- Different types of allergies
- Sinus infection
- Excess mucus
- Swollen adenoids
- Change in air pressure
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms include:
- The feeling of pressure inside the ear
- Mild pain and discomfort of the ear
- Fussiness in babies
- Hearing loss
- Ear drainage
You should keep in mind that symptoms will come and go, and they can happen in one or both ears at the same time. Pain is very intense and you should see a doctor when it becomes overwhelming.
Home Remedies for Ear Infection
There are a few things that you can do to reduce the pain and inflammation; however, if the problem persists, you have to see a doctor. Keep in mind that ear inflammation could cause chronic problems that easily end in hearing loss.
On the other hand, according to AAP, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen to reduce and control the pain. You can use it with antibiotics without any problems, but don't overdo the dosage. Also, these medications are great because they lower fever.
Now, we present you with the most successful home remedies that could reduce the symptoms and even help you get rid of inflammation:
1. Warm oil
There are numerous causes of an earache. However, some remedies could help you maintain the pain. You have to instill the hot oil into the ear canal so that you can reduce the pain. However, if you do it wrong, it could cause more problems than before such as narrowing the canal and scarring.
You can use the combination of olive and tea tree oils as the home remedy for ear infection. The idea is to mix two tablespoons of olive oil with a few drops of tea tree oil. Warm it on medium flame, lie on the bad and put a few drops in the ear by using a dropper.
The idea is to lie down and to wait for the mixture to stay in your ear for at least five minutes, but you can also wait for ten minutes. After you finish with one ear, you can try with another one. We recommend you to repeat the process two times a day to get quick pain relief.
2. Warm compress
To use a warm compress, you have to wet a small towel or washcloth with hot water. However, you shouldn't make it too hot. Try mild hotness that will not affect your skin. Wrap the cloth and apply it to the ear. We recommend you to have a bottle of hot water next to it or wrap it in cloth and place it on your ear.
Apply it until the compress becomes cool and repeat the process for the other ear. The science tells us that heat increases blood circulation and relieves the ear pain.
Garlic is also an essential natural remedy that will help you deal with an ear infection. You can find garlic oil in every local health store. Garlic has antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties and a highly positive effect on overall health.
The best thing about garlic is its properties featuring antibiotics, which will reduce swelling and pain at the same time. Some people neglect the idea of using antibiotics, especially for babies, and use garlic oil instead. Don't do anything on your own and always consult a physician before you apply a natural remedy; especially should you want to help a baby.
4. More remedies for babies
To help your baby's ear infection and increase the sinus drainage, we recommend you to elevate the crib's head because this will improve the drainage. It's important to avoid placing a pillow under its head. Put it under the mattresses instead.
If you notice screaming and crying in less than half an hour, then your baby is in pain. The feeling of pain can increase while the baby is lying down because it increases fluid build-up inside the ear canal. If you notice symptoms such as head shaking, fever, and head rubbing, then see a pediatrician immediately.
How to Prevent Ear Infections?
Ear infection can happen to anyone and most people have had one at least once. Some of them as babies which is why they don't remember, while others in an adult age when it causes painful memories.
Adult ear infection prevention needs following these rules:
Quit smoking: Quitting this bad habit is essential for preventing an ear infection. Smoking has the ability to damage delicate tissues in your body and reduce the immune function. It's also responsible for many inflammations.
Use earplugs while showering: If you had problems with ears, we recommend you to avoid showering directly. This will cause problems, pain, and even potential ear infection. That is why you should use earplugs while showering to reduce the hassle of getting an earache.
Regular hand washing: Hand washing will help you reduce the chances of getting harmful bacteria into the ear canal. Therefore, we recommend you wash hands before eating, after eating and before consuming anything.
To prevent your baby from getting an ear infection, you should consider these rules:
Breastfeeding: It is important to breastfeed your baby for 12 months if that's possible because mother's milk can protect the small one from the ear infections and other possible health issues.
Avoid smoking: You should protect yourself and your baby from secondhand smoke because babies from smoking parents are prone to gaining ear infection.
Bottle position: If you use the bottle to feed your baby, hold it in a semi-upright position so that the liquid doesn't get back to the Eustachian tubes.
Healthy environment: It's important to keep the environment around your baby as clean as possible. If someone in the household gets sick, he should avoid the contact with the baby and wash his hands frequently.
Take Home Message
As you can see from everything that we have mentioned above, home remedies for ear infection are effective when it comes to reducing pain and other symptoms, but they cannot help you completely cure the issue.
Choosing only natural remedies will increase the time fighting with the problem. That's why you should always consider talking with a physician before you apply remedies that we have presented you above. Be careful and wise!
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