When the middle ear is infected by the bacteria or viruses, ear infections occur. It is more commonly seen in children than adults. However, the basic causes for ear infection are food allergies, excess wax buildup, environmental allergies, upper respiratory infections, genetics, fetal alcohol syndrome, internal injuries and nutritional deficiencies.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of ear infection are headache, pain in the ear, difficulty in sleeping, a hauling sound in the ear, low hearing efficiency, fluid draining from the ear, vomiting, high fever, diarrhea etc.
An ear infection can affect any of the three parts of the ear, namely – outer, middle and inner. The ones in the inner ear are the most severe ones and need immediate medical attention. Untreated ear infections often have serious consequences like chronic recurrence, damage or rupturing of ear drum, or ever deafness.
It is always advisable to go for a proper ENT diagnosis in cases of any such infection, however there are many time-honoured, and easy home remedies to ease the pain and other complications of an ear infection. Here are some of them –
This is the most readily available home remedy for any kind of ear infection treatment. Take one cup of salt and heat it in the microwave or deep pan for about 5 minutes; then pour the hot salt in a thick cotton cloth or socks; seal the other end tightly. Let it cool down a little and then apply that on the affected area for about 10 minutes. You can do this as many times needed for consecutive days to drain out the fluid from the ear and ease the pain and swelling. Rice is also a good substitute to salt.
The antimicrobial properties of garlic makes it a natural pain relieving element and truly effective for ear infections. Take 2 garlic cloves and make the oil by cooking it in mustard oil until it turns black. Strain the oil and let it cool a little, pour four drops of this oil as ear drop and see the benefits.
For minor ear aches and infections, especially in children people have been using holy basil or tulasi for ages. It reduces the infection and pain as well. Take 5 leaves and crush them to get the juice; apply this juice around the infected ear, DO NOT let it go inside the ear canal. You can also mix this extract with equal amounts of coconut oil and apply it on the outer edge of the ear with a cotton ball.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
If fungus is the cause of your ear infection; apple cidar vinegar is a good choice. Take one part of this vinegar and mix it with equal amounts of water or alcohol. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and apply it to the ear like an ear plug for about five minutes. Keep your ear laid down after removing the ball to let the fluid drain out. Dry your ear after this practice with a hair dryer.
5. Olive Oil
To clear the ear obstructions like wax and dirt, olive oil is one of the best home remedies. Slightly warm some olive oil and put few drops in the ear; it will soften the wax inside and then you can remove it with the swabs. Same can be done with mustard oil.