What Increases Your Risk
Some things that increase the risk for middle ear infection are out of your control. These include:
- Age. Children ages 3 years and younger are most likely to get ear infections. Also, young children get more colds and other upper respiratory infections. Most children have at least one ear infection before they are 7 years old.
- Birth defects or other medical conditions. Babies with cleft palate or Down syndrome are more likely to get ear infections.
- Weakened immune system. Children with severely impaired immune systems have more ear infections than healthy children.
- Family history. Children are more likely to have repeat middle ear infections if a parent or sibling had repeat ear infections.
- Allergies. Allergies cause long-term stuffiness in the nose that can block one or both eustachian tubes, which connect the back of the nose and throat with the middle ears. This blockage can cause fluid to build up in the middle ear.
Other things that increase the risk for ear infection include:
Things that increase the risk for repeated ear infections also include:
Do Olive Oil And Garlic Also Help Against Earache
Garlic in the ear is an alternative to the onion for ear pain. Cut it into small pieces, heat it slightly and wrap it in a cloth before placing it directly on the ear. It is also possible to squeeze the juice out of the toes and drizzle the cloth with it so that the garlic can work against ear pain.
However, slightly warmed olive oil that is dripped directly into the ear is not recommended. With a perforated eardrum, this home remedy can even make the symptoms worse. In addition, germs can get into the ear with the oil or cause burns if the ear is treated with heat at the same time.
Earache Remedies For Kids
Since children are especially prone to ear infections, given smaller eustachian tubes, there are some medications on the market specifically for earaches in kids. Drugstores sell pain-relieving eardrops that can help your child feel better if their earache is due to a cold or flu, swimmers ear, or allergies.
In addition, childrens formula acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used as earache remedies to help ease discomfort from inflammation in kids 6 months or older. Be sure to consult your childs pediatrician before giving NSAIDs and avoid aspirin for children under 16.
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Treating Ear Problems With Ear Tubes
Whether your child needs tubes depends on their history with infections. Your doctor might suggest tubes if your child gets a lot of them, meaning:
- Three or more in 6 months
- Four or more in a year
Most commonly, kids get tubes because of:
- Trapped fluid behind the eardrum
- Long-term infections that antibiotics havenât helped
- Fluid buildup that causes hearing loss, even if thereâs no infection
- Persistent ear infection that results in tearing or a hole in the eardrum
How Do I Use It
While theres no clear evidence about the effectiveness of olive oil on its own for common ear problems, its also not associated with any serious health consequences, so you can still try it to see for yourself.
To apply drops to your ear, use a glass dropper or you can dip a cotton swab in olive oil and allow the excess to drip into your ear. Dont put the cotton swab or any other object in your ear.
You can use room-temperature olive oil, though some people prefer to warm it up in a pan over low heat. Make sure to test the temperature on your skin first. The oil should be just slightly warm, not hot.
Follow these instructions to safely apply olive oil to your ears at home:
Tailor the application to your need, and contact your doctor if you arent seeing the desired results:
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
Ear infection symptoms can come on quickly. Signs and symptoms may look different in children than adults. Depending on their age, you may have to look for certain signs when your child can’t tell you their ear hurts.
Ear infection symptoms in children include:
- Ear pain, more frequent when laying down
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Hard time sleeping
Ear infection symptoms in adults include:
- Fluid drainage from the ear
- Trouble hearing
Make Sure You Know Which Ear Youre Treating
Take your cat to the treatment area.
If youve forgotten which ear requires treatment, refer to the directions or call your vet. Often, pet parents describe their pets problem area from their perspective instead of from their pets perspective.
So when the vet or the staff say right or left ear, remember that they are talking about the cats left ear, which is on the right when youre looking at your cat.
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Check If It’s An Ear Infection
The symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and include:
- discharge running out of the ear
- a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear
- itching and irritation in and around the ear
- scaly skin in and around the ear
Young children and babies with an ear infection may also:
- rub or pull their ear
- not react to some sounds
- be irritable or restless
- be off their food
- keep losing their balance
Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.
If you, or your child, have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
|Inner ear infection
|Middle ear infection
|Outer ear infection
|Can affect both children and adults
|Usually affects children
|Usually affects adults aged 45 to 75
|Caused by viral or bacterial infections
|Caused by viruses like colds and flu
|Caused by something irritating the ear canal, such as eczema, water or wearing earplugs
|Affects parts of the inner ear like the labyrinth and vestibular system, and can lead to labyrinthitis
|Affects the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose
|Affects the ear canal
Do Alternative Therapies Work
Alternative ear infection treatments abound on the internet and in books and magazines. They include chiropractic adjustments, homeopathy, herbal eardrops and others.
Perhaps you’re seeking alternative treatments for your or your child’s ear infection because you’re concerned about using antibiotics or because your doctor has recommended watchful waiting. You may turn to alternative treatments to ease discomfort.
In most cases, however, researchers haven’t studied alternative ear infection treatments adequately using widely accepted scientific methods. For this reason, alternative ear infection treatments aren’t generally recommended for use in children.
Some alternative ear infection treatments have been studied with mixed results.
Before your child uses an alternative ear infection treatment, be sure to:
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What Are Homeopathic Remedies For An Ear Infection
There are many treatments for ear infections in classical homeopathy. Keep in mind that homeopathic medicine is not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration .
Homeopathic remedies come from the belief that “like cures like.” That means that what causes disease symptoms in healthy individuals will cure the same symptoms in ill people. Most remedies are a combination of a natural substance and a synthetic compound to enhance the therapeutic benefits. You should choose the right dosage with caution, so you don’t experience severe effects.
Homeopathic remedies include:
Belladonna . Belladonna works best for ear pain that fluctuates. It is accompanied by a fever, flushing, and sensitivity to light. You should have a quick response to belladonna. Belladonna works by blocking some functions of your nervous system, and the plant itself is highly toxic.
Dosages will depend on the severity of your condition. For acute cases, 30C is recommended. For severe cases, you may need 200C, 1M, or 10M.
Wolfsbane . Wolfsbane is another commonly recommended home remedy for ear infections. It works best for ear pain that comes on quickly, and often after you’re outside in the cold and wind. This remedy works best when you also have a high fever, agitation, and a feeling of restlessness.
The recommended dosage is 200C. You should take 10 doses orally three times a day or as directed by your doctor.
Symptoms of wolfsbane may include:
- Heaviness in chest
Is It Safe To Use
While olive oil is generally safe, there are a few precautions you should take when using it in your ears.
Dont use olive oil or any other product in the ear if you have a ruptured ear drum. If youre not sure if you have a ruptured ear drum, see your doctor before using any remedy in your ear, including natural remedies.
Dont place cotton swabs or any other object inside the ear to remove wax or relieve itching. This can easily damage your ear drum or push wax deeper into your ear. Putting cotton swabs in your ear also increases your risk of developing an ear infection. Its also responsible for sending thousands of children to the emergency room with ear injuries each year.
Finally, make sure to use only room-temperature or just slightly warmed olive oil to avoid burning the delicate skin in your ear.
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Fever In Young Infants
If a baby younger than 3 months old has a rectal temperature or forehead temperature of 100.4 F or higher, they need to go to the emergency room, even if there are no other symptoms.
For infants age 6 months or older, toddlers, and older children: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are options.
Never give children aspirin, as it puts them at risk of a rare but serious condition known as Reye’s syndrome.
For adults: Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen can help. Neither aspirin nor naproxen should be given to children unless directed by a healthcare provider.
How To Use It
If using OTC drops, follow the directions on the label.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With An Ear Infection
Speak to a pharmacist if you think you have an outer ear infection.
They can recommend acidic eardrops to help stop bacteria or fungus spreading.
- a long-term medical condition such as diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
- a weakened immune system because of chemotherapy, for example
Ear Infection Risks & Complications
If left untreated, ear infections can lead to medical complications like:
- Mastoiditis: This is a rare inflammation of a bone close to the ear. It is a serious bacterial infection that is more common in children than adults. Invasive measures need to be taken to treat mastoiditis including surgical draining of the middle ear & mastoid air cells from the bone.
- Perforated Eardrum: A serious ear infection can lead to a damaged or ruptured eardrum, causing hearing loss, ear discharge, & earache. Perforated eardrums may heal on their own if infection is kept in check by early intervention but in some cases will need surgery to repair the eardrum / small bones of the ear to improve/restore hearing.
- Loss of Hearing: Ear infections cause a buildup of fluid in the ear, resulting in temporary but, in some cases, potentially long term hearing loss.
- Chronic Vertigo: Vertigo or impaired balance can be caused by a viral infection. Usually it is temporary but may be recurrent if the treatment is delayed.
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Pain Relievers For Earaches
If you or your child is experiencing an infection, youll likely want relief from the pain fast.
For quick relief, your doctor may also suggest reaching for an over-the-counter pain reliever, with or without the addition of antibiotics.
When To See Your Doctor
Trapped water usually goes away without treatment. If it bothers you, consider trying one of these home treatments to help relieve your discomfort. But if the water is still trapped after 2 to 3 days or if you show signs of infection, you should call your doctor.
If your ear becomes inflamed or swollen, you may have developed an ear infection. An ear infection can become serious if you dont get treatment for it. It may lead to hearing loss or other complications, such as cartilage and bone damage.
Your doctor can prescribe medications to eliminate infection and relieve pain.
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Treating An Middle Ear Infection
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What Are Ear Tubes
Ear tubes are very small metal or plastic tubes a doctor inserts in your childâs ears to help reduce the number of ear infections by allowings fluid or pus to drain. Other names for them include tympanostomy tubes, ventilation tubes, myringotomy tubes or pressure equalization tubes.
Theyâre like a section of a really tiny drinking straw. Theyâre round, hollow, and usually made of metal or plastic.
Your doctor makes a small opening in the eardrum and puts in the tube to let air into the middle ear.
Almost all children have at least one ear infection by the time theyâre 5. But if they occur over and over or your child has hearing loss because of fluid build-up, your doctor might suggest ear tubes.
If other treatments arenât working, they can provide relief for your child. They also prevent long-term hearing problems.
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Homeopathic Earache Relief Ear Drops
- Chamomilla 10X for sensitivity to drafts, soothing
- Mercurius solubilis 15X relieves fullness, sensitivity to cold
- Sulphur 12X reduces itchiness, sensitivity to water
Ear Pain: What To Do In Young Ears
Ear pain is common in children. However, since they are more sensitive than adults, some home remedies for ear pain in children need caution. For example, essential oils contained in mustard irritate the skin, which is why they should only be used sparingly. Onion wraps offer a gentle way to treat earache in toddlers. The warmth of a lukewarm cherry stone pillow also helps. Children often do not want the ear that hurts to be touched. In this case, a red light lamp can help, which warms the ear from a distance. However, this type of treatment may only take place under the supervision of adults. If there is suspicion of otitis media, an ENT doctor should be consulted to clarify the causes and explain treatment options to parents.
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Perform The Valsalva Maneuver
This method can also help open closed eustachian tubes. Be careful not to blow too hard. This can damage your ear drum.
What Home Remedies Relieve Ear Pain And Cure Ear Infections
Natural and over-the-counter nonprescription remedies for ear infections:
Which parts of the ear can become infected?
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