An ear infection occurs due to bacteria or a virus which affects the middle ear. The causes of the pain may be the inflammation or fluid stuck into the ear. The infection is more common among children, and it can be extremely painful. While getting rid of it is not hard, in most of the situations, this condition doesn’t last for long unless it is a chronic infection. In this case, you should be very careful with the treatment or home remedies that you follow because the ailment can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
The Eustachian tubes (pipes that go from each ear directly to the back of the throat) may get swollen or blocked, and some liquid remains in the middle ear. In some cases, accumulation of wax traps the fluid inside, and the environment becomes proper for bacteria to grow. In other situations, a virus or bacteria may affect the ear. They are related to sinus infections, allergies, smoking, colds, swollen or infected adenoids (you can find these tissues near the tonsils, and they can keep virus or bacteria inside) or excess mucus.
Young kids may develop ear infections more often because their Eustachian tubes are narrow. Also, infants who are bottle-fed are more likely to develop this condition than the breastfed ones. Other factors which can increase the risk for ear infections are exposure to cigarette smoke, altitude changes, recent colds or flu or climate change.
You will probably feel some persistent pressure inside the ear, partial loss of hearing, mild or acute pain, ear drainage which resembles puss and young children may experience fussiness. The symptoms may be constant or not. May appear from time to time or can give you a hard time. If your child is very young (under six months old) or if a fever accompanies pain pay a visit to your pediatrician.
Viral infections are more spread than bacterial ones so that antibiotic treatment would do more harm than good. Fortunately, in this article, you may choose to learn more about some home remedies for an ear infection that really help.
Home Remedies For Ear Infection That Will Do The Job Right
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil has beautiful properties which can soothe the pain and decrease the ear irritation caused by the infection. This oil can open the Eustachian tubes and acts as a protection layer against bacteria and viruses. Having moisturizing properties, it helps protect the tissues and also prevents the wax accumulation in the ear canal, therefore, helping any unwanted liquid to get out. It will finally reach to the eardrum and relax the inflammation and stretching in the tissues. Its antiviral and anti-bacterial properties will prevent any new ear infection.
- Just warm some oil and pour a few drops into the affected ear or in both ears when necessary.
- Cover the ear using some cotton cool and stay like this for a while, giving the oil enough time to heal the ear.
- You may repeat this procedure any time you feel the need to.
Pay attention to the temperature of the oil. To check if it is appropriate, place a drop on your wrist. You shouldn’t feel the touch, this meaning it has exactly the body temperature. Be cautious especially when you use this home remedy for an ear infection with olive oil for children because they have a more sensitive skin.
2. Breast Milk
Multiple studies show that breast milk is the best food for babies. But evidence suggests that it can also be used as a medication because of the antibodies it contains. Statistics show that most ear infections occur in infants aged six to eighteen months. It is then possible to apply this natural treatment because most of the babies should be breastfed by that age.
- Use three or four drops and place it at the entrance of the ear canal.
- Avoid pouring it directly into the ear.
- The milk will work wonders, will clear the ear and ease the pain.
3. Garlic Drops
As you have probably heard by now, garlic is an ancient cure. While herbalists used it in time immemorial to provide reliefs to a lot of ailments, nowadays studies show scientific proofs that garlic can cure a lot of conditions, starting with hair loss and ending with hypertension and different types of infections. The most common way of using garlic to get rid of an ear infection is with the garlic oil. Also, this remedy prevents the ear from getting dry thus soothing the inflammation and pain.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons sesame or olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- First of all, you need to mince the garlic.
- Second, place the oil into a small pot or a double boiler if you have, and then heat it. Stir in the garlic and simmer for about twenty minutes over very low heat. In this way, you will give garlic the possibility of passing all its beneficial properties to the oil.
- Remove the garlic using a sieve or a cheesecloth and let the infused oil chill until it reaches skin temperature. Place one or two drops into each ear.
- Since you are using fresh garlic, it is a good idea not to keep this oil for too long, but preparing another one for the next day.
- If you use it for several days, it is possible that bacteria will begin to grow and you most likely don’t want something like that into your ear.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is not a new and unknown ear infection cure. On the contrary, it has been extensively used for many types of ear problems. It has a strong anti-bacterial power, killing any germs instantly. Hydrogen peroxide is extremely efficient is removing the wax from the ears thus preventing the build-up of fluid. It can also fight against bacteria that develops in the ears leading to infections.
- You need to always use a diluted solution, recommended is 3% concentration most. Take a syringe. Fill it with this solution.
- Add five to seven drops to the aching ear. Lie on a bed or a couch, with the suffering ear facing up.
- The solution will start to bubble as it makes its way through the ear. Don’t worry; it is a natural process. Stay like this for minimum ten minutes.
- After this time has passed, cover your ear with a piece of cloth and go to the sink.
- Lean with the affected ear over the sink to let the peroxide flow away.
- If, by any chance, the solution gets anywhere else but the sink, remove it with the cloth.
- Fill the syringe with water this time and clean your ear by spraying it or go to the shower and keep your ear under running water.
If you experience and intense pain, you don’t hear quite well anymore, or you notice a fluid discharge that comes out from your ear, do not use hydrogen peroxide. It is possible to have a severe infection, and you may need medical treatment so seek the advice of a specialist.
Also, in case you have sensitive skin, go for the other remedies, this one may be a little too much for you and you will notice a burning sensation which will do you more harm than good.
5. Tea Tree Oil
This plant which is not at all connected to tea has a long history of healing infections caused by bacteria or viruses. It is also efficient against fungi. Then it shouldn’t be a surprise the fact that it can kill bacteria causing ear infections. Besides from that, it is also effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Its use will clean up the ear, removing the wax, and any unwanted fluids that want to get stuck on the ear walls.
- 3 drops of tea tree oil
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- Heat the olive oil just a little bit, until it reaches skin temperature.
- Stir in three drops of tea tree oil and mix well. Transfer the solution in a dropper.
- Lie down on one side and pour two to four drops into one ear. Allow the remedy to act for at least five minutes.
- Get back up and drain the ear removing any oil traces with a cotton pad. Repeat the process for the other ear too.
- You need to follow this home remedy with tea tree oil several times to get rid of an ear infection.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
You have for sure get used to the fact that apple cider vinegar is very effective in fighting against bacteria and fungi, therefore, being used to treat a lot of conditions, including an ear infection.
You will need:
- One part water
- One part apple cider vinegar
- Mix the two ingredients.
- Find a cotton ball and soak it in this solution.
- Place the cotton ball into your ear and leave the vinegar to act for about five minutes.
- Take the cotton ball off and drain your ear because you will have a certain amount of liquid in there.
- Drain your ear as well as you can. You have the option of drying the ears with a hair dryer.
7. Colloidal Silver
These silver particles in the colloidal base are well-known as an antimicrobial and antibiotic agent which lost its fame when penicillin was discovered, and doctors started prescribing artificial antibiotics. However, you should take caution when using this mineral as a home remedy for ear infection. Don’t purchase it from weird websites which don’t post any information about the product. There is a recommended dose for safety: one teaspoon of 100 parts of colloidal silver to one million parts of the solution. Also look for nanoscale particles because our organisms absorb them easier.
You will need:
- 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- Mix all the ingredients, and then warm this solution just a little bit until it reaches skin temperature.
- Transfer the mixture into a dropper.
- Stay in a laying down position on the healthy ear on a couch or bed. Pour a few drops into the ear and let it act for about seven to ten minutes.
- Stand up and go to the sink to drain your ear.
- Do this procedure again for two or three times per day until you notice an improvement.
Don’t overuse colloidal silver because you can face a side effect – argyria which is a discoloration of the skin in a pale blue tent and is not reversible.
You may use basil as one of the herbs for an ear infection. Indian healers have used it for centuries for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to treat a lot of conditions and even called it “the holy basil.” While the herb fights against bacteria and fungi, it can also alleviate the pain and soothe the inflammation.
- 5-6 basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Crush the holy basil leaves them with the help of a mortar and a pestle.
- Add the coconut oil and mix until you get a paste.
- Slowly warm the mixture.
- Find a cotton pad and soak it into the basil paste. Gently rub the on the outside the ear and also on the inside, but don’t drop the solution into the ear canal.
- Let the remedy with basil exercise its healing powers for about ten minutes, and then wipe out any traces left.
Salt is probably the most “on hand” ear infection remedy that anyone can use. We are not turning to it now for its anti-bacterial and antiviral properties, but for the fact that it can keep the heat in your ear longer.
- Take a pan and heat one cup of salt. Don’t keep it on the stove for too long; a few minutes should be enough. If it is easier for you, use a double boiler or a microwave.
- Transfer the salt to a piece of clean cloth and seal it. You may use a knot or some rubber band. Or, to make it easier, only place the warm salt in a sock and tie a knot.
- Lay down on one side and keep the salt on your ear for ten to fifteen minutes, but pay attention to the temperature to avoid burns.
- The heat will decrease the inflammation and soothe the pain. To get best results, do this procedure two to three times a day.
10. Warm Water Bottle or Compress
Another remedy for ear infections pain which uses heat is the warm water bottle. Following the same principle as the one described before, the hot water will fight against the inflammation and will make the pain go away.
- Take a warm water bottle and place it on your ear. Stay like this for about five minutes.
- If you don’t have a bottle, just use a warm compress. Grab a cloth, soak it in warm water and place it on the infected ear.
- Don’t forget to squeeze it well before applying so you don’t get liquid into the ear canal.
Another vegetable which has antibiotic and anti-microbial properties is onion. Old herbalists knew it, and they made use of it whenever they could to heal a lot of diseases. Most often used for cooking, you might want to consider using onion for medicinal purposes too. Also, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties may soothe an aching ear.
- Take an onion, peel it, and then bake it for about fifteen minutes.
- After that, wait for it to chill a little bit, and cut it into halves.
- Squeeze the juice from the onion halves and strain it through a fine sieve or a piece of cheesecloth to remove any vegetable pieces.
- If the temperature is ok, meaning it is the same with the skin, you may transfer it to a dropper.
- Pour some drops in the affected ear and lie down on a flat surface for at least five minutes for the juice to take action.
- Get back up and lean your head in the opposite direction to drain your ear.
- If there are any traces of onion juice left, use a piece of clean cloth to remove them.
12. Mullein Flower Oil
This herb is often used in treating ear infections because it has analgesic properties which will release the pain. It also reduces inflammation, these beneficial effects making it perfect for an ear infection.
- To get best effects from this remedy, add a few drops of mullein flower oil to garlic oil and place two to four drops into the infected ear.
- The solution will kill the fungus and disinfect the area.
- You will also notice a pain relief and a decreased inflammation.
- This mixture doesn’t have any side effects, so feel free to use it whenever you want, but two or three times per day would certainly be enough to cure the infection.
13. Ginger Root
Ginger contains gingerols, active compounds which have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Together with the anti-bacterial properties, ginger can successfully be used to help you cure your ear infection.
- 1 piece of fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Squeeze the juice from the ginger root.
- Mix it together with the olive oil.
- Use the help pf a dropper to place a few drops in the infected ear.
- Drain your ear after five minutes and pat dry with a clean cloth.
It is possible that you don’t know about the medicinal properties of radishes. Although they are incredibly delicious in salads, radishes can also be used to treat conditions like fever, constipation, dehydration or high blood pressure and even ear infections.
- 2 tablespoons of mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon radishes pieces
- Place the two ingredients in a small pot and heat on the stove for about ten to twelve minutes.
- Let it chill a little bit and remove the vegetable pieces.
- To find a quick pain relief for an ear infection, add a few drops to the infected ear, paying attention to the temperature of the solution.
This herb has an analgesic effect, as long as anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is magnificent for soothing the pain in an inflamed ear.
- 10 fresh peppermint leaves
- 3-5 drops of coconut oil
- Start by squeezing the juice with a pestle and mortar or run them through a slow juicer.
- Since it is potentially irritant, dilute it with some coconut oil and rub the area outside the ear with this mixture.
- Make sure you don’t drop any solution inside the ear canal, or else you may experience a burning sensation.
What to Do to Prevent an Ear Infection
Pay attention to the following things you can do to prevent ear infections.
1. Consider Breastfeeding Your Baby
Collective experience, as well as scientific studies, have proved that breastfeeding reduces the risk of ear infections. However, it is possible not to have milk or be unable to do this for medical reasons. In this case, don’t let your baby drink the milk from the bottle in a laying on the back position.
2. Avoid Pacifiers
If your child already likes a pacifier, try to make him give it up before the age of six months. Statistics say that children who use pacifiers after they are one-year-old are more prone to ear infections than the others.
3. Sharing & Places
If that is possible, take your baby to a smaller child care center. Viruses and bacteria are more likely to spread in larger groups of children. Also, don’t let small children share things with each other, it is a sure way of spreading bacteria and viruses.
4. Sleeping Hours
Make sure your little one sleeps enough during the day and night and drinks plenty of fluids. It is crucial for his healthy development and also for an active immune system. You should also watch your sleeping program and your fluid intake.
5. Keep a Strict Hygiene
Teach your kid how to wash the hands thoroughly, and you do that too. Everybody knows that soap keeps the germs away. Also clean up your bathroom and your kitchen as often as you can because bacteria can easily grow in there due to the humid environment.
6. Stop Smoking
Smokers can be affected by ear infection more often than non-smokers. However, children and adults who are exposed to tobacco smoke may develop such infections, so protect them by removing the fumes from the area they live in. Specialists say that even the smoke in the hair or on the clothes may affect a child.
7. Take the Allergies Test
Maybe you are allergic to casein or lactose in dairy, gluten, nuts or any other food. So, if you see that the ear infections keep occurring, take the test. An allergy may be the cause for this condition.
Experts often blame gluten and regular cow milk for causing inflammation in the body. You may test this statement by replacing the cow milk with goat milk and removing gluten products from your diet. If you notice an improvement, you’ve got yourself an answer.
Try these natural home remedies for an ear infection to feel a pain relief and to get rid of an ear infection. Pay attention to your child’s symptoms or your body and if things don’t get better in seven days, seek professional help and an accurate diagnosis.
PS: Maybe you want to read our list of 15 Home Remedies For a Toothache.