A patient gets an ear infection when the eustachian tube becomes blocked. The way the eustachian tube becomes blocked is typically an infection in the back of the nose. This leads to swelling and the tube becomes swollen shut. The lining of the middle ear where the ear bones need air and what it does, it removes all the air and leads to a vacuum. That vacuum leads to drawing fluid into the middle ear. That fluid is infected and thus you have an infection in the middle ear, and this is what is called ear infection.
An ear infection is very severe pain in your ears and that pain can go to your head, can go to your teeth, or any other part of the face. A person can feel deafness and it can be temporary deafness. There are ear discharges which come out of the ear, it can be watery or yellow pus-like discharge. Another thing is hearing some abnormal sounds in the ear, which can happen with an ear infection.
Ear infections are very dangerous, ear is an organ which is surrounded by important structures like the brain, the nerve of the face, that is called the facial nerve, and blood vessels supplying blood to the brain, two important blood vessels cross here to supply the brain, so the ear is a very delicate organ in that sense.
Symptoms of Ear infection
- Ear pain, especially when lying down.
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Difficult in hearing or responding to sounds
- Loss of balance
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Loss of appetite
- Ringing sound in the ear
Causes of Ear infection
- A person developing a cold can easily get an ear infection because the ear and nose are connected from inside with a tube called Eustachian tubes.
- The second cause is hematological like blood borne infection. So if you have any kind of infection in any part of your body then it can reach your ear and cause an ear infection.
- The third reason can be some outside water going into the ear or scratching the ear.
When to seek a doctor
It relies upon the seriousness of the symptoms as well as the age of who is suffering through it.
For kids, if your kid is under a half year and starts with fever and pulling at their ears they definitely should be seen. The danger of them getting more sicker is higher and it is bound to be a condition that needs antibiotics to treat. Beyond 6 years old, kids will rely a ton upon the seriousness of symptoms. On the off chance that they are having noteworthy agony or fevers that you can’t control with a typical dose of Ibuprofen or Tylenol, at that point they ought to likely be seen. If their symptoms are going on for over 48 hours without progress, at that point it is likely a smart thought to go in.
If you are an adult, it is typically alright if you can control symptoms at home to give it a couple of days before looking for care. Be that as it may, if symptoms endure or deteriorate more than 2-3 days, at that point, it is presumably an ideal opportunity to have someone look at it. These symptoms are ones that your common specialist’s office or quick care can generally deal with.
Home remedies for ear infection
In the absence of severe symptoms, you have time to work on some home treatments and see if it can get better on its own.
Following are some home remedies to treat an ear infection at home :
- Popping your ears
Popping your ears, medically known as auto inflation may relieve the feeling of fullness and pressure in your ears. Basically squeeze your nose, close your mouth and breathe out delicately. This sends air through the tubes to help drain them.
- Tea tree oil
Some studies have shown tea tree oil to be a natural remedy that may help with outer and middle ear infections. Tea tree oil contains a chemical compound that kills off bacteria.
- Olive oil
Olive oil is another essential oil that contains antibacterial properties. There is no proof to demonstrate olive oil helps treat ear infection nonetheless, the American Academy of Pediatrics says olive oil can be modestly powerful on-ear torment.
Garlic is another natural remedy used by some to treat ear infections. Some studies have shown that naturopathic ear drops containing garlic help with ear pain.
Take one tablespoon of garlic paste and a pinch of salt to it. Mix it well. Take a clean piece of muslin cloth. Put that paste on the cloth then place that cloth on the infected ear for about 5-10 minutes.
- Warm compress/heating pad
A warm compress or heating pad can also help to treat an ear infection. Alternatively, you can also use a cold compress or ice.
Be careful not to leave heating pads on for a long time. But applying heat to the affected area can oftentimes relieve pain. You can then alternate this with a cold pack or ice, to help control the pain and symptoms related to the infection.
Salt can also be really helpful to ease earache due to infection.
Take a few tablespoons of salt and heat it nicely. Take a piece of cloth and put the salt in the cloth. Tie it up well and when it is comfortably hot, apply it on the infected ear and lie down for about 10-15 minutes to get relief from the earache.
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple juice vinegar may help treat ear contaminations since it contains acidic corrosive, which is antibacterial.
Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and the same amount of water and mix it well. Take two cotton balls and dip them in this mixture. Take the cotton ball and keep it in your ear for 5-10 minutes lying on one side and then after that timeline on the opposite side so that the fluid can drain out of the ear.
- Mustard oil
Unadulterated mustard oil and mustard essential oil may help diminish irritation and agony.
Take two tablespoons of mustard oil and then take 2 cloves of garlic in a pan and cook this in the oil until the garlic cloves turn black. Cool this oil down and then apply 2-3 drops of this in the affected area.
- Basil leaves
Basil’s oils are extricated to make a fundamental oil, it is utilized for treating cuts, wounds, and skin infections.
Take a handful of basil leaves and crush it to make a paste. Place it on the sieve and press it to extract its juice. Pour 2-3 drops of this juice in the infected ear to get relief.
Tips for children having an ear infection
- One thing you can do is have your child lay down with the influenced ear up. We can use gravity to help relieve some of the pressure.
- You can also apply some gentle downward outward traction on the ear lobe while they are laying on their back. This would not cure the infection but it can help relieve some of the built-up pressure.
- A few drops of body temperature oil like tea tree oil, garlic oil, ginger oil, or olive oil, to the ear can provide some relief. It would not count on it to cure a true bacterial infection but it would not hurt and provide some relief.
Tips for an adult having an ear infection
- Make it a practice to get your ear clean by a doctor regularly.
- Do not try to clean it with yourself with your fingers or any sharp objects like pens or toothpicks.
- If you swim, wear earplugs to protect your ear from infection.
Prevention for kids having an ear infection
- Get your children immunized for both influenza and pneumonia and the Haemophilus influenza. These are standard basic youth vaccinations.
- Wash your hands and teach your kids to wash hands routinely.
- Dispose of the consistent utilization of a pacifier. In one investigation it is indicated that disposal of pacifier use diminished ear disease by ⅓.
- Try not to give babies bottles to lay down with. Close to dental issues likewise give expanded danger for ear infections.
- Quit smoking. Smoke exposure for your children additionally expands hazards for ear infection.
- Breastfeed your body for at least 6 months preferably to a year.
Points to remember
- First, most ear infections are viral and do not need to be treated.
- Second, try and control the symptoms and if that does not work or the symptoms persist for a few days then go to the doctor.
- Finally, remember to take those steps which are reviewed in the article to prevent ear infections from happening in the first place.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What can control ear infection symptoms quickly?
To control the ear infection symptoms quickly, you can simply take over the counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Both can be very effective in controlling the pain and symptoms related to an ear infection. Just follow the dosing instructions on the bottle.
- How long until an ear infection clears up?
Sadly inward ear infections last more. Extreme side effects normally clear inside 7 days, however, complete recuperation may take up to 2 to 3 months. Grown-ups may have discombobulation symptoms that last significantly more.
- What to do when experience earache at high altitude?
Often one experiences earache at a high altitude or traveling in an airplane. Try some chew gums or yawning then. This will contract the muscle and open the eustachian tube.
4. What happens if you leave an ear infection?
Ear infections can prompt more genuine inconveniences, including mastoiditis (an uncommon inflammation of a bone adjoining to the ear), hearing misfortune, the hole of the eardrum, meningitis, facial nerve loss of motion, and conceivably – in grown-ups – Meniere’s disease.
5. What drops can you use for an ear infection?
The drops may cause agony, contamination, or even harm hearing. For bacterial infections, the main eardrop you should utilize is the anti-infection agent’s ofloxacin (Floxin Otic and conventional) or the more expensive blend drug ciprofloxacin-dexamethasone (Ciprodex).
Hopefully, you have learned many things about ear infection through this article and now feel more comfortable about how to deal with them.
The only caution is that, in trying some of these alternatives, if there is drainage coming from the ear then you are recommended to get that checked out before you start putting things in there. If you have a ruptured eardrum, you do not want to be putting drops in there.
You are also recommended to avoid ear candles and even worse fire cones. This is where you use a candle in the ear or a rolled-up piece of paper in the ear and lit it on the fire. This has been looked at, and has not been demonstrated to be viable and truly can be very hazardous.
The most important thing to remember about is that if your symptoms persist or are getting worse after a couple of days then go in and get seen.