If you swim for fun or a living, then you know how painful an outer ear infection can be. Most outer ear infections are caused by swimming, that is why it is sometimes referred to as “swimmer’s ear”. Like outer ear infections inner ear infections are also painful, but not as common. This type of ear infection (inner) is caused by viral upper respiratory infections that travels to the inner ear.
Viral ear infections should be treated like all other viral infections, so be careful when you have an inner ear infection, do not take it lightly. Be sure to take precautionary measures when you suspect an inner ear infection is present. The symptoms of inner ear infections can be very dramatic, so be very careful not to brush it off as nothing. Symptoms include: Severe dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes difficulty maintaining a fixed gaze.
Home Remedies For Ear Infections
Try staying in a sit up position. Sitting upright decreases the swelling and starts eustachian tubes draining. Some people also find swallowing helps to ease the pain.
Try drinking something. Swallowing triggers the muscular action that helps your eustachian tubes open and drain.
Try wiggling your ear. Wiggling your ear can help determine whether or not it is an inner ear infection or an outer ear infection. If you can wiggle your ear without feeling pain, then most likely it is in the inner ear. If wiggling your ear causes pain then the infection is probably in the outer ear canal.
Chew gum. The action of chewing due to the movement of the jaw muscles may help open the eustachian tubes.
Try yawning. Yawning according to experts opens the eustachian tubes even better that chewing gum.
Treating Ear Infections With Herbal Remedies
Echinacea – Echinacea is a powerful immune-booster and is highly recommended in fighting any infection.
Astragalus – This herb is highly celebrated in traditional chinese medicine, and would be the one to take long-term if you or your child seems to be prone to continual infections.
Oregon graperoot – This herb acts as a natural antibiotic. Research and studies have shown that the active ingredient in this herb kills many types of bacteria.
Garlic – My favorite and one of the most underrated medicinal herbs. Garlic has the ability to kill many bad organisms.
Garlic is so powerful that it kills bacteria and viruses, and is a regular healing herb in my household. Studies have shown that garlic kills the viruses that cause the cold and flu, which makes the body more susceptible to ear infections.
Lemon balm – This herb is not only an antiviral, but it is also pleasant tasting, calming, and antibacterial. Most herbalist concur that if an ear infection is present this is just what the doctor ordered.
Licorice – This herb will help calm an ear infection while battling the virus that caused it virulently.
Ginger – This herb will help to relieve the dizziness and nausea, which are prevalent in many inner ear infections.
Natural Herbal Eardrops
If you are prone to getting ear infections or feel the onset of an infection, you can concoct your own antibiotic eardrops or irrigation solution.
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
Along with one of the following:
2-3 drops grapefruit seed extract
3 drops of garlic tincture
3-5 drops echinacea tincture
Sterilize a 4-ounce bottle by immersing it in boiling water for 10 minutes. Mix all ingredients in the bottle. Cap tightly; store out of light. To use, put a few drops into the ear with a sterile eyedropper. Allow to run out of the ear.
WARNING: Do not under any circumstances put anything in the ear canal if you have signs of a perforated eardrum (which may be any drainage from the ear), or if you are going to see a doctor soon.
When to see a doctor for ear infections
Most people cannot bear the pain of an ear ache, I know I couldn’t. I put ear aches, tooth aches, and stomach aches as the top three aches I could do without. Although the above remedies have been proven beneficial in treating ear infections, I would still recommend you see a doctor if your ears stay plugged up for more than a couple days after a cold.
If you leave an ear infection unattended, you will be leaving yourself open to permanent hearing loss. As stated above; antibiotic treatments for a 14 day period will be the treatment of choice. However, this is if there is no other damage done to the ear, which your doctor should find and let you know about.