It will be smart to know the natural remedies for ear infections at your fingertips. This is because while ear infections can be pretty much uncomfortable, they don’t always warrant the use of antibiotics. Interestingly, guidelines for prescribing antibiotics have changed over the past few years. Therefore, you might not have access to those drugs when you want them. Anyway, here are some natural remedies that you can try out in treating ear infections. They are generally accepted to work in both adults and children.
An Overview of Natural Remedies for Ear Infections
Earache, which is usually a result of ear infections, can be very painful and unbearable. In fact, it can impede sleeping, eating, and any other primary activity. Therefore, while you wait to get medical care, give some home remedies a try, at least to ease the pain. It is important to note that people experiencing earache, especially for the first time, should see the doctor.
An ear infection can be a stand-alone condition, but it is not always so. Often, bacterial infection causes inflammation and pressure buildup in the ear. So, the pain can be intense. Additionally, other conditions can cause ear infections. Some of these include skin infections (especially around the ear), allergic reactions, and chronic conditions like temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Some Common Natural Remedies for Ear Infections
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
OTC pain relievers are quite common in the United States. A publication from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) confirms that ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used to control pain associated with an ear infection. In a real sense, OTC medication is used in treating acute otitis media, a type of ear infection.
While adults can use aspirin to control pain, it is not advised that children under the age of 16 use it. In any case, confirm the required dose of the OTC pain reliever from your doctor before administering it to a child.
Cold Or Warm Compresses
The same mechanism with which cold or hot compresses is used to relieve pain can be adopted for ear infection.
The technique involved requires that you alternate between warm and cold compresses over a time limit of 10 minutes, or you could use just one compress. This method is safe for both adults and children. Of course, heat tolerance is different, so be careful not to scald your ear.
Olive oil is one of the most popular among several natural remedies used for ear infections. Interestingly, there is no record on how it works, but it is known and confirmed by the AAP that a few drops of warmed olive oil can ease pain from ear infections.
Ensure that the olive oil is not warmer than the average body temperature. A little bit warmer, and you risk burning the eardrum – that could be disastrous!
Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic both have natural anti-inflammatory antibiotic and pain relief properties, which can come in handy in treating ear infections. Soak crushed garlic and ginger in olive oil and strain the mixture. Apply the oil around the outer ear canal. Do not put it directly into the ear! You just might increase the pain if you do so.
Before you decide on these natural remedies for ear infections, see your doctor, especially if it is a recurrent infection. A physician is best trained to treat conditions like this. These remedies are adjunct methods to treat them and not a full treatment in itself. Eat well, rest, and you just might never have to deal with ear infections.