Ear infections are awful, and they always seem to attack with absolutely no warning. You’re left ringing the doctors and hoping that you get an appointment as soon as possible. And then you just must hope that the antibiotics that you’re inevitably prescribed work within days and you don’t need a second prescription.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need just to hope and pray that the antibiotics work. It is possible to help boost your body’s natural defenses to help fight off the infection.
These natural remedies are good for use with medical treatments. You can also use them while you wait for your doctor’s appointment and aid for use on the symptoms while you wait for the medical treatments to work.
Here are seven natural cures for ear infections that you need to start using today. As always, make sure you seek medical attention if the pain gets more intense or you find that they don’t work after a few days.
Please note that if there is pus coming from the ear, it suggests that there is a more serious problem. Your ear drum is likely perforated. While this will usually heal on its own, you need to avoid putting anything into your ear. Your doctor will be able to help with the best remedies for this to aid with the symptoms! You can put things on and around the ear, but not inside.
Home Remedies For Ear Infections
Use Garlic Oil in Your Ear
Let’s start with garlic oil for your ear infection. Garlic is one of the best natural remedies for any infection. It holds antibacterial properties that will kill any bacteria found in your body. It also has antifungal and antiviral properties, helping to improve infections that aren’t necessarily bacterial. Nothing has been able to gain a resistance against this natural remedy.
You can put garlic cloves into your ear, but you can use garlic oil. Opt for the health store varieties rather than from your local grocery store. You want to make sure that the garlic oil is raw and hasn’t had other ingredients placed inside it. The other ingredients can limit the garlic from working.
Most childhood ear infections will be viral based and not bacterial. Garlic oil is safe for use in a child’s ear in moderation.
The garlic oil will also help to reduce inflammation within the ear. This helps to speed up the process of healing while preventing the infection and inflammation from getting deeper into the ear.
There shouldn’t be any pain when using a few drops of garlic ear. You don’t want to massage the oil into the ear, either. Just let it sit and do its work and allow it to drip back out naturally.
Consider Tea Tree Oil
A second good natural remedy for ear infections, both in adults and children, is tea tree oil. This woody scented essential oil is used for a variety of reasons because of its antiseptic benefits. In fact, it’s been one of those herbal remedies for infections and wounds throughout the centuries around the world. It’s still used in Eastern medicine, even today.
Don’t put the essential oil directly into the ear. There are some people allergic to this, and it can cause damage to the ear. You want to apply it around the ear instead.
Dilute the essential oil instead of applying directly to the skin. Use coconut oil for the best results, as coconut oil also has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Whatever the reason for the infection, you will cure it with this method.
The benefit of tea tree oil is that you can use it with a perforated ear drum since you’re not applying it into the ear. Massage it into the skin for the best results.
Use Breast Milk If You’re Still Breastfeeding
Trying to find remedies for baby’s whose immune systems are still developing is hard. Doctors don’t want to prescribe medication if they can help it. Your breasts will have the best cure for your baby. Yes, breast milk is a powerful treatment option. It’s one of the big reasons why doctors recommend mothers breastfed their babies for the first 12 months (but we know that this can be hard, so no judgment if you can’t or don’t want to).
If you are breastfeeding, consider expressing some of your breast milk for a natural cure for ear infections. The breast milk is full of antibodies that are completely made by you. These antibodies will speed your child’s natural healing process. You’re not fighting the infection, but you’re encouraging the baby’s immune system to kick start and get rid of the infection instead.
The breast milk also has some anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll find that the swelling goes down, boosting the healing benefits.
This works best when the milk is dropped straight into the ears. You can also rub it gently around the ears, although the sensitivity due to the inflammation may be too much for your child to allow the touch on the ears. You can use this remedy every few hours.
Breast milk isn’t just good for children. It can be used on adults if you choose to. It’s also good for other minor wounds and some eye infections!
Boost the Probiotics in the Body
It’s time to eat more yogurts that have probiotics. It’s the actual probiotics that you want to help to fight off the reason for the ear infection. When you fight off the reason, the ear infection symptoms will reduce to nothing.
Most of our immune system is in the digestive system. This is the place where bacteria grow like crazy. Some bacteria are good, but if you don’t help to boost that through probiotics, you’ll end up with more bad bacteria. The bad will prevent the digestive system from absorbing all the necessary nutrients and cause infection. Your immune system is hindered, trying to work on the bacteria growing in your gut.
Some ear infections are symptoms of food sensitivities! It’s your body telling you that there is a problem elsewhere and needs your help to rectify it. It’s up to you to figure this out because your body isn’t the best at telling you exactly what it is that’s the problem.
When you get more good bacteria into your body, it will kill off and starve the bad bacteria. The good overpowers the bad, creating a neutralized and supported the immune system. The rest of your body will thank you.
Try Out Apple Cider Vinegar
Another ingredient that has been used in herbal remedies for centuries is apple cider vinegar. This is an excellent option when the reason for the infection is fungus growing in or around your ear. The vinegar is acidic and will kill off the bad that is collected within the ear. It is also full of other nutrients that will support the immune system and reduce inflammation in your ear.
The great news is you don’t just necessarily need apple cider vinegar. You can use white or distilled vinegar. However, you will want to get apple cider vinegar as much as possible.
Depending on where the infection is, you won’t necessarily want to put the vinegar directly into the ear. This can cause some discomfort. If you are going to place it directly into the ear, make sure you dilute the vinegar with some water.
The best thing to do would be to put the diluted vinegar onto some cotton wool and create an ear plug with it. Place this in your ear and allow the liquid to get to work. You only need the ear plug for five minutes. You can then use a hair dryer to dry out the ear, but do make sure your setting is as low as possible to avoid damage to the ear drum.
Another option is to massage the diluted vinegar around the ear, allowing the skin to soak it in. If you have sensitive skin, you can find this becomes an irritant.
Alternatively, gargle the apple cider vinegar. Your ears, nose, and throat are all connected through passages. Gargling the vinegar will help to soak the liquid up into your Eustachian tubes to kill off whatever the infection is.
See a Chiropractor
Not all treatments involve putting liquid in or around your ears. This is due to the natural of ear infections. Not all infections are caused by an actual bacterial or fungal problem within the ear.
Sometimes your ear infections are caused by spinal misalignments. The alignment problems within your upper neck will make it harder for the body to heal properly. The immune system isn’t as effective, as the nerve signals don’t get into the brain properly. Your body doesn’t realise that it needs to boost the immune system’s effects within certain parts of your body!
Misalignments can also put pressure on the nerves, sending the wrong signals to your brain. Your immune system attacks when it doesn’t need to, leading to inflammation and pain.
You don’t need many changes to your spine. Your chiropractor will simply improve the alignment, taking the pressure off the nerves. This is safe for both adults and children, if you use a qualified and reputable chiropractor for your needs.
You’ll be surprised at how a misaligned spine affects your health! Not only will you reduce ear infections, but also headaches, back pain, and mood.
Stop Eating Food You’re Allergic or Intolerant To
Your ear infection is a symptom of a problem. If there’s no pus and no physical infection, it’s very likely that your ear “infection” is a symptom of an allergy. This is especially common in children, where the immune system isn’t as developed. If you continue to eat the food that you’re allergic to or there’s a dietary intolerant to, you will find that the ear infections are more common and get worse over time.
Make a note of all the times that ear infections have happened. Track the type of food given and look out for any patterns. It’s not just ear infections, either. You’ll want to look out for any digestive problems and other signs of illness. This can be difficult in children, as they’re not always the best at communicating their problem.
You can talk to your doctor about getting a food sensitivity test. However, doctors may want you to do a trial and error test instead, which is something you can do at home. Cut out the food that you believe your child is/you are allergic to and see how common the ear infections occur. If you believe multiple foods could be a problem, cut everything out and add it back into the diet one at a time.
Dairy and gluten intolerances or allergies are some of the most common issues linked to ear infections. It may not be all dairy, as goat’s milk is sometimes fine, but cow’s milk causes a problem. It’s due to the amount of lactose and other natural elements within the cow’s milk. Nut allergies or sensitivities can also be a problem.
The Reasons for Ear Infections
You will also want to cleanse the ears properly. Don’t use earbuds in the ear. Cleaning the ears will help to remove wax, so it is nowhere for bacteria to build up. This is a highly common problem in children and adults and is also known as swimmer’s ear. It will feel like the ear is blocked and has water within it. You may also find that you’re hard of hearing, as the wax blocks the ability for sound to travel through to the inner ear.
Middle ear infections can be due to an allergy or an actual infection. Of course, infections can be viral or bacterial, and antibiotics aren’t going to work on the viral infections!
Make sure you consider the reasons for the infection. Find out from your doctor about the type of infection you or your child have—asking about inner or outer ear infections. This will help you choose the best type of home remedy mentioned above. Remember if there is pus, then you need to avoid anything that goes into your ear.
If your home cures don’t clear the infection up within a couple of days and you haven’t spoken to a doctor yet, make sure you book an appointment. If you have already spoken to a doctor, you will need to share the newer results with them to help them figure out the real reason for the infection.