Bacterial or viral infections may take up residence in our ears, causing fluid buildup, inflammation and lingering pain. This can happen to anyone at any age and can be chronic or acute, with making it potentially dangerous. This is why it’s important to know more about the condition and the various treatments available to you. This will making you feel better and live longer.
Ear Infection: What is this Condition?
Otitis, known simply as an ear infection, is a viral or bacterial infection affecting the middle ear. As previously states, this condition can cause a buildup of fluids or inflammation in the internal spaces of the middle part of the ear. Ear infections can become increasingly painful if they press against the ear drum.
Children are generally more prone to ear infections, while adults tend to get infections in other organs. In fact, about 90% of American children suffer from ear infections even before they start school. Usually, they are treated with strong antibiotics, which have no harmful side effects.
While antibiotics and painkillers can provide quick relief, they don’t necessarily cure the root of the infection. There are also other home remedies which can relieve the problem without any side effects.
Ear infections can be acute or chronic. Acute ear infections are painful, but only last a short period of time, while chronic ear infections are either recurring or don’t clear up at all. In severe cases, chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage to the inner and middle ear.
Types of Ear Infections
Here are the three main categories of ear infections:
- COME – Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion. This refers to the fluid that repeatedly returns to the middle ear. This can occur with or without the presence of infection.
- OME – Otitis Media with Effusion. This occurs when, after having an ear infection, there is still some leftover fluid in the eardrum.
- AOM – Acute Otitis Media. This is the most common and least severe ear infection, occuring when the ear becomes infected and swollen, trapping fluid in the ear drum.
Ear Infections: Causes
An ear infection may occur when one of the Eustachian tubes suddenly becomes blocked and swollen. This causes a buildup of fluid in the middle part of the ear. Other common causes of ear infections include:
- Air pressure changes in the ear
- Swollen or infected adenoids
- Excess mucus
- Sinus infections
Ear Infections: Risk Factors
Here are some of the most common factors that may increase the risk of ear infections:
- Recent ear infection or illness
- Use of pacifiers
- Cigarette smoke exposure
- Weather changes
- Altitude changes
Ear Infections: Symptoms
Here are some of the most common symptoms of ear infections:
- Loss of appetite
- Drainage of the fluid from the ear
- Fever of 38 C or higher
- Loss of balance
- Hard time hearing or responding to sounds
- Acting more irritable than usual
- Crying more than usual
- Pulling or tugging at the ear
- Ear pain
- Diminished hearing
- Fluid drainage in the ear
- Ear pain
Treatments for Ear Infections
Here are some of the most beneficial treatments for ear infections:
- Goldenseal and Echinacea: these two famous herbs help cleanse the body’s internal systems, which may effectively prevent ear infections.
- Hot bag pressing: this helps get rid of ear infections by completely relieving the pain the condition causes.
- Garlic ear drops: this is one of the best antibacterial treatments for ear infections. Applying the drops to the ears twice a day; even just a few drops may help relieve the root of the condition.
- Hydrogen peroxide: this helps clean an infected ear and reduces the severity with its antibacterial properties. It is important to add warm water to the hydrogen peroxide in order to have a more soothing effect on the pain.
- Gentle massage: severe ear infection can be extremely uncomfortable. Massaging the ear may help gradually release the pain as well as facilitate further recovery.