While ear infections can occur at any age, they are most common in early childhood and infancy. In fact, ear infections are the reason for more than half the visits to pediatricians in the United States. Ear infection home remedies for babies can help reduce the pain and infection.
Statistics show that acute ear infections affect two-third of American children under age two. While chronic ear infections affect two-thirds of children under age six.
Ear infections in babies
Middle-ear infections can be quite painful. There may be a fever, perhaps a very high one, with some hearing difficulty or nausea and vomiting. If your child pulls or slaps at his or her ear, an infection is a strong possibility. Take all ear infections and ear pain seriously. Following treatments can be used to relieve pain, but do call a doctor for professional advice in the presence of a sustained fever or if the ear continues to hurt.
If you or your child experiences severe ear pain, followed by a sudden relief and a discharge of blood or pus, consult a doctor immediately, even if you or the child feels well.
Types of ear infection
There are two main categories of ear infection. The first is an outer car infection. also known as swimmer‘s ear infection or otitis externa, it affects the ear canal which runs from the ear opening to the eardrum. It happens when a substance (usually water-hence the nickname) enters the ear canal and is trapped there by a buildup of wax. In this stagnant condition. bacteria breed and flourish. The body responds to the infection with inflammation, redness, pain and sometimes a fever.
The second category, called middle-ear infection or otitis media, is much more common. especially in very young children and infants.
Cause of ear infection
Most ear infections are usually associated with an upper respiratory infection or an allergy. Forty percent of cases involve bacterial infection. Many ear infections involve a viral infection that is unresponsive to antibiotics.
Studies published in the British Medical journal found that there was no significant difference in children with acute ear infections when antibiotics were given, as compared to a placebo.
Chronic middle ear infection is caused due to chronic swelling of the ear drum as a result of fluid accumulation. One of the reasons infants are more susceptible to ear infections is due to the fact that the eustachian tube (which drains fluid from the middle ear) is more horizontal than it is in adults and does not drain as efficiently. This tube becomes more vertical and drains better as children get older.
Common causes of ear infection in babies
- Buildup of wax.
- The result of cleaning the ears with cotton swabs
- Upper respiratory infections
- Food allergies
- Environmental allergies (Smoking or secondhand smoke, which irritates the eustachian tube and causes inflammation behind the ear drum)
- Not being breastfed: Breast feeding allows for the transport of immune factors from the mother to the child and matures the digestive tract
- Fetal alcohol syndrome: Moro than 90 percent of children with fetal alcohol Syndrome (which occurs from the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy) have problems with ear infections.
- Genetic: 60 percent of all children with Down`s syndrome experience problems with otitis media.
- Nutritional deficiencies of vitamins A and C and essential fatty-acid imbalance.
- Injuries: Children who suffered a trauma at birth (forceps delivery, vacuum extraction)
Ear infection home remedies for babies
The key is to prevent the build-up of the fluid in middle ear with a proper diet.
Food allergens, such as cow’s milk and sugar, trigger a cascade of inflammation responses that often result in mucus and fluid. These foods are often the root problem. In addition. avoiding environmental allergens is important particularly the secondhand smoke, Addressing food allergies and environmental allergens is crucial so that “germs” do not have an environment to grow in. Of course, a healthy functioning immune system is also key in preventing infection.
Some ear infections are the result of a malfunctioning or still-developing eustachian tube, the passage that connects the three bones of the middle car to the nose and the throat. W hen the eustachian tube is not working properly; mucus is not able to drain from behind the eardrum into the upper respiratory tract; instead it remains trapped causes pain and pressure. This situation leads to infection, especially if there has already been a mucus-producing disease of the upper respiratory system. such as a cold or the Flu.
Garlic / Mullein drops
Place 2 warm drops in the affected ear three times daily. Do not use if the eardrum is perforated or if fluid is draining out of the ear.
These herbs have antibacterial/antiviral effects and natural pain-relieving qualities.
Echinacea and goldenseal to treat ear infection
Adults can take 4 ml and children 2 ml four times daily or as directed on the label. Echinacea and goldenseal enhance immune function.
Vitamin C to boost immune system and fight ear infections
Adults should take l,000 mg three to four times daily and children 500 mg three times daily. Reduce the dosage if diarrhea occurs. Vitamin C enhances immune function and reduces Inflammation.
Aromatherapy with Chamomile oil to wash infected ear
Chamomile oil makes a gentle wash for the infected ear. Dilute chamomile oil in a career oil and drop couple of drops into the ear. After ten minutes, lie down on your side, with your infected ear turn downwards, towards the floor. Let the oil drain out, keep a towel handy.
Treat outside Earache (Otitis Externa)
If your child’s earache pain is close to the outside of your head. it’s probably being caused by otitis externa, an infection of the ear canal characterized by sharp, localized pain and a wet, weeping discharge. To prevent this condition, rinse the ears after every swim with a bulb syringe and a solution of diluted rubbing alcohol, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (one teaspoon in two tablespoons of warm water).
Baking Soda Rinse
To treat an active infection, rinse the ears three times a day with a solution of baking soda, which will correct the pH. Dissolve a teaspoon into a cup of water, then use a few tablespoons to rinse out your ears with the syringe. Next use a few drops of a natural antimicrobial agent, like tea tree oil or garlic or grapefruit seed extract, diluted in a few teaspoons of olive oil (you also can buy prepared ear drops). Lie on your side and tilt your head and drip the oil into your ears several times a day. And to help your body fight the infection, take echinacea or astragalus.
Onions & Garlic
Rich in sulfur compounds, onion fights ear infections when used topically. It works wonders, especially when there’s associated congestion from a cold.
If the pain lingers, add a few drops of garlic oil. But make sure the oil is tepid, no hotter.
Saute an onion in a tiny bit of water until translucent, and load the mixture into an old, clean sock or flannel cloth. While the onion is still warm, put the sock over the ear and hold it in place. If the ache is deep, treat both ears even if only one hurts.
To make garlic-infused oil, add three or four crushed cloves of garlic to 1/4 cup olive oil and warm them gently in a saucepan for 20 minutes. Strain and cool. Using a dropper, add a few drops of warm oil into the ear canal every four hours until the infection clears.
Homeopathy treatment for ear infection
Many people and practitioners, have had great success treating car infections with homeopathic remedies. Jennifer Jacobs, M.D. a family practitioner and homeopath outside Seattle. says, “I’ve found middle ear infections to be the most amenable to homeopathic remedies.“
To prescribe the right homeopathic remedy, a doctor evaluates an individual’s symptoms as well as his or her personality. If you have a chronic ear infection you must visit a doctor, where you’ll discuss your medical history and all your other symptoms. If this is the first earache you’ve ever had, or it’s the first time in five years, then have a go.” Here are some suggestion, along with the primary symptoms they treat.
Aconite: Pain that comes on suddenly after a shock or chill.
Belladonna: Severe throbbing pain; child is oversensitive and cranky.
Chamomilla: Unbearable pain; fever; child is impatient and angry.
Lycopodium: Pain on right side only; stopped-up nose; cold extremities.
Magnesia phosphorica: Pain reduced by the application of heat or pressure.
Mercurius solubilis: Pain accompanied by swollen glands and sweating.
Pulsatilla: Red and swollen external ear; this one is good for most infections.
For any of these remedies take a 12C dose every one to two hours (Or as Often as every 30 minutes if the ear ache is very painful). Give the remedy about six doses to work; if you don’t see results. try another. Stop taking the remedy when you see marked improvement.
Important recommendations for babies with ear infections
- Do not bottle-feed while children are lying on their backs, they should be at 30-degree angle or more to prevent fluid accumulation in the eustachian tube.
- Do not smoke or expose your children to secondhand smoke
- Avoid moisture in the ears during infections, put cotton gently in the outside of the ear while giving a bath or washing face.
- Do not take them to swimming until the infection has cleared
- Apply heat locally to reduce pain, apply hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or blow hairdryer gently onto the affected ear.
Treatment of ear infection with diet
These dietary suggestions will help alleviate pain. More importantly many of them will also prevent recurring infections.
Significant changes in your child’s diet may be necessary for optimal results. Work with a nutrition-oriented doctor.
- A good diet based on whole grains, High quality protein and fresh fruits and vegetables will build up the immune system and discourage infection.
- Drink plenty of water to thin mucus secretions.
- Essential fatty acids, found in cold water fish, flaxseeds, and flaxseeds oil are effective in reducing the inflammation or the allergies that are often present.
- Switch bottle-fed babies to a nondairy formula, with your doctor’s supervision.
- Breastfeeding mothers should avoid common allergens (e.g; cow’s milk), in order to not pass the allergenic portions through the breast milk.
Food to avoid during ear infections
Investigate the probability of food allergies, especially to dairy, wheat, sugar, citrus fruits, eggs, or chocolate.
If you discover a trigger food, remove it from your diet. If ear infections recur or are chronic, suspend the consumption of dairy products indefinitely. For infants and young children who are bottle-fed, replace the regular cow‘s milk formula with a hypoallergenic/predigested formula. Simple sugars suppress the immune system, so stay away from refined sugars and also avoid refined carbohydrates, found in white flour and most baked and processed foods.
Detoxification to heal ear infections – (for adults only)
A three day juice fast can help breakup excess mucus in the adult’s body. Use this therapy for adults only. Children should never fast.