5 Easy Home Remedies for Ear Infection

Easy ways to get rid of ear infection

ear infection home remedies

In this post, you’ll learn about simple home remedies that’ll help get rid of ear infection.

A study estimated that between 65 and 330 million people worldwide get ear infections.

And for about 60 percent of these individuals, the simple infection turned to serious hearing loss complications.  

The ear is a usually neglected body part.

And it is common for people, especially children, to have their ears infected at least once in their lifetime.

In this article, we’ll discuss easy home remedies for ear infection. 

But first, let’s see what causes these infections and identify the common types of ear infections. 

What are the common types of ear infections?

The common forms of an ear infection usually affect the middle and outer ear. 

Middle ear infections are further divided into three general categories based on their progression.

Otitis Externa

Otitis externa is the inflammation of the ear canal which extends from the outer ear up to the eardrum. 

This usually begins as a simple itchy rash. But then it may develop into swelling, tenderness, redness, and pain.

Acute Otitis Media (AOM)

This type is the most common ear infection. 

Fluid gets caught behind the eardrum and portions of the middle ear and that causes swelling and infected. 

This brings a painful sensation in the ear – termed as earache – which may also be accompanied by fever. 

Otitis Media with Effusion (OME)

OME is caused by leftover fluid behind the eardrum after an infection has subsided. 

No symptoms may show in persons with OME but an ear physician will be able to spot the remaining fluid.

Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion (COME)

When the event of fluid entrapment in the middle ear recurs multiple times, chronic OME happens even without a present ear infection. 

This will eventually negatively affect a person’s hearing and increase the risk of future infections.

What are the causes of ear infections?

Oftentimes, bacteria are to blame for ear infections. But fungi, viruses, and even insects may cause problems in the ears as well.

Exposure to dirty surroundings such as water makes the ear more prone to infections. 

Mechanical damage from rigorous cleaning may also subject the outer skin to bacterial or fungal attacks.

Eustachian tubes are important structures you should be familiar with to understand how ear infection happens. 

Each tube connects the middle of your ear to the back of the throat. 

When these become swollen or blocked, the fluid becomes trapped in the middle ear and results in an ear infection.

Allergies, common colds, sore throat, smoking, and infection of the eustachian tube itself may result in the blockage of this tube. This in turn causes ear infection. 

So what can you do about ear infection? Let’s dive into some home remedies for ear infection.

What are some home remedies for ear infection?

1. Pain relievers

The Harvard Medical School suggests the use of pain relievers to control earache. 

These over-the-counter medications mentioned include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

For children, Acetaminophen dose is based on weight. 

For adults, it is acceptable to take it 4 to 6 times a day as long as the total amount taken does not exceed 3,000 mg. 

Ibuprofen prescription normally ranges from 400 mg to 800 mg every six to eight hours. And it is not advised to take a total of more than 2,400 mg in a day. 

For mild to moderate pain and fever, a 220 mg tablet of naproxen every twelve hours is suggested. 

While it is okay to take these pain relievers on your own, it is always safer to visit a qualified doctor. And ask for a prescription and appropriate dosage of these medications. 

Just keep in mind that you should only take these when needed and never surpass the limit per day. 

2. Neck exercise and massage

Massaging your neck and moving your head around could help relieve built-up pressure in the middle ear and open blocked eustachian tubes.

Follow these simple neck exercises and lessen the pain in your ears. 

First, make sure you are sitting properly with both feet flat on the ground as you perform these steps.

  1. Rotate your head slowly to one side until it aligns with your shoulder.
  2. Do the same for the other side and return your head to the normal position.
  3. Next, slowly raise your shoulders as high as possible. 
  4. Hold this stretched position for five seconds before slowly lowering it.
  5. Repeat these actions as often as you can and need them.

 Exercising is surely one cost-effective ear remedy you can do in the comfort of your home. 

3. Naturopathic ear drops

If you prefer alternative ways to relieve earache then this one’s for you.

As its name implies, naturopathic ear drops have natural origins which are most likely herbal. 

A study examined how effective naturopathic remedy can be for ear infections.

Participants used a concoction of extracts from garlic, great mullein, Calendula Flores, and St. John’s wort in an olive oil base.

Turns out that approach was just as effective as traditional anesthetic ear drops. 

Another research reported similar results. 

The researchers found that herbal extract solutions can help manage pain caused by acute otitis media.

Make sure to follow the dosage of these naturopathic solutions as per instructions. 

For adults, the usual five drops in the affected ear canal three times daily should be enough. 

4. Saltwater gargle

Taking a quick tour in your kitchen will bring you a very easy remedy that can help ease your earache.

Especially if a sore throat is the precursor event to your ear infection, gargling saltwater just might do the trick of easing your earache.

In 8-ounce warm water, dissolve one-fourth or half a teaspoon of salt. 

Gargle a mouthful for a few seconds then spit. Repeat this several times a day. 

5. Olive oil

If saltwater is still not enough, you can revisit your kitchen and look for some olive oil instead.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that using a few drops of warm olive oil in your ear canal is safe. And it may yield decent results in managing ear pain.

But more clinical studies are needed to confirm if olive oil is a potent ear remedy in the long term.

If there are no available naturopathic ear drops in your home or the local drugstore, opt for olive oil instead. 

Olive oil is a commonly used naturopathic ingredient anyway. 

Takeaway

Yes, an ear infection is prevalent and maybe even considered normal. 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

The ear is important not only for hearing but also for balance. And one way of keeping it healthy is by keeping it clean.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid having any form of ear infection in the first place. This way you wouldn’t have to do these ear infection home remedies altogether. 

After all, prevention is still better than cure.

Nevertheless, these ear remedies will surely still come in handy at one point or another.

As a future doctor, providing relevant, interesting, and accurate health information is one of Julia's passion. Through her writing, she is pleased to share her knowledge on health, fitness, and nutrition to other people so that they may live a healthy, happy life.