Ear infections are commonly observed during the winter. Children and adults suffer equally from this disorder due to colds, coughs, throat infections and allergies. Ear infections are mainly of two types: Oitis Media and Oitis Externa.
In Oitis Media, the Eustachian tube of the mid ear gets inflamed due to the accumulation of fluid causing pain. Blockage of this tube causes ear infections and pains. This is mainly observed in infants and children during winter. This requires immediate medical attention as the infection may spread to the eardrum causing loss of hearing.
Oitis Externa also known as swimmers ear - is an infection in the outer ear canal that occurs from the residual water and moisture in the ear as a result of swimming. Presence of moisture for a long time favours the growth of bacteria and fungus causing infection.
Renowned (Ear Nose & Throat) ENT specialist Dr. Shalabh Sharma, Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, opines that the Eustachian tube decongests naturally when the head is in an upright position. This is the reason that ear pain during the day is not as bothersome. However, the pain shoots at night while sleeping.
Some simple home remedies for ear infections can help in mitigating its symptoms substantially:
Warm a little sesame seed oil, adding a clove of garlic. Then pour a few drops of this oil in both the ears simultaneously. This is one of the common home remedies for ear ache.
Keep your head in the upright position as far as possible while sleeping. You can place 2-3 pillows to raise your head. This helps in the decongestion of the Eustachian tube.
Extract some juice from the basil leaves and pour a few drops in the infected ear. The juice of basil helps in fighting infection, and reducing the pain.
Boil some mango leaves in water and strain the extract. Apply a few drops of this extract in the infected ear.
Application of hot foments or compresses are also useful in reducing ear aches. Wet a towel in hot water and wring it almost dry. Press this hot towel gently over the infected ear. You can also use hot water bottles for this purpose. Make sure that the heat is within tolerable limits.
Application of onion juice is another useful ear infection home remedy.
Priya Khanna found home remedies for ear infections quite effective. She recalls, “My husband was suffering from painful ear infections due to the cold. His nasal passages were also blocked creating difficulty in breathing. I suggested sesame oil treatments and hot compresses after going through different websites. These treatments reduced his pain considerably and he could sleep peacefully.”
Ear-infections should not be left untreated, as they may create further complications in the ear drum. Besides, it is recommended not to clean the ears with cotton buds or any other ear cleaning sticks available in local shops. Add medicated drops to clean out the wax or visit an ENT clinic.
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