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Ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses in the middle ear. Ear infections occur more often in children than adults. Some causes and contributing factors that lead to ear infections are wax buildup, upper respiratory infections, food allergies, environmental allergies, fetal alcohol syndrome, genetics, nutritional deficiencies and internal injuries. Some common signs that someone is suffering from an ear infection are pain in the ear, tugging at the ear, difficulty sleeping, headache, poor response to sounds, high fever, fluid draining from the ear, vomiting, diarrhea and so on.
Each part has specific functions that help a person hear. You can see in the diagram that the outer ear which shape like a leaf captures the traveling sound waves. In the outer part of our ear, there is a section called as pinna and through this section the sound waves enter into the ear canal. Through the ear canal the sound waves reach the eardrum which is located in the middle part. In addition, the middle section of the ear also has other important ear organs like hammer, anvil, stir up, semicircular, and middle canal. Through the canal, sound waves travel to the inner section of our ear. In the inner part of the ear, there are important ear parts like cochlea, Eustachian tube, and nerves. Sound waves from the canal are sent to the nerves so that the brain can process the sound. After that we are able to recognize the sound and understand it.
An ear infection can occur in any of the three parts. Inner ear infections are the most serious. It is important to treat an ear infection to prevent complications, including damaging or rupturing the ear drum. Untreated ear infections can also lead to chronic recurrence and can even cause deafness! It is important to consult a doctor, but for immediate relief you can try some natural treatments.There are many time-honored, simple and easy home remedies that can help to get rid of the pain and other symptoms of an ear infection.
Heat up one cup of salt on a pan over low heat for a few minutes. You can also heat it in a microwave or double-boiler.Place the hot salt on a cloth and seal the open end with rubber band (or tie a knot).When it is bearably hot, lay down and put the cloth on the affected ear for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat this remedy daily as many times as needed. The heat generated from the sock will help draw out fluid from the ear and relieve swelling and pain.
[Rice can be used instead of salt]
2. Holy Basil or Tulasi
Crush four to five fresh holy basil leaves gently to extract the juice. Apply the basil juice on or around the infected ear. Avoid getting the juice in the ear canal.You can also mix a few drops of holy basil oil with an equal amount of carrier oil like coconut oil. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and gently wipe just inside the ear, around the outer edge and behind the ear. Repeat the process twice daily.
3. Olive Oil
One of the main causes of an ear infection is wax in the ear catching some fungal or bacterial growth leading to a blockage in the Eustachian tubes. You can easily clear the obstruction with the help of olive oil.
Warm some olive oil slightly. Put a few drops of the warm oil into the infected ear. The oil will cause the wax to soften. Remove the infected wax with cotton-tipped swabs. Be careful not to put the swab too far in the ear or you might damage the eardrum.
4. Onion Juice
Onion is a very common ingredient used in cooking. It has medicinal uses too, including for the treatment of an ear infection.
Chop one small onion, put it in a bowl and microwave it for one to two minutes. Allow it to cool and then strain out the onion juice. Put two to three drops of the juice in the infected ear, leave it for sometime and then turn your head to let it drain out of your ear. Place the cloth on the infected ear for five minutes. Wait for 10 minutes and then repeat the process.
5. Mango leaf extract
Mango leaf extract is a quick and effective treatment.Crush or grind two to three soft mango leaves to extract the juice. Slightly warm the juice. Using a dropper, put three to four drops of the juice into the infected ear. Within a few minutes, you will feel relief from the pain.
Follow this remedy two to three times a day for full relief from ear infection.
6. Breast Milk
Breast milk has natural antibodies that can help speed up the healing process of any kind of ear infection. It will alleviate swelling and discomfort and can get rid of an ear infection within one or two days. This remedy works for both children and adults
Using a dropper, put a few drops of breast milk into the affected ear
Repeat the process every few hours as needed.
Breast milk also can be used to treat eye infections, minor cuts and minor burns.
(Image: Representation only)