Natural cures for ear infection in kids

Kids' ear infections are quite common because children are more vulnerable to infections. They are prone to it as they are exposed to and also interact with many other children at a day care or to second-hand smoke from adults who smoke in the house. Some babies may get an infection while lying down and drinking from a bottle. When it comes to ear infections, there are two types that can affect children, otitis media or infection of the middle ear and otitis externa infection of the outer ears. The middle ear infections are often caused by being exposed to too many people and from infections caused by a common cold. Ear infections typically affect the area between tympanic membrane and also the inner ear called the Eustachian tube. Ear infections in children are painful though not threatening and heal within two to four weeks.

Why are kids susceptible to ear infections? Kids' ear infections are common in children under the age of seven; this is because their Eustachian tubes are shorter and at a more horizontal angle than those in adults. When there is an infection in the upper respiratory tract or there is an allergy, the Eustachian tubes swell. This causes the tubes to block the ear, and the air present in the middle is absorbed by the neighboring tissues, creating a vacuum. Soon, fluid begins to accumulate in the middle ear, and this fluid gets infected, resulting in kids' ear infections. The symptoms of an ear infection include ear pain caused by accumulation of pus in the ear and inflammation and redness of the ear. Children will also complain of pain and find it difficult to swallow. They can be irritable and wake up more often in the night. If your child has a common cold, he/she is more likely to have an ear infection.

How to remedy ear infection in children? There are quite a few things to keep in mind in order to prevent recurring ear infections in kids. Ear infection remedies lie in preventing the infection in the first place. Remember not to allow anyone to smoke around children as there are higher risks of ear infections when children are exposed to second-hand smoke. Children in the presence of other children, in the school or in a day care center are also more susceptible to ear infections; hence, ensure proper hygienic conditions and standards for children. In general, advise children to use disposable tissues when they have cold and cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough. Ensure that they wash their hands after sneezing or blowing their nose and do not share food and drinks with sick children. Also, their utensils and personal belongings should not be shared as this is spread an infection that can cause an ear infection.

To reduce pain you can administer a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Natural remedies for ear infections include the use of olive, garlic or vegetable oil. Few drops of any of these oils can be put into the ears to heal and clear the infection; the oils also help in removing any wax or pus that may have been formed. Of these oils, garlic oil is an excellent natural remedy for ear infections as it has both antiseptic and antiviral properties. Warmed onion juice can also be put in the ears for ear infection relief. A warm compress can be given on the ears for ear infection relief. Also, a cup of salt, rock salt, or rice can be warmed, tied in a sock or cloth, and placed on the ears; this is a good natural remedy for ear infections. For child ear infections, this remedy brings relief as it relieves pain and also helps in loosening the pus or fluids that can be drained. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used in the infected ears. Additionally, it helps to elevate the child's mattress to drain the ears, but do not place pillows under the child's head. The child can also sip on warm water to help open the Eustachian tube. In case of recurrent kids' ear infections, or if you suspect hearing loss, get a thorough checkup to rule out any damage to the ears.

answered by G M

Try these home remedies to take care of your ear infection:

  • Keep your child's head in elevated position. This position will help the eustachian tube to drain naturally.
  • Sip warm liquids or simply water as the act of swallowing will help to drain the tube at the back of the throat. The pain would be comparatively less once the tube drains by itself.
  • Apply warm compress on the outer side of the ear. For ease fill a small flat bottle with warm water and use this as pillow while sleeping. The warm heat will help relieve the pain.
  • Extract juice from holy basil and pour 2 drops of it with the help of a dropper in the infected ear. Make him lie down in elevated position for 10 minutes.
  • If the ear infection is due to excessive amounts of ear wax, then clearing this wax becomes very important to relieve the pain.

If the earache and ear infection occurs again, then consult a specialist to know the exact cause for it.

answered by Dr S

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