For the most part, ear infections occur as a reaction to blowing the nose incorrectly, a reaction to an infusion of water from outside the ear, or an allergic response to milk or other allergenic agents. (The exception to this rule is if the person has a congenitalconstitutional defect or a surgeryrelated injury).
Our nose, eyes, mouth, throat, and ears are connected. Each ear has a tiny tube called the Eustachian tube, which is connected to the nasal passages. These delicate tubes are a oneway street and can easily get clogged with mucus when you blow your nose incorrectly. Always keep your mouth open when blowing your nose and blow through both nostrils at the same time. NEVER block one nostril to force a strong gust through the open nostril.
When water gets into your ear, it usually drains out and the ear dries. Sometimes, however, water remains trapped in the ear canal. When this happens, bacteria and fungi can grow and infect the outer ear. Resulting symptoms include:
- Chronic Itching of the ear canal
- Pain in the outer, middle, or inner part of the ear
- Yellow secretion from the ear
- Hearing loss
Causes of Ear Infection
Some of the most common causes of ear infections include:
- Virus or bacteria: Swimming in polluted water or acquiring bacteria from humid conditions can infect the outer, middle, or inner portion of the ear.
- Homeopathic remedies include Gelsemium, Phosphorus, Cocculus, Convallaria
- Congestion from colds and flu: Congestion usually affects the middle ear and can cause inflammation and loss of hearing.
- Swelling and inflammation: Caused by infection and blockage, inflammation accompanies most ear infections.
- Trapped water or earwax: Inner ear infections are usually caused by water trapped inside the ear canal. This moisture can become infected with fungi or bacteria and cause hearing loss and other problems.
Treatments and Prevention
A buildup of cerumen (earwax) can lead to and complicate these infections. The most effective way of extricating the buildup of earwax is not with cotton swabs! Cotton swabs can push the wax farther into the ear canal and irritate or damage the sensitive skin of the outer ear. Earwax is best removed by gently flushing the ear canal with a 5050 solution of hydrogen peroxide (3% solute) and water. Warm the water first, then add the peroxide to cool it. Put this solution into an ear bulb syringe (you can get one at the drugstore) and gently squirt the solution into your ear. Have a bowl and/or towel under the ear to catch all of the material that comes out. This same solution also combats the infection.
Other natural products that are effective in treating ear infections include: apple cider vinegar, grapefruit seed extract (diluted), and unscented, warmed garlic oil. All are best eyedropped gently into the ear canal.
Treatments for Children
Research suggests that probiotics may help children beat chronic ear infections. Some children are prone to ear infections, and may require surgery to enable ear drainage. Experts now are beginning to realize that the antibiotics usually prescribed to treat these infections may actually prolong the problems (this is a situation that we are hearing more and more regarding traditional medical treatments in general). By destroying the friendly bacteria that keep harmful bacteria in check, antibiotics may actually promote painful, chronic ear infections. If your child suffers from chronic ear infections, opt for probiotics instead of antibiotics. Probiotics will help your child’s body fight the infection for good.