Human ear is one among the five major sensory organs in the body through which we are able to hear any external or internal sounds.
Due to the technological development, today we can use the hearing aids to receive and perceive the sound waves, in case of hearing loss. But these hearing aids does not work and serve in a same way like the natural ears. Thus maintaining the health of our ears is much important so that we can enjoy its natural benefits.
Basically the ear is formed of three zones.
- External ear,
- Middle ear, and
- Internal ear.
Among these three parts of the ear, the infection happens mostly in the middle ear. The middle ear is the part which is partially closed and dark where the ear wax is produced to prevent the echo to hear the natural sounds properly.
And as infection can be easily caused due to moisture present in this area it is more prone to getting the infections.
Ear Infection: Who Is At Higher Risk?
Ear infection is one of the most common problem that can occur in humans. In medical terminology the ear infection is coined as otitis media.
It can cause a severe pain which may sometimes much more than as experienced due to a bone fracture.
The incidence of ear infection is higher in case of male community when compared with females.
Individuals with poor immune system or with chronic respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma are highly prone to get an ear infection. Kids studying in day care centers are also at higher chances to suffer from ear infections.
Infants and babies are highly prone to getting these kinds of infections. It has been often seen that bottle fed babies are at higher chances of getting the ear infection when compared to the breastfed babies, due to the chances of getting infected by unhygienic baby bottles.
Causes of Ear Infection
The middle ear is the most risky area which usually gets infected very easily. This is because the middle ear is connected with the upper respiratory tract through a small channel which is called as Eustachian tube.
The infection or germs present in the sinus cavities, can easily pass into the middle ear through this eustachian tube which causes ear infection. For this, the ear should be cleaned regularly for good hygiene and proper ventilation offered by fresh and natural air.
In case when the middle ear is blocked or clogged with greater amounts of wax and impurities, it creates a warm environment for the germs and infections to grow healthily, hence causing infections in the ear.
The most common causes of getting the ear infection are as follows:
- Respiratory infections like cold, flu, allergic rhinitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, etc.
- Respiratory allergy due to inhalation of toxic fumes, gases, smokes and other environmental toxins
- From activities such as swimming, flying, listening high sound music
- Improper humidity (generally high humid conditions)
Early Signs and Symptoms of Ear Infection
Generally the onset of signs and symptoms are rapid in case of ear infection. These symptoms may include:
- Sharp and prickling ear pain experienced while in the lying posture
- Difficulty in sleeping because of the sharp shooting pain in the ear
- Difficulty in hearing the sounds and thus responding poorly to others
- Drainage of watery substance and sometimes thick liquid from the ear passage
- Experiencing headache and fever all the time, etc.
Small children use to cry and scream due to the heavy intolerable pain in their ear. Children with ear infection may also lose their balance and often fall down because of this issue. They may lose their appetite and usually refuse to eat.
Diagnosis of Ear Infection
Ear infection can be diagnosed early by a simple ear examination done with the help of long beam torch light. In case if you are visiting a doctor then you will be examined with the help of the small lighted medical instrument called an otoscope with which the middle ear can be viewed easily and completely.
In case you are suffering from an ear infection, middle ear areas may generally show dullness and redness with bulging. To have a confirming diagnosis your sinuses, throat and mouth should also be examined together.
When To Visit A Doctor?
In case of any discharge of fluid or pus from the ears, you should visit the doctor as soon as possible. Because this is an alarming sign of a severe infection which need to be rectified soon. You should also visit the nearby hospital or can meet a doctor immediately when the following things happen:
- The signs and symptoms lasting for more than 24 hours,
- When the pain in the ear becomes severe which you cannot tolerate at all,
- When the problem is irritating you heavily is affecting your regular day to day activities,
How To Treat Ear Infection Naturally?
An immediate treatment protocol for ear infection is removing the debris from the middle ear and administering powerful antibiotics and NSAID’s (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). These over the counter medications along with ear infection drop can prove useful for getting the problems solved fast.
In case you want to get the best home remedies for ear infection you can consider using: apple cider vinegar, onion extract, garlic drop or extract, mango leaf juice, basil leaves, olive oil, breast milk, etc.
I personally tried a warm compress therapy for treating my kid’s ear infection which is not a major one. And it worked good for me. I tried my classic hot water bottle for his ear infection which I use for many other health issues. If you want you can use a warm and wet wash cloth or a rice heating pack which will also work in a similar way.
Does Humidifier Help?
One important thing you need to keep in mind is to maintain proper atmospheric humidity level to keep all the ear infection problems at bay. If proper humidity is not maintained in the air around you, it may lead to other major problems worsening your ear infection.
For maintaining the optimum humidity in my rooms I personally use Crane cool mist humidifier. It offers wide range of great humidifiers which can be used for avoiding ear infections and other health issues without any hassle. You can use it conveniently in your home or even in an office.
No matter what natural remedies you try at home to treat ear infection naturally, just take care that you do it carefully. And if you find the problem getting worse consult your doctor immediately so that you can get the immediate medical treatment for ear infection.
Eliana is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for seniors. She has already worked as an associate editor on various mom, baby, home appliances, kitchen and healthy living blogs. In her spare time she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.