Unfortunately, ear infections are quite common, particularly in children. The ear canal is one of the most susceptible parts of the body to fungal and bacterial infections. It is estimated that over twenty million visits to pediatricians are for ear infections.
Although ear infections are more common in young children, adults can also suffer from them. In fact, some adults are prone to ear infections and will get them quite frequently. Those who suffer from ear infections regularly might be interested to read on and learn more about ear infection symptoms, causes, and home remedies to treat them.
An ear infection in medical terms is known as ‘otitis media’. An infection will occur directly behind the eardrum and is usually caused by bacteria which has come from an outside source. Ear infection often occurs when a person has cold and blocked Eustachian tubes and bacteria can then form within the tubes. Another source of ear infection is excess moisture in the ear, usually water remaining in the ear following swimming, which has resulted in the ear being more susceptible to bacteria.
As part of the ear’s regular physiological process, the Eustachian tubes will drain any fluid accumulating within it. If the tubes do not drain or are blocked, which can offer to occur during a bout of the common cold, then an ear infection may develop.
These are the basics of what causes ear infections, now let’s take a look at some symptoms. Pain is by far the most noticeable symptom. Pain that accompanies an ear infection can be quite mild, or it can be excruciating. In some cases there may be discharged from the ear but not always. Fever may also be present with ear infections and some people will experience loss of balance or dizziness, this occurs because the ear is responsible for our sense of balance.
There are a number of ways to treat ear infections and antibiotics are often prescribed if you see a doctor. However, depending on when symptoms begin with an ear infection, a person isn’t always able to see their doctor immediately. If, for example, pain begins at night, they may not be able to visit a doctor until the morning. In the meantime, their ear infection can be causing a great deal of pain, and so they need some pain relief.
When you have to wait a significant amount of time, this is when home remedies can come in handy. You can use over-the-counter ear drops if you have any on hand, but if not there are some remedies you can make using ingredients that you might have in the kitchen.
A few drops of lemon juice in the sore ear can relieve pain and also stop the infection in its tracks. A mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar will also have a similar effect. Cooking garlic in olive oil, draining, let cool and then apply a few drops into the ear will also help to relieve pain.
These are just a few home remedies that you can try if you are not able to get to a doctor for some time. It is always best to see a doctor when you can get a proper diagnosis.