Causes Of Middle Ear Earache
The middle ear is separated from the external ear canal by the eardrum, and this is the location of nerves involved with hearing. It is a relatively closed space and anything that increases pressure in the middle ear will cause pain.
- Middle ear infections are a common cause of otitis media especially in children. These are commonly caused by a virus or bacteria that invades and infects stagnant fluid in the middle ear.
- Serious otitis media describes fluid collection within the middle ear and is usually due to Eustachian tube dysfunction. This is the tube that drains fluid and equalizes pressure between the middle ear and the back of the throat. Increased pressure may cause pain and fullness but usually resolves over time. However, this fluid may also become infected, causing pain and fever.
Causes Of A Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infections are caused by viruses and bacteria, often resulting from other conditions that can cause blockage and swelling of the eustachian tubes that connect the throat and the middle ear. When this happens, a vacuum is created, allowing germs and fluid from the throat to enter the middle ear. A middle ear infection develops when bacteria or viruses grow in this fluid.
Children are more susceptible to middle ear infections than adults, partly because their eustachian tubes are narrower, so they are more easily blocked. Children also have relatively larger adenoids than adults. These are masses of tissue situated at the point where the nose bends into the throat that are vulnerable to infection, swelling and inflammation Ã¢â¬â when this happens, they can block the eustachian tubes and cause a middle ear infection.
Put Warm Oil In The Ear
For pain caused due to ear infection without a hole in the eardrum, putting a few drops of warm oil gently into the ear canal can help. You can warm the oil with garlic or ginger for better results. Moreover, several essential oils can also work. These oils are very effective for ear infection as these all are anti-inflammatory in nature.
Earache Remedies You Can Try
1. Hot or cold compress
The skinny: Grab an ice or heat pack and put it onthe affected ear to help with the pain.
Doctors advice: The temperature you use is up to you. Wrap it in a towel tomake sure its not too cold or too hot. You dont want to cause any burns.
2.Over-the-counter pain relievers
The skinny: Pain relievers work as advertised, helping take the edge off the pain.
Doctors advice:Both adults and kids can rest easier when they take acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the right dosage. These medications reduce pain and fever, making you feel more comfortable.
3. Sleep position
The skinny: How you sleep can affect ear pain. Rest with your head on two or more pillows, so the affected ear is higher than the rest of your body. Or if the left ear has an infection, sleep on your right side. Less pressure = less ear pain.
Doctors advice: It could be effective, though a few inches may not make a big difference in pressure measurement. But if it makes you feel better, go for it.
How To Treat An Ear Infection At Home
Which parts of the ear can become infected?
How To Draw Out Infection With A Warm Compress
1. Boil Some Water
To start from scratch, boil some clean water in a kettle. At this point, you can add some herbs to make the water infusion more potent. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so make the temperature not scalding hot.
If you have warm water on your thermos already, you can skip this step and proceed to step 2 directly.
2. Wet The Washcloth
With a clean washcloth or small towel, wet it with warm water. The temperature of the water should be not too hot because you might end with burns on top of your infected wounds or boils.
If youre dealing with a small infection, you can wet a small part of the washcloth, just enough to cover the infected area.
3. Apply To The Infected Area
Apply the warm compress on the infected part several times of the day. You need to let the warm compress stay on the infected area for about 10-15 minutes. This will help make the head of the boil become prominent, enough to burst naturally.
Though An Ear Infection Is More Frequently Diagnosed In Children It Is Also Common In Adults Know The Type Of Infection You Have And Get Treatments Early
The ear is one of the most sensitive body parts. This sensory organ should be cared properly to avoid various problems, such as an ear infection. An ear infection is a common condition. Even though it is more frequently diagnosed in children, it is also common in adults. The ear consists of the three main parts: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves reach the outer ear first, then middle ear and then travel to the inner ear. A number of conditions can influence your hearing and ear infections are the most frequent.
When To Come Into Gohealth Urgent Care
Most earaches will go away in a few days. But if it doesnt get better, or symptoms worsen in 24 to 48 hours, its time to visit a GoHealth Urgent Care center.
Other reasons to seek medical advice include:
- Pus-like fluid or blood oozing from the ear
- A high fever
- Headache and dizziness
- Swelling behind the ear
- An object might be stuck in your ear and needs to be removed
- Severe ear pain that suddenly stops
Healthcare professionals at our centers regularly see and treat earaches and ear infections. Just use the dropdown below to save your spot online or you can walk in to the GoHealth Urgent Care nearest you.
Complications Associated With A Middle Ear Infection
Complications from middle ear infections are extremely uncommon, but can occur, especially in very young children with a not yet fully developed immune system. These complications include:
- Mastoiditis: When the infection spreads into the bones of the ear. Symptoms include fever, pain, tenderness, headache and a creamy discharge from the ear. This condition is treatable, but seeking medical attention early is important.
- Cholesteatoma: A result of tissue build-up from recurrent instances of infection. If left untreated, the condition can cause serious damage. Treatment typically involves surgery.
- Labyrinthitis: A condition that occurs when an infection in the middle ear spreads to the inner ear. Symptoms include dizziness, hearing loss, vertigo and loss of balance. It is treatable.
- Other complications: Other possible complications include facial paralysis, meningitis and brain abscess, but these conditions are extremely rare.
Types Of Ear Infection In Adults
The majority of ear infections are the outer ear infection , but the middle ear infection can also occur .
Outer Ear Infection
Outer ear infections are also known as swimmer’s ear, because it is a common swimmer’s problem. Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer canal of the ear. It happens when contaminated water gets into the outer ear letting germs to grow and develop because of the moist, warm conditions.
Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infection is most often a viral or bacterial infection that affects the air-filled space behind the eardrum, containing small vibrating bones of the ear. When bacteria or fluid gets trapped inside the ear, an infection might occur.
How To Use It
If using OTC drops, follow the directions on the label.
Baby Ear Infection Symptoms
You need to pay more attention to signs of infection in the baby’s ear. Because the baby can’t communicate like adults, so he can’t tell if his ear hurts. For that you need to recognize some of the following baby ear infections symptoms.
- Being fussy and often tugging at his ears.
- Discharge from the baby’s ear.
- Baby’s ears smell.
- He looks sick and cries a lot.
How Are Ear Infections Treated When Home Remedies Dont Work
When home remedies prove to be ineffective, types of ear infections are treated differently.
- Acute otitis externa- Also known as swimmers ear, doctors prescribe antibiotic ear drops.
- Otitis media with effusion- This type of infection cures on its own and doesnt require antibiotics.
- Acute otitis media- The bodys immune system is able to fight off this infection in the middle ear. Sometimes, antibiotics are also needed to treat the infection.
How To Make A Warm Compress At Home
If using a compress isnt easy enough, making one at home is even simpler.
To start, you can warm water in a clean pot on a stovetop. You can also run warm water from your tap.
Soak a clean cloth in water at the ideal temperature. Right between warm and comfortably hot is recommended, or at a temperature most comfortable for the person receiving treatment.
Be careful not to make the water too hot because the skin around the eyes is quite sensitive.
Next, apply the compress as described earlier.
For those who want to incorporate extra benefits to their warm compresses, herbal extracts and teas may be used.
Add five drops of herbal extracts or tinctures.
Compresses can be made from an herbal tea or infusion before being applied, too. Just make sure to fully strain out any herbal matter before applying to eyes.
Herbs like garlic and echinacea have antibacterial properties. They could help reduce infection in pink eye, styes, or other infections.
As with any warm compress, make sure to keep your eyes closed and be aware that some herbs may irritate the skin.
How Can Chronic Ear Infection In Both Ears Affect You
Having a chronic ear infection in both ears can lead to complications that affect other parts of your body. Chronic ear infections are not to be confused with recurrent ear infections. Chronic ear infections do not heal, while recurrent ones heal and come back. If you have a chronic bilateral ear infection, talk to your doctor to identify the cause and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
How To Draw Out Infection With Poultices
Option 1: Potato Poultice
1. Grate The Potato
To begin making the potato poultice, grate the raw potato using a box grater. You can keep the skin intact if its free from dark spots. Shred the potato like youre creating hash browns. The potato shreds should be soft and mushy.
Watch how the grating is done along with the rest of the steps in this video here:
2. Apply The Poultice To The Infected Area
After shredding the right amount of potato, transfer it to a small paper towel. Spread it well and cover it with another piece of paper towel to keep the poultice together. Now, you can apply the poultice to the infected area.
3. Secure Well
Secure the poultice by wrapping it with a plastic wrap. Make sure that you dont wrap it too tight to prevent blood flow nor too loose to let the poultice fall. Next, follow it through with a bandage.
Option 2: Bread And Milk Poultice
1. Soak The Bread In Milk
In a bowl, place one slice of bread and pour a little amount of warm milk over it – just enough to moisten the bread. Let the bread soaked for about a minute. You can break the bread as well to create a paste. Watch how this specific method is done in this video here:
2. Apply On The Infection
After your bread and milk mixture has turned to a paste, pop some of it and apply it on the infection. You can secure the bread poultice on the infected area by wrapping it with a gauze. You can ask someone to do the wrapping for you.
Diagnosing A Middle Ear Infection
A doctor will generally be able to diagnose a middle ear infection by considering a person’s symptoms and looking for specific signs. Using an otoscope , a doctor will be able to look into the ears, throat and nose for any signs of infection. While the area around the eardrum will most likely be red and swollen, this will normally only be noticeable upon examination with an otoscope. The ear itself will generally not be red or swollen.
In some cases, especially when the condition is predicted to have taken the form of otitis media with effusion, a pneumatic otoscope may be used to confirm a diagnosis. This instrument pumps air into the middle ear and measures the resulting pressure changes. If little response is felt, this indicates the presence of fluid in the ear.
To further confirm a middle ear infection diagnosis, a doctor may order a number of further tests, including:
What Natural Or Home Remedies Soothe And Provide Earache Pain Relief
Earaches may often be treated at home. The goal is to decrease inflammation and pain.
Ear Infection Remedies Using Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil obtained from the Australian tree Melaleuca Alterniflora is known for its excellent anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. This is an essential oil and an essential oil should be used in a diluted form. In case of ear infection, this oil can be mixed with a carrier oil like almond or olive oil.
Tea Tree Oil Home Remedy for Ear Infection #1
- Mix tea tree oil, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
- Heat the mixture to make it slightly warm .
- Now lie down on your side with your infected ear on the outer side. Place a towel under your head.
- Using the dropper, pour the warm mixture into your ear.
- Let the mixture stay there for a couple of minutes.
- Now turn your side and lie down on the other side with infected ear below so that the extra mixture drains out of your ear.
- Repeat this twice or thrice a day. You will be able to feel the results in about two days. Discontinue after 2 days.
Tea Tree Oil Home Remedy for Ear Infection #2
- Tea tree essential oil- 10 drops
- Lavender essential oil- 10 drops
- Mix all the three oils well.
- Apply this oil mixture with gentle hands around your infected ear to get relief from ear infection and inflammation.
Tea Tree Oil Home Remedy for Ear Infection #3
- Tea tree oil- 10 drops
- Neem oil- 10 drops
- Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
Part 2 Of 3:trying Unverified Home Remedies
How Can Earaches And Ear Pain Be Prevented
Many cases of otitis externa may be prevented by decreasing the opportunity for water or moisture to enter the ear canal by taking the following measures.
- Carefully dry the ears after swimming or bathing
- Shake out excess water in the ear.
- Hold a hair drier on a low heat setting at least 12 inches from the ear
- Wear earplugs while swimming.
Pain in the outer ear also can be caused by putting objects into the ear canal.
- Do not use objects to clean the ear that may tear the skin. Most people have ears that are self-cleansing, and cleaning with a cotton-tipped swab is unnecessary and potentially harmful. People who have excess wax buildup should have it removed by a health-care professional who can remove the debris under direct vision using an otoscope or with ear irrigation.
- Occasionally, a foreign object such as an insect can cause inflammation and pain, and will need to be removed by a health-care professional.
- Minimize exposure of infants and children to others with colds or upper respiratory infections. This may require altering day care visit patterns.
- Avoid bottle feeding in the supine position.
- Babies who are breastfed for the first 6 months have a decreased risk of developing ear infections.
- Eliminate pacifier use after 6 months of age.
What Is A Middle Ear Infection
A middle ear infection, otherwise known as otitis media, is a viral or bacterial infection of the air-filled cavity behind the eardrum. In most cases, a middle ear infection affects just one ear, but can also occur in both ears simultaneously. The infection can cause painful inflammation, as well as a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. Although people of any age can develop the infection, it is most common in younger children, with a high percentage of children experiencing the condition before the age of 10.
In some cases, a middle ear infection may disappear without treatment. While antibiotics are only sometimes necessary to fight the infection, pain-relievers are commonly prescribed to lessen the pain caused by the condition. Further treatment options are available for recurrent middle ear infections. Complications are rare, meaning it is generally considered a non-serious condition.
There are three common types of middle ear infection:
How To Reduce Ear Swelling
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 14,738 times.
Ear swelling can be caused by several conditions, including infection, allergic reaction, insect bite, piercing, or illness. While it can be painful, there are several things that you can do to help reduce the inflammation and discomfort. If the swelling is relatively minor, you may be able to reduce the swelling using home remedies while letting the underlying cause heal on its own. In some cases, however, you may need to use topical or oral medication to treat the underlying cause and reduce the swelling in or on your ears.
Five Tips For Ear Infection Treatment At Home
Even when antibiotics are prescribed, they wont take effect for 24 to 48 hours. Your child need not suffer needlessly. There are simple, effective ways to reduce your childs discomfort and pain during an ear infection.
1. Fever and pain medicine: based it on age, consult with doctor
Over-the-counter medications can help reduce pain and fever in your child. Based it on age and weight and consult with your pediatrician if necessary.
Read labels and instructions carefully when giving fever-reducing medications. Its very important to follow instructions and give the appropriate dosage according to your childs weight and age, says Dr. Hutton.
- For children younger than 6 months, give only acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
- For children older than 6 months, you may give also give an ibuprofen product, such as Advil, for fever and pain.
- Infants younger than 3 months old who have a fever need immediate medical attention even if they appear well and show no other signs of being ill.
- Do not give aspirin to children because it can cause Reyes syndrome, a rare but very serious illness that harms the liver and brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
2. Place a cold pack or warm compress over your childs ear
Put a cold wet washcloth on the outer ear for 20 minutes to help with pain until the pain medicine starts to work.
3. Keep child hydrated
Make sure to keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
4. Elevate your childs head