Sleep Without Putting Pressure On The Ear
Some sleep positions will aggravate pain from ear infections, while some can help relieve it. Sleep with the affected ear raised instead of having it faced down toward the pillow. This can help the ear drain better if necessary.
You can also sleep with your head elevated by using extra pillows. This can also help the ears drain faster.
Where Is The Middle Ear
The middle ear is behind the eardrum and is also home to the delicate bones that aid in hearing. These bones are the hammer , anvil and stirrup . To provide the bigger picture, lets look at the whole structure and function of the ear:
The ear structure and function
There are three main parts of the ear: outer, middle and inner.
- The outer ear is the outside external ear flap and the ear canal .
- The middle ear is the air-filled space between the eardrum and the inner ear. The middle ear houses the delicate bones that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. This is where ear infections occur.
- The inner ear contains the snail-shaped labyrinth that converts sound vibrations received from the middle ear to electrical signals. The auditory nerve carries these signals to the brain.
Other nearby parts
- The eustachian tube regulates air pressure within the middle ear, connecting it to the upper part of the throat.
- Adenoids are small pads of tissue above the throat and behind the nose and near the eustachian tubes. Adenoids help fight infection caused by bacteria that enters through the mouth.
What Happens If My Child Keeps Getting Ear Infections
To keep a middle ear infection from coming back, it helps to limit some of the factors that might put your child at risk, such as not being around people who smoke and not going to bed with a bottle. In spite of these precautions, some children may continue to have middle ear infections, sometimes as many as five or six a year. Your doctor may want to wait for several months to see if things get better on their own but, if the infections keep coming back and antibiotics arent helping, many doctors will recommend a surgical procedure that places a small ventilation tube in the eardrum to improve air flow and prevent fluid backup in the middle ear. The most commonly used tubes stay in place for six to nine months and require follow-up visits until they fall out.
If placement of the tubes still doesnt prevent infections, a doctor may consider removing the adenoids to prevent infection from spreading to the eustachian tubes.
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Homeopathic Earache Relief Ear Drops
- Chamomilla 10X for sensitivity to drafts, soothing
- Mercurius solubilis 15X relieves fullness, sensitivity to cold
- Sulphur 12X reduces itchiness, sensitivity to water
When Should I Call The Doctor
Very rarely, ear infections that don’t go away or severe repeated middle ear infections can lead to complications. So kids with an earache or a sense of fullness in the ear, especially when combined with fever, should be seen by their doctors if they aren’t getting better after a couple of days.
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What Are The Signs Of An Earache
For infants, tugging on the ear is not necessarily an indicator of ear pain, Dr. Baker says. Babies six months to one year of age are finding their ears and pulling at them, as they do when they are discovering all of their body parts, she says. If they are more fussy than normal or not sleeping as well as they normally do, those are indicators to me that something is going on, but its difficult to tell without looking in the ears, as those are also signs of teething, which is also common at that age. In addition to fussiness and poor sleep, Dr. Baker suggests parents also look for runny nose and congestion, which lead to ear infections, as well as a fever.
Ear Infections: Most Common Cause
- Definition. An infection of the middle ear . Viral ear infections are more common than bacterial ones.
- Symptoms. The main symptom is an earache. Younger children will cry, act fussy or have trouble sleeping because of pain. About 50% of children with an ear infection will have a fever.
- Diagnosis. A doctor can diagnose a bacterial ear infection by looking at the eardrum. It will be bulging and have pus behind it. For viral ear infections, the eardrum will be red but not bulging.
- Age Range. Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years. They are a common problem until age 8. The onset of ear infections is often on day 3 of a cold.
- Frequency. 90% of children have at least 1 ear infection. Frequent ear infections occur in 20% of children. Ear infections are the most common bacterial infection of young children.
- Complication of Bacterial Ear Infections. In 5% to 10% of children, the eardrum will develop a small tear. This is from the pressure in the middle ear. The ear then drains cloudy fluid or pus. This small hole most often heals over in 2 or 3 days.
- Treatment. Bacterial ear infections need an oral antibiotic. Viral ear infections get better on their own. They need pain medicine and supportive care.
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Essential Oil Ear Ache Treatment Rub
This recipe is adapted from the book Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver, M.H.. Remember, do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin always use a carrier oil. I dont recommend this as an earache remedy for small children, who may rub their ears and then rub the oil into their eyes.
Essential Oil Earache Rub
Mix all ingredients and apply gently around the ears at the first sign of infection. Reduces infection and relieves inflammation.
Can Fever Cause Ear Pain In Children
A mild fever or fluid draining from the ear may indicate an ear infection. Though the possibility of an ear pain in children cannot be entirely avoided, it can, in some cases, be prevented by taking some precautions. Encourage frequent hand-washing in your children, to help prevent infections that may lead to ear pain.
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Preventing Ear Pain In Kids
Though the possibility of an ear pain in children cannot be entirely avoided, it can, in some cases, be prevented by taking some precautions.
- Encourage frequent hand-washing in your children, to help prevent infections that may lead to ear pain.
- Ask your child to maintain distance from the family member who is sick.
- Keep your kids away from secondhand smoke, dust and fumes.
- If your child is congested, suction their nose frequently with saline drops and a bulb suction. This may decrease the build up of fluid in the nose and Eustachian tube.
- Encourage fruits and vegetables. Good nutrition is the foundation of a strong immune system in children.
When To See A Doctor About An Earache
Dr. Nguyen-Huynh recommends seeing a doctor if:
- Yoursymptoms remain after twoor three days, even if youve tried over-the-counter or home remedies.
- Yourear is very painful, oryou have other symptoms that bother you.
Other common conditions, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction , can masquerade as earache infections. TMJ causes ear pain because the ear canal and the jaw joint share a nerve. If you have ear pain along with trouble chewing, talking or yawning, then you should see a dentist or TMJ expert to be sure youre treating the right condition, notes Dr. Nguyen-Huynh.
The good news? Hot and cold compresses and OTC pain relievers can also help relieve TMJ pain until you sort things out.
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What Are Ear Infections
Ear infections, which can affect the ear canal or the middle ear, are common in babies. According to a study in Pediatrics, 23 percent of babies in the United States will experience at least one ear infection by the time they are 12 months old. That figure rises to more than half by the age of 3 years.
Ear infections tend to start either with an unhealthful bacterial growth or a viral infection, such as a common cold.
There most common types of ear infections in babies are:
- Acute otitis externa . Also known as swimmers ear, AOE refers to an infection in the ear canal.
- Otitis media. An infection in the middle ear can cause inflammation, leading to a fluid buildup behind the eardrum. Sometimes, the narrow passageways that connect the middle ear to the back of the nose, called the Eustachian tubes, can swell.
- Otitis media with effusion . This infection occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear but does not usually cause pain or fever.
- Acute otitis media . This refers to a fluid buildup in the ear, which typically results from a bacterial infection.
Babies and children are more prone to ear infections as their Eustachian passages are shorter and narrower that than those of adults. This not only makes it easier for bacteria to reach the middle ear, but it means fluid is more easily trapped.
Other symptoms to look out for include:
It is not always possible to prevent ear infections in babies, but there are some steps caregivers can take to make them less likely:
Cold Or Warm Compresses
People often use ice packs or warm compresses, like a heating pad or damp washcloth, to relieve pain. The same can be done for ear pain. This method is safe for both children and adults.
Place the ice pack or warm compress over the ear and alternate between warm and cold after 10 minutes. If you prefer either cold or warm, you can use just one compress.
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How Are Ear Infections Treated
To treat an ear infection, health care providers consider many things, including:
- the type and severity of the ear infection
- how often the child has ear infections
- how long this infection has lasted
- the child’s age and any risk factors
- whether the infection affects hearing
The type of otitis affects treatment options. Not all kinds need to be treated with antibiotics. Because most ear infections can clear on their own, many doctors take a “wait-and-see” approach. Kids will get medicine for pain relief without antibiotics for a few days to see if the infection gets better.
Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed because they:
- won’t help an infection caused by a virus
- won’t get rid of middle ear fluid
- can cause side effects
- usually don’t relieve pain in the first 24 hours and have only a minimal effect after that
Also, overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are much harder to treat.
If a doctor does prescribe antibiotics, a 10-day course is usually recommended. Kids age 6 and older who don’t have a severe infection might take a shortened course for 5 to 7 days.
Some children, such as those with recurrent infections and those with lasting hearing loss or speech delay, may need ear tube surgery. An ear, nose, and throat doctor will surgically insert tubes that let fluid drain from the middle ear. This helps equalize the pressure in the ear.
Why Do Children Get Ear Infections
If you could peak inside your childs head, you would see thin tubes that connect their ears to the back of their throat. These are the Eustachian tubes, the ears air pressure regulators and drainage system. In adults, theyre long and slanted for efficient drainage. In children, the tubes are short and horizontal. The ear cant drain as effectively, and its easy for bacteria from the throat and nasal tract to travel into the ear.
Once bacteria is in the ears, the inside of the ears gets inflamed. The opening to your childs tiny Eustachian tubes get swollen shut. A vacuum is formed by the natural pressure in your childs ears. Normally, the pressure is relieved when we chew and swallow, which encourages the Eustachian tubes to open. When theyre swollen shut, the pressure builds. Fluid is pulled out of the surrounding tissues.
The fluid becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and the next thing you know, your child is experiencing the classic symptoms.
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What To Do At Home
Lying down can increase the sensation of pressure and discomfort in your childs ears. Children over the age of two can be encouraged to sleep propped up with pillows. With younger infants, you can give their crib mattress a slight incline by placing a thin pillow or two beneath the mattress itself.
Warm compresses can provide some temporary pain relief. Moist heat is preferable, so use a clean washcloth dipped in warm water or a microwavable hot pack designed to be misted with water. Being mindful of the temperature, apply the compress over the ear for 10 to 15 minutes. This can be especially helpful at bedtime.
Swallowing encourages the Eustachian tubes to open and relieve the painful pressure. Give your child plenty of fluids. Gum and hard candy can be given to children old enough to have them safety, at least 4 years of age.
Five Tips To Help Relieve Ear Infection Symptoms At Home
If your little one is cranky, unusually fussy and tugging at his or her ear or is feverish and having difficulty sleeping, chances are it may be due to an ear infection.
Five out of six children experience an ear infection by the time they are 3 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. The odds are that your child will have an ear infection before kindergarten.
What causes an ear infection?
Ear infections can be caused by either bacteria or a virus, often following a cold. The common cold can cause the middle ear to become inflamed and fluid to build up behind the eardrum. The Eustachian tube, which connects the ears, nose and throat, can also become swollen.
Children are more susceptible to ear infections than adults because they have shorter and narrower Eustachian tubes, and it is easier for germs to reach the middle ear and for fluid to get trapped there, says Kara Hutton, MD, a pediatrician at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo. Babies and children also have weaker immune systems, so it is more difficult for their bodies to fight an infection.
The onset of ear infections is often on day three of a cold. Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years, and are a common problem until age 8, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What is the best treatment for ear infection?
Some ear infections require antibiotic treatment, but many can get better without this medicine.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider if:
- You have swelling behind the ear.
- Your symptoms get worse, even with treatment.
- You have high fever or severe pain.
- Severe pain suddenly stops, which may indicate a ruptured eardrum.
- New symptoms appear, especially severe headache, dizziness, swelling around the ear, or twitching of the face muscles.
Let the provider know right away if a child younger than 6 months has a fever, even if the child doesn’t have other symptoms.
How To Spot An Ear Infection
Kids under age two are unable to simply say, My ear is killing me, making a baby ear infection difficult to detect. Jacobson says to look out for fever, especially if preceded by a cold, as well as crying, clinginess, loss of appetite and irritability. Children with an ear infection often wont sleep well, either, as pressure in the middle ear on the eustachian tubes increases when theyre lying down. And if you see fluid or pus draining from your childs ear, its a sure sign of infection. You may also notice your child pulling on or rubbing their ear.
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What You Can Do
Doctors arent as quick to prescribe antibiotics these days because ear infections often clear up on their own.
If your baby is older than 6 months, their doctor might choose to hold off for a couple of days to see if the symptoms pass. In the meantime, ask your pediatrician if it would help ease your childs discomfort if you:
- Give them over-the-counter infant pain relievers.
- Use saline drops or spray to lower swelling and stuffiness from a cold. If the blocked ear drain doesnt open up, your doctor may suggest putting in small ear tubes for a while.
- If your baby is prescribed antibiotics, finish all the medicine even if they get better. Otherwise, the infection can come back quickly.
Marks The 25th Anniversary Of The Invention Of The World Famous Ear Ease Pain Reliever
The Ear Ease is a proven, natural pain relief device that you just might want in your travel bag. As many people can attest, Ear Pain can be a Major PAIN particularly if you travel by air. For years many air travelers have wrestled with any number of techniques to avoid or reduce the discomfort of what is now commonly referred to as Airplane Ear. This condition affects people during ascent and even more so during descent, when the pressure in the cabin changes most dramatically. For many people this quick shift in pressure can create a nightmare as pressure in the middle ear increases, often causing excruciating pain.
Background: A Medical Doctor who happened to be a private pilot experienced intense ear pain after landing which plagued him for several days. The pain was so severe that he vowed to find a way to address the problem. His solution was the development of a special compact container that when filled with hot water and positioned around the ear, changed the pressure gradient in the middle ear. Through multiple testing and studies he found that as the pressure equalized, the pain very often went away, sometimes in a matter of minutes. The Ear Ease Pain Reliever first introduced in 1988 has helped tens of thousands of people across the globe enjoy pain free air travel. The Ear Ease has also been effective in relieving pain brought on by colds, ear infections, swimmers ear, diving, skydiving, sinus infections, rapid moving elevators and even TMJ
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