If you’re having earaches, you’re probably wondering if it is an ear infection. An ear infection is caused by either a virus or bacterium and can often have the following symptoms:
- Earaches which are generally throbbing pain
- Sometimes accompanied by fever
- Redness near the ears
- Sometimes fluid leaks out
- Temporary hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears
Antibiotics are a common way to treat ear infection, but according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, most cases of middle ear infection don’t require treatment. They generally disappear on their own without the need for antibiotics.
Oftentimes, people seek for treatment to alleviate the symptoms, such as the pain and to reduce fever. Unfortunately, antibiotics can only do so much, particularly in middle ear infections and there are usually side effects.
What Causes Ear Infection?
You may notice that ear infection is more common in children. In fact, middle ear infection is one of the most common problems in babies and children under the age of six. Research has shown that the majority of children will have ear infection as they reach three years. Meanwhile, up to 30 million hospital visits in the US are due to ear infection in adults.
Children are more affected, especially those who spend time near other children who may have infection and if they swim in public pools. Children and adults who have food and environmental allergies are also affected as well as those with ear wax buildup and even nutritional deficiencies. Smokers and those who use drugs that affect immunity may also find themselves with an ear infection.
How to Treat Ear Infection
Ear infection is often caused by a virus more than bacteria, so conventional antibiotics are often ineffective. Thankfully, there are better remedies you can try, including:
- Use garlic oil to treat ear infection internally. Raw garlic has antiviral properties and using about two warm drops of the oil every day can effectively cure the problem.
- Tea tree oil is another effective remedy for the infection because of its antiseptic properties. Just a few drops will help treat the ear problem. You can also mix it with coconut oil and simply rub all over the affected area, but not inside.
- Basil will also help you get rid of earaches and minor ear infection. Just crush up to five leaves and get the juice. Apply on the area (not in the canal). You can also use the extract with coconut oil.
Ear infections can be prevented by simply washing your hands regularly, stopping smoking or avoiding secondhand smoke, and not going to overly crowded places. For infants and children, breastfeeding, avoiding pacifiers, and making sure immunizations are up-to-date are the best ways to keep ear infections at bay