Ear infections occur when there is a viral or bacterial infection in the middle ear, which is directly behind the eardrum. The middle ear can become inflamed or fluid can build up in there, which is typically why ear infections are painful. People can either develop chronic or acute ear infections. The former typically does not clear up or it is recurring (sometimes causing permanent damage to middle and inner ear), while the latter is painful for a short period of time.
What Causes An Ear Infection?
An ear infection is the result of the Eustachian tubes becoming swollen or blocked. This causes fluid to build up in the middle ear. Eustachian tubes run from each ear directly to the back of the throat. There are several factors that can cause blockage in the Eustachian tubes, the most common of which are listed below.
- Excess mucus build-up
- Sinus infections
- Infected or swollen adenoids (tissue near your tonsils)
- Air pressure changes
- Pacifier use
- Climate changes
Garlic In Your Ear:
This may sound a little odd, but putting a few drops of garlic oil (or an entire garlic clove) in your ear is a great natural remedy. Garlic has amazing healing properties, the primary ones being antibacterial and anti-viral. The compounds in garlic help to attack the bacteria or virus in the inner ear, while the antiseptic properties of garlic work to inhibit the infection from spreading. Make sure your eardrum is not busted when you do this.
When you have an ear infection, a great way to naturally remedy the situation is to boost your immune system. Probiotics are often included as alternative treatments and have been effective in helping pediatric ear infections. Probiotics are easily absorbed by the body and strengthen the immune system. The best probiotics to consume are kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and fermented vegetables.
Several studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between receiving chiropractic adjustments and resolving ear infections. It is possible that ear infections can be caused by misalignment of the upper neck. Chiropractic adjustments can help to align the vertebrae, relaxing the muscles around the Eustachian tubes, which allows proper fluid drainage.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Ear infections are occasionally caused by fungus in the ear. If this is the case, raw apple cider vinegar can be a great solution. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part filtered water and soak a cotton ball in this mixture. Plug your ear with the cotton ball and leave it in for about five minutes. After removing the cotton ball, lay on your opposite side to allow the liquid to drain from the ear. You can use a hair dryer to dry your ear after draining.
Clogged sinuses can cause ear infections, so it is optimal to relieve sinus pressure if this is the case. A great way to relieve sinus pressure is to use a saline wash with a Neti Pot. Relieving pressure in the sinus area allows for healthy drainage, which is crucial if you have an ear infection.