Ear infection warm compress: Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa) | CS Mott Children’s Hospital
Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa) | CS Mott Children’s Hospital
What is swimmer’s ear?
Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an inflammation or infection of the ear canal, the passage that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. This condition is called swimmer’s ear, because it commonly occurs in people who have been swimming. But other people can get it too.
What causes swimmer’s ear?
You can get swimmer’s ear when bacteria or fungus grows in your ear canal. This happens when water, sand, or other small debris irritates the delicate skin in the ear canal. Other things that can irritate the ear canal include hearing aids, lots of ear cleaning, and eczema of the ear canal.
Swimmer’s ear is more likely if you have a very narrow or hairy ear canal; live in a warm, humid climate; have little or no earwax; have lots of ear infections; or have eczema or dry skin. If you have had swimmer’s ear in the past, you are more likely to get it again.
What are the symptoms?
Swimmer’s ear can be very painful. The pain can get worse when you touch the earlobe or another part of the outer ear or when you chew. Other symptoms can include itching, a feeling of fullness in the ear, and a yellowish or brownish discharge from the ear. Your ear canal may be swollen. In severe cases, the outer ear can be red and swollen too.
If you think you have swimmer’s ear, call your doctor to find the best way to treat it.
If you have diabetes or take medicine that suppresses your immune system, swimmer’s ear can cause severe problems. Call your doctor right away.
How is swimmer’s ear diagnosed?
A doctor can usually tell whether you have swimmer’s ear by looking into your ear and asking questions about your symptoms.
How is it treated?
Follow these tips when treating swimmer’s ear:
- If your doctor prescribed eardrops, use them as directed.
- Talk with your doctor before putting anything in your ear.
- Avoid getting water in the ear until after the problem clears up.
- Use a hair dryer to carefully dry the ear after you shower.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), or naproxen (such as Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
Some home treatment can help swimmer’s ear. But it is important to see a doctor first. If your doctor says it’s okay, you can try the following:
- If your ear is itchy, try nonprescription swimmer’s eardrops, such as Swim-Ear. Use them before and after swimming or getting your ears wet. Read and follow all instructions on the label, and learn how to insert eardrops safely.
- To ease ear pain, apply a warm washcloth or a heating pad set on low. There may be some drainage when the heat melts earwax.
- Do not use a heating pad when you are in bed. You may fall asleep and burn yourself.
- Do not use a heating pad on a child.
In severe cases, the ear canal should be carefully cleaned out by an ear specialist. Sometimes, if the ear canal is very swollen, a wick with antibiotic drops will be placed in the ear canal.
Do not use ear candles. They have no proven benefit, and they can cause harm.
How can you prevent swimmer’s ear?
You may be able to prevent swimmer’s ear.
- Do not scratch or clean the inside of the ear with cotton swabs, bobby pins, your fingernails, or other objects.
- Avoid prolonged use of earplugs and in-ear headphones. Like cotton swabs, these can cause irritation and itching and can plug the ear with wax.
- Keep soap, bubble bath, and shampoo out of the ear canal. These products can cause itching and irritation.
- Keep your ears dry.
- After you swim or shower, shake your head to remove water from the ear canal.
- Gently dry your ears with the corner of a tissue or towel, or use a hair dryer on its lowest setting. Hold the dryer several inches away from the ear.
- Put a few drops of rubbing alcohol or rubbing alcohol mixed with an equal amount of white vinegar in your ears after you swim or shower. You can also use over-the-counter drops, such as Swim-Ear, to help prevent swimmer’s ear. Gently wiggle the outside of the ear to let the liquid enter the ear canal. It’s important to keep the liquid in the ear canal for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Do not swim in dirty or polluted water.
7 Home Remedies for Ear Infection
Yet, researchers have found that the use of Q-tips as means to clean the ears and eliminate the earwax buildup can do more harm than good.
Moreover, there are various over-the-counter solutions for cleaning the ears in pharmacies, but apparently, findings an effective, safe, and natural way to prevent ear infections and get rid of earwax is our best option.
We suggest a two-ingredient natural remedy which can help you disinfect the ears and clean them in a completely safe way.
It contains rubbing alcohol, which eradicates 85% of all aerobic bacterial contamination tit touches, and white vinegar, which offers amazing antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
This combination fights mild or moderate infections, breaks down the earwax, and dries the ear in an entirely painless way.
Here is how to use it:
Mix the rubbing alcohol and the white vinegar, and drop 5ml of it in the ear. Keep the head tilted for about a minute, and then put the head upright to help the remaining mixture to run out of the ear. Apply the remedy in both ears, and repeat daily.
Ear drops that may help with an ear infection can be purchased or they can be made at home. Non-prescription eardrops may be helpful in treating mild cases of swimmer’s ear. Eardrops can be made at home or purchased over the counter.
According to ear specialists, a simple at-home blend can be made by making a mixture of half rubbing alcohol and half white vinegar. Using a few drops into the ears can help dry out the ear canal and support the healing process.
These drops should also not be used in people who have ear tubes (T-tubes), permanent injuries to their eardrum, or certain ear surgeries.
If the infection is not getting better or other symptoms develop, a person should stop using the drops and see their doctor.
Eardrops should not be used in an ear that has any discharge coming from it unless prescribed by a doctor.
Ear discharge, drainage, or blood is a sign of a bigger complication, such as a ruptured eardrum, which needs immediate medical attention.
How to Use Alcohol to Clean Out Earwax
6 More Home Remedies To Beat Ear Infections
Garlic has potent antimicrobial and pain relieving properties that make highly effective as a home remedy for ear infections. There are several different ways you can employ garlic as a natural earache remedy.
Make your own garlic oil by cooking two cloves in two tablespoons of mustard oil until it becomes black in color. Strain the liquid and when it is just hot enough for you to bear, put a few drops in the affected ear. Be sure to use a clean dropper for this method.
You can also boil a few fresh cloves of garlic in water for about five minutes. Crush them and add a little real salt. Put this mixture into a clean cloth and place it against the ear that is hurting.
In addition to the above remedies with garlic, you can also consume a few cloves of fresh garlic daily to help boost your immunity and speed up healing.
There are many reasons for an ear infection but one very common one is when wax in the ear is attacked by a fungal or bacterial growth which leads to a blockage in the Eustachian tubes. This obstruction can be cleared easily with the help of olive oil.
Warm up some olive oil on the stove (on low heat). Dribble the oil into the infected ear. When the oil hits the wax it will soften. After this, remove the wax with a cotton swab. However, do not put the swab too far into the ear as you may damage the eardrum.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted as the “go to” remedy, one that your grandmother may have relied upon. Despite its strong aroma and acidic taste, this vinegar made from fermented apples has a plethora of healing properties.
One of these properties is its antibacterial and antifungal characteristics. Known for its ability to fight chronic yeast infections, apple cider vinegar can also tackle fungus that may cause ear infections.
To use apple cider vinegar for ear infections, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution. Place the cotton ball in your affected ear and let it sit for five minutes or so. Remove the cotton ball and lay down on your opposite side so that any residual vinegar can drain from your ear. Dry your ear out with a hair dryer set on low.
Note: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar. If you know that the location of your infection in in the Eustachian tubes, you can try gargling with apple cider vinegar as well.
A warm compress may help relieve the pressure building up in the ear as well. Using a compress for 20-minute periods while resting can help reduce pain. This can be done along with other pain treatments, including over-the-counter medications.
Most people have no trouble finding a little salt in their home. Heat up one cup of salt over low heat for just a few minutes. Place the warm salt in a clean and soft cloth. Secure the end of the cloth with a rubber band. When you can stand the temperature, lay down and place the cloth on the affected ear for about ten minutes. Repeat this daily to help bring relief. The warm salt will help draw out the fluid from the ear and reduce pain and swelling.
Basil is an herb with many therapeutic properties. Basil is high in antioxidants and also contains potent antibacterial properties. To use basil crush five fresh holy basil leaves very gently to expel the juice. Apply the basil juice on and around the affected ear. Be careful not to get any of the juice in the ear canal. Alternatively, mix a few drops of holy basil oil with an equal amount of coconut oil and soak a cotton ball in the mixture. Wipe gently just inside the ear, around the outside of the ear and behind the ear with the mixture.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has a number of amazing therapeutic properties including; antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial, fungicide, insecticide, balsamic, expectorant and stimulant.
All of these properties make tea tree oil and excellent herbal remedy to turn to when you have ear pain or infection. Mix a few drops of oil with a tablespoon of olive oil and warm slightly. Fill a clean dropper with the mixture and drop into the infected ear. Lay on your side with the oil in your ear for about three minutes. Turn your head to drain the oil out.
Repeat daily until the pain subsides.
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution to Clean Your Ears
Home Remedies for Ear Pain on the Ground and in the Air
Here, I offer a few old-fashioned and time-tested home remedies to relieve ear pain that typically follows a respiratory infection. I’ve found it helpful to share these tips with parents of my young patients.
Ear Pain at Home Cold treatment. Place a few drops of ice water into the affected ear. Be sure to forewarn the child that it’s going to feel “super cold” and maybe tell him/her that you are putting some melted snow into the ear to make the pain go away. Then have the child lie against your shoulder or sit propped up and gently stroke the side of the neck. The brief pulse of ice water causes the blood vessels of the inflamed tympanic membrane to constrict, and does bring some relief.
This trick works best if you administer ibuprofen first and try not to drip ice water on the external ear or down the child’s neck.
Warm treatment. Gentle warmth around the ear can also alleviate infection-associated pain and a homemade “salt sock” can serve as a natural heating pad for infants and young children. Put a cup of uncooked rice or other grain into a thick cotton sock. Add a tablespoon of Kosher or sea salt. Shake. Then tie the sock closed and put it into a microwave oven for 30 to 60 seconds. To minimize the chance of accidental burning, parents should place the heating pad on their chest and hold the child on his/her lap. The child can then gently lean against the salt sock rather than lying flat against it while prone.
Ear Pain in the Air
A young child who has a cold and must travel by air will be very prone to ear pain, especially when the airplane begins its initial descent. On a mid-winter flight to Florida, the cry of a young child is often heard about 20 minutes before landing-when intraocular pressure starts to shift. A warm moist poultice placed in the bottom of a cup can help. Parents will need to do a bit of advanced planning to make this tactic work.
Tell them to bring along a plastic bag full of cotton balls and/or makeup pads and an insulated pack in their carry-on luggage. Once airborne and settled, moisten some of the cotton balls/pads with hot water from the beverage cart and put them in the insulated bag. By the time the flight is approaching its destination, the cotton should be sufficiently warm. Press a few of the warm moist, but not dripping, cotton balls or pads into the bottom of a small paper or plastic cup. Place the cup over the child’s affected ear to create a change in local barometric pressure that will help reduce the pain. The warm moist cotton can also be placed under the earpiece of a set of headphones.
Natural and Effective Ear Infection Treatment Options
“Mommy! My ear hurts!”
If you’re a parent of young children, you’ve heard these words more than once.
Ear infections are one of the the most common childhood illnesses. In fact, 5 out of 6 children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday.
But an earache doesn’t always warrant a round of antibiotics. In fact, the latest guidelines suggest that doctors should focus on pain management, not antibiotics, for ear infection treatment. Why? Ear infections almost always go away on their own.
Statistics show that 70% of ear infections are caused by a virus, and antibiotics (bacteria-killing drugs) have no affect on viral infections.
What Causes an Ear Infection?
An ear infection is most often caused by swollen or infected portions of the middle ear, also known as acute otitis media (AOM). Ear pain results when fluid becomes trapped behind the eardrum in the eustachian tube (circled in the figure to the right.) This provides the perfect breeding ground for viruses and bacteria to grow.
Why Don’t Adults Get Ear Infections?
A child’s eustachian tube has less of an downward angle, making it almost horizontal when they are an infant. As the child matures, the tube begins to angle downward where gravity pulls fluid down to allow it to drain.
Children usually start having fewer ear infections after the age of 5 or 6 when their eustachian tubes are three times as long and positioned more vertically, allowing fluid to drain.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
Ear infections usually happen during or immediately after a head cold. (This is where the extra fluid comes from.) If your child’s earache begins while they still have a runny nose, sore throat or fever, it’s likely an ear infection.
The following signs can indicate a possible ear infection
- Earache or ear pain (Younger children may pull on their ear.)
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty hearing
- No appetite
- Ear drainage
How to Know If Your Child Has an Ear Infection
Most parents don’t realize that they can purchase an otoscope that will allow them to gently look into their child’s ear.
If you decide to purchase one of these look in your child’s ear when it’s healthy so that you can more easily identify a change later if it becomes infected.
An ear infection will be pink, while a healthy ear will be gray.
Most otoscopes come with more than one head. Choose the smaller, shorter head for a small child and be careful not to put it too far into your child’s ear. (Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.)
Only look into the ear of a child who is calm and relaxed, and enlist the help if another adult to keep them calm or occupied, if necessary, so that you can safely see inside.
Since ear infections are often caused by a virus, medical doctors can only offer treatment for the symptoms. Antibiotics have no effect on a virus. Save the trip and expense to your medical doctor’s office and try these options instead:
1. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are typically recommended to relieve pain, but use them sparingly as all medications have side effects.
2. Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic treatment involves gently adjusting or moving joints that are locked up or fixated, restoring motion and increasing blood flow to that area.
Given the fact that most ear infections are caused by trapped fluid, a chiropractic adjustment usually provides the movement necessary to help the fluid to drain down the eustachian tube as it was designed. Several studies show that chiropractic care is an extremely safe and effective ear infection treatment option.
One study found that 90% of the participants experienced improvement from an ear infection after receiving chiropractic adjustments, and 43% of them after just one or two adjustments.
Your chiropractor can also take a look inside your child’s ear to diagnose the ear infection. This is a good option to confirm your suspicions.
Chiropractic treatment has the added benefit of boosting your immune system.
3. Warm Compresses
Warm compresses such as a warm washcloth or heating pad placed over the ear are often a soothing and calming way to treat the pain of an ear infection. Be careful when using heating pads with children.
4. Support Their Immune System
Support your child’s body while it’s working hard to fight off the infection, by increasing your child’s daily vitamin C and probiotics. Most health food stores offer a wide selection of kid-friendly probiotics and supplements. Your child may even be asking for them long after their ear infection is gone.
5. Elevate Their Head
Rolling up a couple of towels and placing them under the head of your child’s mattress while she’s fighting an ear infection can help the fluid to drain. Also try to increase their opportunities to rest. Putting them to bed a few minutes early or allowing them to sleep in the next morning will provide their body with more time to rest while it’s working extra hard.
6. Oil Drops or Naturopathic Drops
Garlic oil with mullein and naturopathic ear drops can be found online and in most drug stores. Warm the oil by placing the glass bottle in some warm water for a few minutes. Then, place 2-3 drops into your child’s ear. The warm oil has been shown to soothe an earache. Be careful to make sure the oil isn’t warmer than your body temperature, to avoid burning the eardrum.
One study found that naturopathic drops that contain herbal extracts can be just as effective as traditional over-the-counter ear drops.
How Long Will Their Ear Infection Last?
As long as the body is creating fluid to fight off the invasion, there is still a need for that fluid to drain. Ear infectons usually clear up on their own in about a week or two, and symptoms usually start to lessen within a few days.
However, call your doctor if your child’s earache lasts for more than a few days or becomes gradually worse.
Ear infections are a common childhood illness caused by trapped fluid in the middle ear. By finding ways to allow that fluid to drain and supporting the immune system, most ear infections resolve on their own without the need for antibiotics.
Our team of Kansas City chiropractors specialize in treating children. You can always give us a call to talk with one of our experienced chiropractors at 913-764-6237.
Top 12 Home Remedies for Ear Pain in Kids
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Earache is a common cause of pain and discomfort to everybody. In children, it becomes a bigger cause of worry as the child may be too small to tell the reason for the pain. Therefore, it is up to the immediate caretaker to see how the pain can be alleviated. There are many reasons for earaches, such as infection, perforated eardrum, and boils. It is important to identify the cause of the earache to find a suitable remedy for the same.
Natural Remedies for Earache in Kids
If a child is constantly crying, looks restless, or keeps moving his ears away from you, he could be having an ear infection.
The following are simple home remedies for ear pain in kids.
1. Warm Compress: Use a warm towel compress to reduce pain around the ear and neck area. You can warm up a towel by pressing it on a hot griddle or on a warm iron. Heating pads or a small plastic bottle filled with warm water can also be used. There can be a lot of squirming involved as your child can find it uncomfortable. Do not get angry or irritated with this but try to talk him into it firmly to put the child at ease.
2. Cold Compress: If the warm compress is not helping, use a cold compress instead. Be cautious and avoid putting the ice directly on the skin of your child, as it can stop the blood flow. Ice can be put in a waterproof bag or wrapped in a towel. A frozen packet of milk is also good for this purpose. If you ran out of ice, fill cold water in a small plastic bottle and ease the pain of your child.
3. Basil Leaves: It is essential to keep this simple and inexpensive remedy always handy. Basil is known for its unequivocal medicinal properties. Crush the basil leaves; extract its juice and put a few drops in the ear.
4. Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the most effective natural remedies to treat an ear infection in children. Heat a small quantity of olive oil in a clean pan or microwave till it reaches body temperature. Apply the oil lightly around and inside the affected ear with a clean earbud. Make sure that you use towels to avoid any stray drops of oil from staining the surrounding area.
5. Garlic: Crush a couple of garlic cloves and heat it with some sesame/olive oil. Strain using a clean cloth and apply this garlic oil in and around the affected ear.
6. Eucalyptus Oil and Medicated Cotton Balls: Pour a few drops of diluted eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball and dab it on the infected ear to relieve pain. Repeat this process every day until the pain subsides.
7. Mustard Oil: In most cases, the ear naturally expels excess earwax to avoid a build-up. However, when this doesn’t happen, it can lead to hardening of the earwax. This can cause a blockage and lead to an infection. Put a few drops of warm mustard oil in the infected ear to reduce the blockage; continue this process for a weak. Some of the softer wax will come out by itself, and some more oil can be used for removing the rest of the wax. Mustard oil cleans the infected area by removing wax and small foreign objects. You can use a flashlight to inspect the ear and see if it has cleared up. Below are the steps you can follow to remove earwax:
- Pour a capful into the affected ear
- Wait for a few minutes
- Cover your ear with a tissue
- Tilt the head to remove the fluid
8. Eucalyptus Oil Massage: Never use eucalyptus oil in its original form as it is strong and pungent. Dilute it with coconut oil, sesame oil, or olive oil. Warm it slightly using a clean utensil or microwave it. Massage the area around the ear and neck in a downward movement, reheating whenever the oil becomes cold.
9. Breast Milk: This is a good option for lactating mothers. Put a few drops of fresh breast milk into the infected ear. It is a well-known remedy for treating ear infections in infants as it contains antibodies. Caution should be taken as to not infect the milk by taking it in a dirty container. Also, it should not be administered directly from the breast as the pressure will be too much to take for an infant’s ear. The best approach is to collect the breast milk in a clean container and use ear droppers.
10. Salt: You can use coarse salt as a home remedy for treating an ear infection in kids. Microwave a cup of coarse salt for a minute. Mix it and reheat for another minute. This can be put in a cotton sock and tied on the open end. Put it over the infected ear for 10 minutes and repeat if needed.
11. Onions: Keep the infected ear in an elevated position to reduce the rush of blood. Chop a small onion or a shallot, heat it over a low flame to soften it, and extract its juice. Put a few drops into the ear. Its anti-bacterial quality will help fight the infection and reduce the pain.
12. Tea Tree Oil Tea tree oil is also used for the treatment of an earache in kids. MIx a few drops of diluted tea tree oil with olive oil; warm it till it is at body temperature. Use a clean dropper to put a few drops in each ear. Be gentle and do not use force as the ear is a sensitive organ.
Earache is usually a symptom rather than a malady. Cold, flu, and congestion are the main causes for this pain in children. These are simple home remedies for quick relief, but it is important to identify the cause. The mentioned remedies work well and can also offer instant relief.
However, not all earaches can be solved through home remedies. Issues such as a perforated ear and extensive infection can permanently damage hearing. This is why you should take your child to a paediatrician if the pain is unbearable or continues for more than a week.
Also Read: How to Clean Baby Ears – Effective Tips and Home Remedies
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Earache is very common in kids between 6 months to 3 years of age, in fact 5 out of 6 kids in U.S are diagnosed with ear infection by the time they’re 3. Learn what cause it, sign and symptoms plus get home remedies for Earache relief.
Earache often follow a cold. During the winter season, it feels like that kids are sick every week with cold or nasal congestion or cough or earaches. Trip to doctor’s office increases during winter season, in hope to get a quick relief for earache, unfortunately it isn’t that easy.
Doctors today are less likely to prescribe antibiotics as germ that cause ear infections are becoming resistant. The most recent American Academy of pediatrics guidelines recommends wait-and-see approach unless there is an obvious ear infection – a very bulging tympanic membrane (eardrum). If a child is older than 2 and isn’t running a fever of 102°F or higher, wait at least 48 hours before starting antibiotics as most infections will resolve on their own within 10 days.
According to CDC, antibiotics are not recommended for most ear infection. Overuse of antibiotics for kid’s ear infections can end up causing antibiotic-resistance and gut flora imbalance causing diarrhea and vomiting.
My elder son had a frequent ear infection during winter season. It was so painful for him that it was hard for us to see him suffer. We used to run to the doctor to get an antibiotic, instead, our doctor suggested warm compresses, frequent breastfeeding, few drops of breastmilk in the ear before trying anything else.
I am so grateful that he suggested wait-and-see approach before prescribing an antibiotic. Most of the time (antibiotic was prescribed once) his earache was gone in 2-3 days with the pain management and use of breastmilk in the ear.
I researched further and found out other very effective home remedies for earache relief when breastfeeding or drops of breastmilk wasn’t as option for me anymore.
Before we jump into home remedies for earache relief, Let’s learn what causes it, sign and symptoms and prevention strategies.
In this post, we will talk about
- What is an earache?
- What causes an ear infection?
- Sign and symptoms
- Home remedies for earache relief
- Plus, how to prevent ear infection?
What is an earache or ear infection?
An ear infection (called Otitis Media) is an inflammation of the middle ear, can be caused by viruses or bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. There are three types of ear infections.
- Otitis Externa often known as a swimmer’s ear, occurs when the outer ear canal is infected, which is different from a middle ear infection.
- Acute otitis media (AOM) is an infection in the middle ear and is the most common ear infection (we will be talking about this here). It occurs when parts of the middle ear are infected, and fluid is accumulated behind the eardrum.
- Inner ear infection usually caused by a virus and are very rare. It is characterized as inflammation of the structures of the inner ear. Inner ear infections cause symptoms such as ringing of the ears (tinnitus) and balance disruption (vertigo). Usually inner ear infection requires medical treatment
The middle ear infection is caused by bacteria or viruses. This infection often follows another illness- cold, flu or allergy — that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages and throat. An ear infection is caused by clogging of the eustachian tube (see pic below) due to swelling, inflammation or fluid builds up in the ear, therefore pressurizing the eardrum [source].
The children are most susceptible to get an ear infection because the eustachian tubes are narrower and more horizontal, making it more likely to get clogged and difficult to drain. Also, swelling and irritation of adenoids (two small pads of tissue near the opening of eustachian tubes) – which are larger in children than adults- is likely to play a role in ear infection in children.
Children exhibit following signs of earache
- Tugging or pulling at an ear
- Crying more than usual
- Loss of appetite
- Poor sleep
- Ear pain – when lying down due to fluid shifting
- Fever 100 F or higher
- Trouble hearing
- Drainage from the ear- Yellow, brown or white fluid oozing from the year, may suggest ruptured eardrum.
Common signs and symptoms in
- Ear pain
- Trouble hearing
- Drainage from the ear
While we all agree to wait-and-see approach for earache, it doesn’t mean that you let your kid suffer. In the meanwhile, you might want to consider home remedies for earache relief. I’ve been using home remedies for my kids for last 8 years and I can proudly say that it worked all the time with little dedication and patience.
With the combination of following approaches (some are tested by us and some worked for lots of people), earache usually resolved by 48 hours most of the time.
Before we move on to home remedies, a quick safety note: If the eardrum is perforated (ruptured), NOTHING should be put in the ear. Ear infections can cause the eardrum to rupture in roughly 10 percent of cases (source). One way to find out if your eardrum is perforated is to watch out for yellow, brown, white fluid (not earwax) draining out of the ear.
This post contains an affiliate links. As an affiliate and Amazon associate, I earn commission on qualified purchase at no extra cost to you.
Another way to find out what is going on inside ear is, use of mini otoscope. It is a great tool to see what is going on inside your little one’s ear. Whether it is earwax or ear infection, attach this mini otoscope to your iPhone and have a look inside your little one’s ear. It also allows you to record the images of eardrum for professional advice.
Without further ado, here are home remedies for earache relief
For Pain management:
1. Warm Compresses:
When your little one or adult complains about earache, first thing to do is apply warm compresses. No brainer, right!! It helps to get the lymphatic fluid moving and easing the discomfort of earaches.
Use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel (make sure temperature is okay to avoid burning) and let your child sleep on it. You can also make your own hot compress using old soak. Filled it with popcorn or salt or rice and microwave it until warm and apply it to your child’s ear as needed.
Warm compress works wonder for some people. For others, alternating hot and cold packs (20 minutes hot, followed by 20 minutes cold) provides the best earache relief.
2. Fluid Swallowing:
Swallowing, yawing and chewing are known to remove fluid out of the eustachian tube, thereby relieving pressure and reducing earache (source). Breastfed babies can be fed more often to reduce ear pain. Older kids can chew gum or hard candy to relive pressure from ear.
3. Ear massage:
Gentle massage around the jaw near ear can help reduce earache by draining excess fluid from the affected ear and prevent pain getting worse.
Apply gentle massage with or without essential oil in a downward motion behind the ear down the neck (lower jaw) and continue toward the front of the ear.
Check out this video by pediatrician showing how to massage to get relief from ear pain.
4. Sleeping position:
Sleeping with the affected ear on the pillow will aggravate earache. To help ear drain better, sleep with the affected ear raised. Also, elevating head with extra pillow will help with pain.
You can give your children Tylenol or Advil if needed. For mild temperature avoid Tylenol, as fever is a natural way of fighting infection.
6. Herbal compound:
I prefer herbal compound over medication when my kids really need something for pain relief. Children herbal compound is milder and safer than Tylenol. You won’t see instant effect as you see with medication, but they are very soothing and helps with fever symptoms. You can try this one: Herb Pharm Herbal Supplement
For Ear infection:
7. Garlic-Mullein Herbal Ear drops
The classic, natural remedy for ear infection is warm olive oil mixed with garlic and mullein. After using this remedy, you most probably won’t have to look for any other remedies for ear infection. As garlic is a natural antimicrobial and antiviral (source) to fight against bacterial or viral infection, and Mullein is an analgesic helps relieve the pain associated with earache.
A double-blinded study published in Journal of Pediatrics 2003 also shows the effectiveness of Garlic-Mullein based herbal ear drops over antibiotic + herbal ear drops in treatment of acute otitis media (source).
You can find Garlic – Mullein oil here or you can make it at home if you prefer.
You can use 3-6 drops of Garlic-Mullein oil in the affected ear 2-3 times a day ( I used it 2 times a day and pain was gone, it is that effective). Use this oil at room temperature or warm (check the temperature before use). Once you put drops in affected ear, let your child rest affected ear up for 10 min with hot water bottle or compress on the ear. After 10 min, let your child rest with hot water bottle as long as he feels comfortable.
8. Ginger oil:
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and it can help relieve earache. You can apply ginger juice directly on outer ear canal. You can also make ginger oil by warming olive oil with ginger in it then strain it. Ginger juice and ginger oil should only be used OUTSIDE ear canal for massage. Do NOT put directly into the ear. You can try this one: Ginger essential oil
9. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Seems like that Apple cider Vinegar is the universal solution for the all kind of pain. It can also work for your earache. Make 1:1 solution of rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar and put 2-3 drops in to affected ear with dropper or cotton ball. Acidity of vinegar keeps bacterial from growing while rubbing alcohol traps the water from ear canal and evaporates, thereby drying ear (source). Although, this remedy has been used for swimmer’s ear but also works for relieving earache.
10. Elderberry – Echinacea – Ginger blend (Elderberry syrup)
For those who want to support immune system naturally, elderberry – echinacea- ginger bled are excellent choice. I give my kids as a preventive measure (1 tsp – 2 years and above) when they are most vulnerable for ear infection or cold or flu (mostly start of fall season). I also give them at the start of respiratory infection (½-1 tsp/3-4 times a day).
Elderberries are very high in Vitamin A and C, Echinacea boosts body’s defence against cold (source)
and ginger is anti-inflammatory, all together these bled make an excellent remedy to prevent or fight against respiratory tract infection.
To make this,
1 cup of Elderberry
1/3 cup of Echinacea
2 inches of chopped ginger
3 cups of water
1 cup of raw honey
Mix these ingredients in saucepan, boil it and then simmer for ½ hour. Let it cool and strain in glass container. Add in 1 cup of raw honey. Store it in cool and dark area. Avoid honey if you are giving it to babies under 1 year.
Here are sure-fire tips for preventing ear infection in your kids.
- Breastfeed your baby
- If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, do it at 45-degree angle
- Avoid breastfeeding baby in her side.
- Avoid put your baby to bed with bottle.
- Avoid pacifier if possible.
- Reduce chance of catching cold by adopting proper hygiene technique (washing hand frequently)
- Don’t smoke or keep your child away from second-hand smoke exposure, as it increases the risk of ear infections.
- Keep your children away from juice, sugar, junk food if they are prone to ear infection (at least at the start and couple of days after infection)
- Use herbs such as Elderberry – Echinacea blend to boost immunity in your children.
- Include supplements – Kid’ multivitamins with zinc and daily probiotics in your kids’ diet.
Regardless of how long your child’s ear has been hurting, call the pediatrician immediately if your child has a
- Fever 102.2°F (39°C) or higher
- Severe pain,
- Draining from the ear
- Sudden hearing loss
- Stiff neck
- Symptoms of middle ear infection last more than 2-3 days
Earaches are one of the most common conditions in early childhood. While there is nothing to worry about it and waiting patiently will usually get rid of earache, but it can make you miserable.
Some of the remedies that I have listed here are evidence based, while others have been based on its empirical use from certain cultures around the world.
Natural remedies work safely, effectively, and quickly for ear infections in children and adult. I hope you feel empowered to try some of these home remedies for earache relief next time you hit with one!!
What are your tips for dealing with earache? Please leave a comment below.
Remember to pin me!!
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition or disease. It is also not a replacement for proper medical care provided by a licensed practitioner. You are responsible for your healthcare.
Earache(Ear pain) | causes, diagnosis, treatment, home remedies
By Medicover Hospitals / 10 Mar 2021
Home | symptoms | Earache(Ear pain)
- What is Earache?
- When to visit a Doctor?
- Home remedies
What is Earache?
- An earache is a pain or discomfort in the ear. Ear pain is also called earache. Your ear is divided into three sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The Eustachian tubes are responsible for equalizing the air pressure in the middle ear and allowing mucus to flow from the middle ear to the throat.
- An earache can affect one or both ears and can range from a mild, dull ache to a throbbing or almost crippling pain. A feeling of fullness in the ear, or a burning sensation, may accompany an earache. An earache can come on suddenly or progress slowly.
- The most common cause of earache in children is an infection of the middle ear. Otitis media is much less common in adults. In adults, ear pain is most often caused by an underlying condition in another area of the body that causes secondary ear pain, called referred ear pain. Causes of referred ear pain include disorders of the temporomandibular joint, jaw, and teeth. Referred ear pain increases with age.
- Depending on the cause, an earache can come on suddenly and go away quickly, like an earache from a change in altitude. An earache that does not go away within 24 to 48 hours or gets worse can be due to a variety of disorders and conditions, including arthritis of the jaw joint, an ear infection, or a foreign object in the ear.
- Since an earache may be due to a serious infection or other abnormal processes, you should see a doctor promptly for an earache that gradually gets worse or does not improve within 24 to 48 hours. An earache that stops suddenly or occurs with a bloody discharge may be a sign of a ruptured eardrum. Although this is not a medical emergency, you should see a doctor promptly if you suspect a ruptured eardrum.
- If you, your child, or someone you are with has ear pain accompanied by excessive crying, high fever, dizziness, change in alertness, swelling in the ears, or weakness of the face, seek medical attention immediately.
- Ear infections are a common cause of earache or ear pain. Ear infections can occur in the outer, middle, and inner ear.
- An outer ear infection can be caused by swimming, wearing hearing aids or headphones that damage the skin inside the ear canal, or putting cotton swabs or fingers in the ear canal.
- Skin in the ear canal that is scratched or irritated can lead to infection. Water softens the skin in the ear canal, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria.
- A middle ear infection can be caused by infections resulting from an infection of the respiratory tract. The buildup of fluid behind the eardrums caused by these infections can breed bacteria.
- Labyrinthitis is a disorder of the inner ear that is sometimes caused by viral or bacterial infections because of respiratory diseases.
Other common causes of earache:
- Change in pressure, such as when flying in an airplane
- Accumulation of earwax
- A foreign object in the ear
- Strep throat
- Sinus infection
- Shampoo or water trapped in the ear
- Use of cotton swabs in the ear
Less common causes of earache:
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome(TMJ)
- Perforated eardrum
- Arthritis affecting the jaw
- Infected tooth
- Impacted tooth
- czema in the ear canal
- Trigeminal neuralgia (chronic pain of the facial nerve)
- Adults and older children with mild hearing pain or pressure in the ear who do not have a fever or hearing loss usually do not need to see a doctor. This type of pain is usually caused by a blocked eustachian tube.
- If the ear pain is more severe or if there are other symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. Your ENT doctor will examine your ears, nose, and throat, and use a device called an otoscope (a lighted instrument) to look inside the ears and check for redness and fluid buildup behind the eardrum. The doctor may blow a puff of air through the otoscope into your eye to see if the eardrum is moving normally.
- Your doctor can test your hearing. One way is to check if you can hear the fingers rubbing near your ear.
- To reduce ear pain, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter ear drops for pain relief, but these should never be used if there is a risk of your eardrum rupturing.
- Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for ear infections, but in many cases, they are not necessary. In children, antibiotics such as amoxicillin can be used to treat severe ear infections or that last more than a few days.
- A buildup of earwax in the ear canal can cause an earache. However, never put anything in your ear – including a cotton swab, which will simply push the wax deeper into the ear instead of pulling it out. Excess earwax should be diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional.
- Children who are prone to earaches from ear infections may need surgery in which a small tube is inserted into the eardrums to prevent fluid build-up. Short-term tubes usually last around 6-9 months before falling off on their own.
- Long-term tubes are larger and secured in place.
When to visit a Doctor?
- Are an adult
- Have ear discharge
- Feel severe pain
- Have difficulty hearing
- Develop a fever
- Feel the pain that lasts longer than a day
- Notice that your hearing gets worse over time
- If your child becomes irritable and restless
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can temporarily reduce the pain of an earache. People with ear pain can try:
- It is important to remember that it is not safe to give aspirin to babies and toddlers. This is due to the risk of a life-threatening condition called Reye’s syndrome.
- The heat from an electric heating pad or hot compress can reduce inflammation and pain in the ear.
- Apply a warm pillow to the ear for 20 minutes. For best results, people should touch the neck and throat with a warm pad.
- The heating pad should not be too hot. People should never fall asleep with a heating pad or allow a child to use a hot compress without adult supervision.
- A cold compress can relieve the pain of an earache.
- Try wrapping ice in a paper towel or freezing a cold compress, then covering it with a light cloth. Hold it against the ear and the area immediately below the ear for 20 minutes.
- The cold shouldn’t hurt, and parents should never apply ice directly to their children’s skin.
- Some people find that heat provides greater relief than cold. For others, alternating hot and cold compresses (20 minutes hot, followed by 20 minutes cold) provides the best pain relief.
- Ear drops can reduce the pressure in the ear caused by fluid and earwax.
- People should read the instructions carefully, and talk to a doctor before using ear drops on a child.
- Ear drops are not a substitute for prescription ear drops or antibiotics, so people should only use them for a few days. If symptoms return, people should see a doctor.
- It is important to remember that people should not use ear drops in a child with tubes in their ears or whose eardrum has ruptured.
- Gentle massage can help relieve ear pain that radiates to the jaw or teeth or causes a tension headache.
- People can massage the sensitive area and the surrounding muscles. For example, if the area behind the ear hurts, try massaging the jaw and neck muscles.
- Massage can also relieve pain from an ear infection.
- Using a downward motion, apply pressure starting just behind the ears and down the neck.
- Continue to apply downward pressure, work towards the front of the ears.
- This type of massage can help drain excess fluid from the ears and prevent the pain from getting worse.
- Garlic has long been used in traditional medicine for pain relief. Some research suggests that it has antimicrobial properties that can fight infection.
- People should not use it as a substitute for antibiotics recommended by a doctor. Instead, consider adding garlic to an antibiotic regimen to speed relief.
- Like garlic, onions can help fight infections and reduce pain. Like garlic, onions are not a substitute for medical care.
- Heat onion in the microwave for a minute or two. Then filter the liquid and apply several drops to the ear. A person may want to lie down for 10 minutes and then allow the fluid to drain out of the ear. Repeat this as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Earaches can occur without infection. They can occur when air and fluid collect behind the eardrum. They can cause a feeling of fullness and discomfort. They can also impair hearing.
Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a mild earache may not be a problem. A doctor should usually be consulted if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms appear, such as fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
However, earaches are not always caused by an ear infection. Other conditions can also cause pain in the ear.
Sharp pain in the ear can sometimes result from an infection of the sinuses – a network of air-filled cavities in the skull. There are three main types of sinus infection. These are otitis, infection, and inflammation of the ear, and the most common type of sinus infection.
90,000 We treat acute otitis media – Neoton Deafness Center in Moscow
Acute otitis media, or otitis media, is a very common problem, especially in children. Of course, a doctor should treat this condition. Unfortunately, there are situations when it is impossible to get to the doctor quickly. What to do in this case?
Acute otitis media, or otitis media, is a very common problem, especially in children. Usually it occurs against the background of a cold, combined with a runny nose, fever.Suddenly there is a sharp pain in the ear, hearing decreases, sometimes the patient notes that the sounds “are given, as in a barrel.” Of course, a doctor should treat this condition. Unfortunately, there are situations when it is impossible to get to the doctor quickly. What to do in this case?
First and foremost in the treatment of acute otitis media, no matter how paradoxical it sounds, vasoconstrictor nasal drops. These are drugs such as naphthyzin, sanorin, galazolin. Yes, they are not very well known – they say, they are addictive, but in case of middle ear inflammation, these drops are simply vital.The fact is that the middle ear cavity is connected to the nasopharynx using the so-called Eustachian tube. With a runny nose, and, therefore, swelling of the mucous membrane, the Eustachian tube loses patency. And the exudate (liquid) arising in the inflamed middle ear cannot be evacuated into the nasopharynx in a natural way. It begins to accumulate, press on the eardrum – pain arises. With severe inflammation, even a rupture of the tympanic membrane is possible. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to restore the patency of the nasal passages and the Eustachian tube.Pay attention – you need to drip into the nose, tilting your head to the side, towards the sore ear. You need to bury it in the nose 4-5 times a day.
The second – actually, drops in the ear 3-4 times a day. It can be an alcoholic solution of boric acid, calendula, or, at worst, ordinary vodka. The drops must be warmed up. It is not necessary to heat the whole bottle at once – it is enough to draw the required number of drops into the pipette, turn it over with the rubber band down and dip the rubber band in hot water for a minute.When instilling the medicine in the child’s ear, the auricle needs to be pulled back and down a little, for an adult – back and up. This is necessary in order to straighten the ear canal and the medicine can freely penetrate to the eardrum.
Ear drops “Otipax”, “Otinum”, “Anauran” can also reduce pain.
Attention! In no case should alcohol solutions or the above medications (except for anauran) be instilled into the ear if discharge has begun from the ear.Most likely (and only a doctor can accurately determine) this means that the eardrum is already perforated, and the ingress of an alcohol solution into the middle ear cavity can cause increased pain. If there is discharge from the ear, it is better to use dioxidine 1% solution. Heated as described above 5-6 times a day. Before instilling dioxidine, you need to clean the external auditory canal from exudate using a flagellum twisted from cotton wool or gauze (by no means a cotton swab!) Moistened with a heated solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide.Drugs such as Panadol, Nurofen, Ibuprofen will also help reduce ear pain and fever. Antibiotics, if needed, will be prescribed by your doctor when you get to him.
There are often tips to apply a hot compress to the sore ear, warm it up with hot salt, and so on. This should not be done under any circumstances! External heat creates a favorable environment for microorganisms, which only increases inflammation, and increased blood flow promotes the spread of infection. The most that can be done is a semi-alcoholic warming compress.A rectangular piece of cloth is cut lengthwise, moistened with vodka or halved alcohol, squeezed well and applied around the ear. The auricle goes through the incision and is not covered with tissue. On top, in the same way, impose an oilcloth or polyethylene or compress paper. Above – a layer of cotton wool (you do not need to cut it). Each subsequent layer should be 2 cm larger than the previous one in each direction. All this is bandaged to the head – tightly, but so as not to disrupt normal blood circulation – and leave for 6-8 hours.It is imperative to monitor the condition of the pain – if he notes that the pain in the ear has increased, the compress must be removed immediately. After removing the compress, the skin is wiped dry and covered with a warm soft cloth.
For children under one year old, warming compresses are placed very carefully and do not leave for more than 1-1.5 hours. In no case should you put a warming compress against a background of elevated temperature.
Otolaryngologist told about the course of otitis media in adults
Inflammatory processes in different parts of the ear lead to irritation of the nerves, swelling and severe pain.Treatment of otitis media must be started as soon as possible, otherwise there can be serious consequences.
Physician-pathophysiologist, immunologist, member
St. Petersburg Society of Pathophysiologists
Chief Physician for CED at SM-Clinic
Acute ear pain is one of the most painful sensations.Many patients compare its strength to a toothache and severe trauma, while women compare it to the process of childbirth. Most often, the ear hurts due to otitis media.
What you need to know about otitis media in adults
Questions and answers
What is otitis media
Otitis media is a common name for inflammatory processes in the ear region. Inflammation can be acute or chronic, affecting various parts of the ear.
If the inflammation is localized in the auricle and ear canal to the border of the tympanic membrane, it is otitis externa, inflammation in the tympanic cavity is otitis media, if the cochlea region is affected, the inner part of the ear is otitis media or labyrinthitis.
These pathologies are extremely painful, accompanied by fever, hearing impairment, discharge from the external passage. In addition, without treatment, otitis media can threaten with severe complications – hearing loss or complete deafness, paresis in the area of the facial nerve, damage to the bones or brain.
Causes of otitis media in adults
The most common causes of otitis externa are trauma, infections of the skin and underlying tissues in the ear canal. Chemical injury to the ear is also possible, irritation and inflammation due to sulfur plugs, water entering the ear, and the formation of boils.
Otitis media is the most common form of the disease. It is usually triggered by bacterial infections, less commonly by viruses, pathogenic fungi, and mixed infection. The most common pathogens:
- haemophilus influenzae;
- influenza virus;
- various causative agents of ARVI.
In recent years, cases of fungal otitis media have become more frequent.
Risk factors that increase the likelihood of otitis media are sniffing, excess mucus in the nasopharynx.pressure drop during diving, diving to depth. Often, otitis media becomes a complication of colds, ENT pathologies (adenoiditis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, rhinitis). The risk is higher in people with immune deficiencies.
Symptoms of otitis media in adults
With otitis externa, the most common complaints will be:
- pulsation in the ear, sharp soreness radiating to the neck, eyes or teeth;
- increased pain when chewing food, talking, closing the jaw;
- redness of the ear canal and auricle;
- hearing impairment, if there is a discharge of pus in the ear canal.
Acute otitis media begins with a rise in temperature along with a shooting pain inside the ear. It grows as mucus and pus accumulates in the cavity, after 2 – 3 days the membrane ruptures, pus flows out of the ear and the condition improves. The temperature decreases, the pain subsides. Then the ruptured membrane heals without a trace.
In the chronic form, mesotympanitis may occur – the inflammation is localized in the area of the Eustachian tube and the lower, middle part of the tympanic cavity. A hole is formed in the membrane, but the membrane itself is stretched.
- hearing impairment;
- periodic appearance of pus from the ear;
- noise in the ear;
- during an exacerbation – pain and temperature.
With the development of epitympanitis, there is a sharp decrease in hearing, the release of foul-smelling pus, pressure in the ear, pain in the temples, dizziness. Periods of exacerbation are followed by remissions, but hearing does not improve completely.
Treatment of otitis media in adults
In order for the treatment to be effective, it is necessary to accurately determine the localization of the inflammatory process, its severity and possible complications. To do this, you need to contact an ENT doctor.
The diagnosis can be suspected on the basis of typical complaints, but the doctor will ask in detail – where and how the ear hurts, press the tragus, pull the earlobe down to determine if there is pain. In addition, the otorhinolaryngologist will examine the ear using instruments and illumination in order to accurately examine the ear canal, eardrum, to see if there is pus and perforation in it.To determine antibiotic susceptibility, flora is cultured. Also, the doctor may prescribe:
- blood tests (general, biochemistry) to determine the nature of the inflammation;
- X-ray of the paranasal sinuses, if a connection with sinusitis is suspected;
- radiography of the temporal bone in chronic otitis media.
All these data are needed in order to determine the tactics of treatment, the need for antibiotics, surgical interventions (membrane perforation or other interventions).
Modern treatment methods
We asked Svetlana Komarova, an otorhinolaryngologist, to talk about how otitis media is treated in adults today. According to her, drug therapy may include:
- drops in the ear containing the analgesic Phenazone and the local anesthetic Lidocaine – to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, when discharge from the ear appears, antibacterial drops containing Rifampicin or Ciprofloxacin should be used;
- vasoconstrictor drops containing Xylometazoline 0.1%, Oxymetazoline 0.05%, Naphazoline 0.1%, Phenylephrine 0.025% are instilled into the nose – to reduce swelling of the nasopharyngeal mucosa around the mouth of the auditory tubes;
- if local drugs are ineffective, analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Acetylsalicylic acid, Paracetamol, Tramadol, Ketoprofen, Ibuprofen) are prescribed orally;
- antipyretic drugs (Paracetamol) are used when the temperature rises above 38.5 C;
- antihistamines (Diphenhydramine, Clemastine, Chloropyramine) are prescribed to reduce edema;
- broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs: penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides, respiratory fluoroquinolones.
Non-drug methods of treatment:
- procedures prescribed by an otorhinolaryngologist: washing the external auditory canal, catheterization of the auditory tube, blowing the auditory tubes according to Politzer, pneumomassage of the tympanic membrane;
- physiotherapy: UFO, UHF, microwave therapy, electrophoresis with anti-inflammatory drugs as prescribed by a physiotherapist.
Non-drug treatments can help relieve pain, restore hearing, and prevent complications.
In case of complicated course of otitis media or ineffectiveness of conservative therapy, surgical treatment (myringotomy, tympanic cavity shunting, radical operation on the middle ear) is indicated, aimed at sanitizing the focus of infection, restoring hearing, preventing relapse.
What antibiotics are effective for otitis media?
“Systemic antibiotic therapy is indicated in all cases of moderate and severe acute otitis media,” says otorhinolaryngologist Svetlana Kovaleva, “as well as in patients with immunodeficiency states.With a mild course of otitis media (the absence of pronounced symptoms of intoxication, pain syndrome, hyperthermia up to 38 ° C), antibiotics can be abstained from. However, in the absence of positive dynamics within 48 hours, antibiotic therapy should be used.
For otitis media, broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed that are effective against typical pathogens: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus.
Amoxicillin is the drug of choice.
Alternative agents for allergy to β-lactams are modern macrolides (Josamycin, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin). In case of ineffectiveness, as well as for patients who received antibiotics for a month, it is advisable for patients over 60 years old to prescribe a complex – amoxicillin + clavulanic acid. Alternative drugs are II-III generation cephalosporins (Cefuroxime axetil, Ceftibuten) or fluoroquinolones (Levofloxacin, Moxifloxacin).
Oral administration of antibiotics is indicated for mild to moderate severity.In severe and complicated course of otitis media, they begin with intravenous or intramuscular administration of the drug, and then continue oral treatment.
The duration of antibiotic therapy is 7-10 days. With complicated otitis media – 14 days or more.
You should not use antibiotics on your own, you should consult an otorhinolaryngologist. Otitis media can be caused by fungal flora or herpes infection. The use of antibiotics in this case can aggravate the course of the disease.
Prevention of otitis media in adults at home
For the prevention of otitis media, it is necessary to avoid hypothermia, wash your hands after the street, irrigate the nasal mucosa with sea water after visiting places with a large crowd of people, harden the body, exercise, daily use fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products.
If it so happened that you got sick and began to bother with a runny nose, then you need to blow your nose very carefully, while releasing only one nostril, otherwise nasal discharge can get through the auditory tube into the ear and provoke otitis media.
Proper ear hygiene must be observed. It is not recommended to use cotton swabs – they can inject a bacterial or fungal infection into the ear. For ear hygiene, use drops consisting of a combination of surfactants (Allantoin, Benzetoin chloride) to cleanse, moisturize and protect the skin of the external ear canal.
Frequently asked questions and answers
We discussed the risks of complications of otitis media and the possibility of their treatment using traditional methods of therapy with ENT doctor Svetlana Kovaleva.
What complications can there be in otitis media?
Inappropriate treatment of otitis media can lead to the formation of scar tissue in the middle ear cavity and to permanent hearing loss.
In otitis externa, cranial nerve damage in the form of paresis and paralysis may occur.
Life-threatening complications may develop. These include:
- mastoiditis – purulent inflammation of the mucous membrane and bone tissue of the mastoid process of the temporal bone;
- labyrinthitis – inflammation of the inner ear, in which the receptors of balance and hearing are affected;
- purulent meningitis – inflammation of the soft and arachnoid membranes of the brain;
- brain abscess – limited purulent fusion of the brain substance;
- sinus thrombosis and sepsis.
When to see a doctor for otitis media?
You need to see a doctor immediately if you have the following symptoms:
- rapid deterioration in general health;
- an increase in body temperature above 39 ° C;
- growing pain in the ear;
- swelling and redness of the skin behind the ear;
- profuse suppuration from the ear;
- heart palpitations.
Can otitis media be treated with folk remedies?
Traditional medicine is not used in official clinical practice, as it has no evidence base. Herbal medicine can support the main treatment for mild otitis media.
As antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents, it is recommended to put tampons moistened with ready-made pharmaceutical tincture of calendula into the auricle.
Compresses with aromatic oils will help with pain in the ear – you need to wet a gauze turunda (tourniquet) in warm water, apply 2 – 3 drops of sage or geranium essential oil on it, put it in the ear canal and make a warm compress on the ear area for 2 hours …
Published on the kp.ru portal
Perichondritis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in Astrakhan | Diseases
Perichondritis is an infection of the tissue that covers the cartilage on the outside of the ear, called the pinna. Perichondritis of the ear can be an inflammatory, not necessarily infectious process, and is manifested by diffuse edema, redness and pain in the auricle, or an abscess between the cartilage and perichondrium.
- Boil in the ear
- Insect Bites
- Cat scratches
- Ear piercing with cartilage piercing
- Systemic inflammatory diseases (granulomatosis with polyangiitis, recurrent polychondritis)
- Incision for superficial infection of the auricle
- Weakened immune system
- Auricle hyperemia
- Ear pain
- Tissue edema
- Purulent discharge
- Avascular necrosis
- Deformation of the auricle
- Purulent necrosis
- Hearing loss
Taking into account the cause of the disease and the existing symptoms, the doctor may prescribe the following types of examination:
- general and biochemical blood tests;
- bacteriological inoculation of the discharge;
- biopsy followed by histological examination;
Treatment depends on the cause and symptoms of the disease, as well as the severity of the course. Taking this into account, the doctor can prescribe:
- removal of foreign objects;
- vitamin therapy;
- physiotherapy treatment;
- warm compresses;
- opening and draining abscesses;
Otitis media, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in St. Petersburg
What is otitis media?
Otitis media is an inflammation of the ear. There are several classifications of this disease:
- By the nature of the process, otitis media is divided into purulent and catarrhal.
- By the nature of inflammation – acute and chronic.
- By localization of the process – to external, middle, internal.
Otitis externa is characterized by inflammation of the skin in the external auditory canal or in the auricle. Otitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear, and otitis media is inflammation of the inner ear (labyrinthitis).
Causes and symptoms of otitis media
Causes of the development of the disease
Otitis externa can occur as a result of bacterial flora, decreased immunity, microtraumas of the skin of the ear canal, vitamin deficiency, diabetes mellitus.
Otitis media is most often caused by pathogenic microbes and viruses in the tympanic cavity. It often develops as a result of decreased immunity, hypothermia, after infections in the upper respiratory tract, after influenza, in children – after scarlet fever, measles, diphtheria, with adenoids or infections in the sinuses.
With different types of otitis media, the following symptoms appear:
- With otitis externa: redness and swelling of the skin of the external auditory canal, severe pain in the tragus of the auricle that appears when pressed, possibly an increase in temperature.
- In catarrhal acute otitis media: throbbing or aching pain in the ear, “stuffy” ear, high temperature.
- With internal otitis media: hearing loss, dizziness, imbalance, nausea, vomiting.
- In case of a purulent inflammatory process in the tympanic cavity: “shooting” pains. Then the eardrum breaks through with pus, the ear begins to “flow”, the pain and temperature may decrease.
Diagnostics and treatment of otitis media
Diagnostics of the disease
Our doctors, using functional diagnostics, will determine the location and nature of inflammation in the ear:
- diseases that contributed to the inflammation;
- viral, bacterial, fungal infections of the body;
- the presence of degenerative changes in the ear or hearing aid;
- state of immunity;
- the presence of allergic reactions in the body.
How to treat otitis media?
Traditionally, therapy is accompanied by the appointment of antibiotics or sulfa drugs for severe inflammation, high temperature.
Usually, gauze turundas moistened with 70% alcohol are placed in the ear canal; shown physiotherapy procedures, warming compresses, vitamin therapy. The abscess is opened. The ear canal with diffuse inflammation is usually washed with disinfectants.
Antibiotics, antiseptics, sulfa drugs, antipyretics, as well as local warming compresses, physiotherapy are used. To reduce pain, 96% warm alcohol can be instilled into the ear. When pus appears, instillation must be stopped. If conservative therapy is unsuccessful, the tympanic membrane is dissected. With reduced hearing, after the cessation of discharge from the ear or after the membrane is healed, pneumatic massage and blowing are shown.
Otitis of the inner ear
Conservative therapy is used (dehydration and antibacterial treatment). In case of a labyrinthitis with a fistular symptom, but with a preserved function of the labyrinth, as well as in case of ineffectiveness of antibiotic therapy, general cavity trepanation is necessary. The decisive indication for surgery is purulent labyrinthitis with intracranial complications.
Our experienced specialists will help you with any severity of otitis media.A timely visit to an otolaryngologist if you suspect that you are getting otitis media will help prevent the development of the disease and unpleasant consequences.
See also : UFO in otorhinolaryngology.
how to do it right? – Information portal New Crimea
A child’s illness is an unpleasant period in the life of any parent. The childish structure of ENT organs is not yet perfect. Therefore, often, even with a minimal cold or infectious disease, a child can even get sick with otitis media.Many doctors qualify otitis media as a complication of the common cold. Although, in itself, otitis media can occur on its own due to infection or draft, for example. There is already a question of etiology. With regard to childhood otitis media, infection from the ENT organs easily gets through the small Eutichian tube and “settles” in the middle or inner ear. This is where the inflammatory process takes place. It is very important to remember that the treatment of otitis media must be comprehensive. It is necessary to treat not only the symptoms, but also the root cause of the disease.Many therapists prescribe a compress. Compressing for otitis media is a great way to create good conditions for recovery. And how to do everything right so as not to harm – read right now in this review.
What can be harmful from a compress?
A warming compress is a good way to speed up the progress of otitis media and to help the patient recover. But there are such types of diseases in which a compress can only become an additional catalyst and a kind of “impetus” to further complications and the development of diseases.For example, this is a latent otitis media, during which there are purulent accumulations. In no case should such otitis media be treated with warming compresses. Just imagine, an inflammatory process with purulent discharge develops inside the auricle. You add heating to this process. Thus, you will create an additional impetus for the development of the inflammatory process for harmful and pathogenic microflora. Therefore, in order not to harm your child and not to accelerate the development of infections, be sure to consult with your doctor about the appointment of such drugs.And remember that the treatment of diseases of this type must necessarily be accompanied by mandatory supervision by a doctor.
What will the compress give? What are the effects?
In fact, a compress for otitis media, in which there is no purulent discharge, will contribute to a quick recovery of the patient. Note the following immediate effects of therapy.
- Increasing the intensity of blood circulation in the area of the inflammatory process
- Accelerating recovery processes at the point of inflammation
- Facilitating the elimination of toxic substances
- Synergistic effect in the use of additional drugs
- Reduction of acute pain
- Possibility of the patient to rest from symptoms and just relax ( sleep, read a book)
What types of compresses exist in the treatment of otitis media?
Compresses for otitis media can be warming, wet or dry.It is no coincidence that they are divided into three groups.
If we are talking about a warming compress, then its main purpose is to warm the patient’s ear. There are some dangers here. The first danger is that the compress cannot be used at a temperature. Also, a warming compress cannot be used in the treatment of purulent otitis media.
Wet or wet compress is a compress containing a drug-impregnated layer. Such a compress can also be warming.In any case, we advise you to use it as carefully and carefully as possible.
Another type of compresses is a dry compress. Its use is permissible in combination with other types of compresses, since dry is designed to absorb purulent discharge.
To whom is an ear compress indicated – how to make a compress on the ear for an adult or a child?
Everyone who has encountered such a disease as otitis media knows how excruciating pain is and how difficult it is to treat. The first thing that comes to mind when an ear hurts is to take “some” pill and make a warming compress.And not everyone thinks how dangerous self-medication can be.
The appearance of pain in the ear is, first of all, a reason to see a doctor !
And only then – medicines and compresses.
The indication for dressing is …
- Otitis externa.
- Hypothermia, drafted ear.
- Acute otitis media.
- Otitis media (approx. – only dry heat is used for the compress).
- Chronic otitis media / ear (approx.- outside the stage of exacerbation).
It is strongly not recommended to self-prescribe a warming compress for yourself if you suspect otitis media or just an incomprehensible pain in the ear. Remember that heating during a purulent process is extremely dangerous and can lead to unpredictable consequences.
Otitis media is not a mild runny nose or headache, it is a serious disease that must be diagnosed by a specialist . He will prescribe the treatment necessary in each specific case, and also tell you whether a compress is needed as an additional remedy in the treatment with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drops.
The principle of applying any compress is to locally create three layers of bandage over the required area of the skin:
If the compress is wet, then it is enough to have folded 6-8 layers of torn off bandage or gauze, formed according to the required dimensions.
If the compress is dry, then to the existing layers of the bandage, one or two layers of cotton wool are added between them, evenly spaced within the contour of this layer of the bandage.
A warming compress involves the use of dry heat (the inner layer is heated with an iron before being applied to the body, making sure that it is not excessively hot) or a pre-heated solution of the medicinal substance.
Technique of applying a warming compress Fig. 1 – the required material, Fig. 2 – general view of the compress
In the absence of gauze and bandage, the inner layer can be formed with a clean piece of any easily soaked natural fabric, which is recommended to be pre-ironed with a hot iron for disinfection …
Its main function with dry compresses is to maintain a constant temperature near the skin area, regardless of its changes in the environment in cold or hot seasons, if necessary, go outside.
In the case of applying a wet compress, the middle layer has an insulating function, preventing the entire dressing and garments from being saturated with liquid, thereby reducing the concentration of the drug and its effectiveness.
Waxed or kraft paper is most often used to create the middle layer.When applying a wet compress, cellophane (polyethylene) may be used instead of paper.
Its function is additional insulation. For this, cotton wool is used.
In order to maximize the effect of the compress, it is important to remember that each subsequent layer should be 2-3 cm wider than the previous one.
If the compress is applied to the ear, then a linear incision is made in the inner and middle layers of the dressing to bring the auricle outward, since the main effect is focused on the middle and inner ear, located peripherally from the outer opening of the auditory canal inside the bone.
The compress is fixed to the desired area of the skin by applying a bandage round over it. You can use other methods of fixation for this purpose – adhesive plaster, elastic and mesh bandages, diapers, shawls, scarves.
The compress should be held tightly, but, at the same time, without disturbing the blood supply to the parts of the body surrounding the bandage.
Most often, in the treatment of diseases of the middle and inner ear, a wet oil or alcohol compress is used.
Compress on the ear, as an additional method of treatment, is used for pain and discomfort (feeling of “clicks” when swallowing, dizziness) observed during colds of the upper respiratory tract, as well as for nonsuppurative acute and chronic otitis media.
What kinds of compresses are there?
There are not so many species.
First of all, compresses are dry or wet.
They are further classified according to the warming agent used:
- Vodka. The most popular option. About 50 ml of heated vodka, which is diluted 1 to 1 with water, is consumed for “one adult ear”. This bandage provides a good warming effect and relieves pain. A decoction of plants or essential oil is sometimes added to vodka.The wearing time of such a bandage is a maximum of 4 hours.
- Alcohol . A less common option with the same treatment regimen as in the above case. Instead of vodka, use 50 ml of diluted medical alcohol (usually diluted 1 to 1, or even reduce the alcohol content in the solution to 20%), the bandage is also worn no more than 4 hours. Heating with alcohol is not required.
- With camphor oil. This option is no less effective than vodka, but not so popular due to its shortcomings: the oil should be heated in a water bath, not everyone has it at hand, the oil forms stains on clothes.The time of wearing the bandage is no more than 6 hours.
- With camphor alcohol . This tool is distinguished by a very powerful warming, as well as absorbing effect. Minus – it irritates the skin, therefore, before installing the compress, it is lubricated with a fat baby cream. Alcohol is necessarily diluted, and then heated. The time of wearing the bandage is no more than 2 hours.
- With boric alcohol. Despite the fact that boric acid is known as an excellent antiseptic, the method is considered outdated.The scheme is simple: boric alcohol + ordinary vodka + water (approx. – 20 ml of each component). The time of wearing the bandage is no more than 4 hours.
Universal instructions for applying a compress
The algorithm for applying a compress to the ear includes the following steps:
Free the ear from the hair falling on it, remove the earrings.
- Place the patient on a chair, asking him to lean on the back. Young children (up to 3 years old) should be picked up by another adult assistant.
- Moisten the prepared inner layer cloth with diluted alcohol or vodka solution. When using oil, before moistening a gauze cloth with it, the oil is heated to 40 ° C in a water bath, controlling the heating by applying a bottle or moistened gauze to the inner surface of your forearm to control the process. The alcohol solution used can be heated in the same way.
- The excess liquid of the moistened tissue is squeezed out and the wet layer is pressed against the skin through the previously made incision for the auricle.The patient at this time, it is necessary to tilt his head towards the healthy ear.
- In the same way, an insulating layer is applied and pressed with the palm of your hand.
- Having made sure, having walked along the contour of the wet compress with a dry cotton swab, that there is no leakage of liquid, apply the last insulation layer, which should cover the previous ones.
- After that, the compress is fixed with a reinforcing bandage, over which you can put on a warm silk scarf.
The compress lasts until the warming effect is maintained. It lasts 3-4 hours for alcohol solutions, 6-8 hours for oil solutions. If there is no sensation of warmth, or vice versa, an intolerable burning sensation appears, the procedure should be interrupted. By eliminating the leakage of the solution and its individual intolerance, the compress can be shifted. Leaving it overnight is not recommended.
After removing the moist compress on the ear, the excess oil on the skin is removed. To preserve the heat effect, you can immediately apply a dry compress to your ear or tied your head with a warm handkerchief, holding until you feel warm.
It is recommended to apply compresses every day while the ear hurts.
In addition to this, the classical method, you can make a compress on the ear of a young child with the help of sanitary pads:
- A pad is taken that does not exceed 1 cm in thickness (optimally 0.7-0.9 cm .).
- A linear hole is made for the auricle.
- The wetted side is moistened with a heated alcohol or oil solution and applied to the skin area.
Further actions coincide with the fourth point and further described earlier in the usual way of applying a compress to the ear. An insulating layer is not necessary in this case.
Of the contraindications to otitis media, the following can be noted:
- Purulent otitis media (this is the very first and most important contraindication).
- Mastoiditis and labyrinthitis (note – complications of otitis media).
- Increased body temperature.
- Violation of the integrity of the skin at the site of the installation of the compress (abrasions, sores, wounds, boils or dermatitis).
- Presence of moles in the same area.
Why is it important to see a doctor and avoid self-medication?
Otitis media is treated fairly quickly and, as a rule, successfully. If you don’t start it.
A person who diagnoses himself “on the Internet” is not able to see the purulent process inside the ear. It would seem that he blew out his ear while walking, warmed it up with a compress, and everything went away. But warming the ear during a purulent process is a serious risk of developing (rapid development!) Such complications as the spread of infection, meningitis or even a brain abscess.
How to do it?
- Carefully and carefully clean the outer part of the ear from dirt (note – it is forbidden to climb inside the ear!) With a cotton swab.
- Lubricate the compress area with Oily Baby Cream to prevent skin burns or irritation.
- Fold the sterile gauze in several layers and make a cutout in the shape of a square to fit the baby’s ear.
- Wet the future bandage with vodka warmed up to 37 degrees, wring it out and put it on the ear. The eyelet should look out of the gauze “scarf”.
- Next, cut out the protective square from polyethylene according to the same principle and apply it over the gauze.
- With sterile cotton, tightly close the applied compress together with the eyelet.
- We tie the resulting structure with a bandage – we fix it tightly so that the compress does not fall off.
- We warm the compress with a cap , a woolen scarf or a scarf, tying it around the head.
- Wearing a compress – no more than 2 hours.
- It is recommended to apply the dressing between 2 and 4 pm when the ears are most receptive to the treatment.
- Important After the procedure, wipe the skin around the ear with a damp cloth and lubricate with cream again to avoid irritation.
What to do at a temperature in a newborn – first aid and care rules
How to put a compress on an adult’s ear – an algorithm of actions and rules
For a dry compress, neither vodka nor alcohol is required.Sterile cotton is packed in sterile gauze, after which a V-cut is made in bandage and a compress is applied to the ear in the same way as for children (see above). From above, the compress is fixed with a bandage tied around the head.
The warming effect is obtained due to the natural heat transfer from the body. The dressing can be left on overnight.
If you wish, you can heat sea salt or ordinary salt in a frying pan, pour it into a canvas bag and, wrapping it in a cloth, apply it to your ear until the salt cools completely.
When the compress may be needed
If the ear canal is inflamed, symptoms of fever and temporary hearing loss may also appear. Young children often react to pain through behavioral changes and crying.
The child touches the ear and becomes irritable. If these signs occur, you should immediately visit a doctor – after examination, he will be able to make a diagnosis.
Correct diagnosis is extremely important for effective treatment – in case of bacterial inflammation, the use of a warm compress on the ear is not recommended.because it can lead to the spread of infection and aggravation of the condition.
The most common causes of ear inflammation are infection, pressure changes, impurities, foreign bodies, infections, and shampoo and water trapped in the ear canal.
Treatment of pain is carried out, as with many other diseases, by eliminating the underlying cause. Applying a compress to the affected ear is recommended. With inflammation of the ear canal, it is advisable to use heat – the warmed canal becomes less painful, healing is accelerated.For long-term problems, it is advisable to consult a doctor and, if necessary, initiate special targeted treatment.
A warm compress slows down blood circulation in the affected area and, thereby, accelerates the development of inflammation (the inflammatory focus matures faster).
The warming compress will help children to accelerate the painful onset of acute otitis media or dental abscess radiating to the ear region. This procedure helps to accelerate the formation of pus, which is cleared as part of the subsequent treatment.The painful phase of inflammation is minimized.
Why do ears often hurt in summer? – Into-Sana
Quite often, inflammatory ear diseases – otitis media – occur in the hot season. They are caused by the ingress of water into the ear while bathing. Also, otitis media can be a complication of the common cold.
There are different types of otitis media. If the inflammatory process takes place in the external part of the ear (auditory canal), we are talking about otitis externa. If the middle ear is inflamed, it is otitis media.Depending on the causes and localization, the methods of prevention and treatment of the disease differ.
In the heat, at the height of the bathing season, ear diseases occur due to prolonged exposure to water in the ear canal. Meanwhile, in children, otitis media most often provokes a runny nose, which occurs against the background of colds, flu, ARVI. Inflammation develops due to the anatomical features of the structure of the auditory tube. It is directly connected to the nasal cavity. As a result, an infection from the nose can enter the middle ear and provoke an inflammatory process.
The main symptoms of otitis externa are pain when pressing on the ear or when chewing. In the inflammatory process, in addition to pain in the ear, congestion, hearing loss and an increase in body temperature are also observed.
Adults can take painkillers and drip drops on their own for a couple of days. But if the symptoms of inflammation do not decrease, and the use of drugs does not bring relief, and the temperature does not drop, it is necessary to consult an ENT doctor. As for children, self-medication is unacceptable.At the first symptoms of ear inflammation, the child must be shown to the otolaryngologist. After all, otitis media is fraught with dangerous complications such as meningitis (the spread of infection to the brain), hearing loss or loss, the spread of infection to the inner ear with the development of labyrinthitis (inflammation of the structures of the inner ear).
Traditionally, for the treatment of otitis media, warming semi-alcohol compresses, ear drops and vasoconstrictor nasal drops are used. If necessary, antibiotics, antihistamines, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.In the future, when acute inflammation recedes, physiotherapy is prescribed (UHF and quartz tube).
It is especially important to take measures to prevent the disease. To prevent inflammation of the outer ear after swimming, rubbing the ear canals with cotton wool soaked in boric alcohol will help. A simple and affordable protection can be special earplugs for swimming. They prevent water from entering the ear and protect against inflammation. For the prevention of otitis media, which occurs due to the common cold, vasoconstrictor nasal drops should be used.When normal ventilation of the auditory tube is maintained, there is no reason for otitis media.