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Ear Infection: Common Symptoms and At-home Treatment Tips

by Busines Newswire
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Being a small part of the body having the smallest bones known to exist, the ear is one of the most essential organs of our bodies. From helping us to communicate and hear sound to maintaining our balance while walking and standing, the ear is important for our survival. That is why, maintaining its health is as important as any other body part.

However, we do not bother with issues related to the ear until the problem has advanced. Therefore, let us talk about some ear diseases today. The ear concern we plan on discussing today is ear infection. How do you know if you have an ear infection? Let’s discuss some common symptoms and ways to manage them at home.

Common Symptoms of Ear Infection

The onset of symptoms after an ear infection usually occurs rapidly. It is more common in children and their symptoms can vary than those of adults. Let’s see what are the common ear infection symptoms.

In children

If your children have developed an ear infection, they might complain of the following:

  • Occasional or continuous pain in their ears
  • Muffled sounds or trouble in hearing (they might not respond to you)
  • Headache
  • Fluid coming out of their ears
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Pressure in their ears

There is also a fever associated with the infection. In addition, you might also notice them frequently tugging at their ears. Children also seem frustrated, have lesser appetite, and cry more than usual due to pain or discomfort when any ear infections occur.

In Adults

The signs and symptoms symptoms of infection in adults include:

  • Pain inside the ear and the surrounding region
  • A sensation of fullness or heaviness in the ears
  • The fluid discharge might be weird colored or smell bad
  • Itching in the ear
  • Scaly skin around the ear looks like dry skin

We suggest you use a Bebird otoscope to keep track of ear infections, this ear camera allows you to take pictures to show to your doctor.

Home Remedies and Self-care Tips to Treat Ear Infection (8 Ways)

Use Warm Or Cold Compresses to Lessen the Symptoms

Warm or cold compresses help in reducing the symptoms of ear infections by alleviating the sensations around the ears. For example, Cold compressions help relieve pain by numbing the area while warm compressions dilate your blood vessels and facilitate fluid outflow. You can use one of these or both at alternate times.

For cold compressions, use the ice packs or dip a washcloth in iced water. To make your DIY warm compresses, you can use a washcloth dipped in hot water. Also, you can simply buy heating pads available in the market. In both cases, make sure that the compress is not too hot to burn your skin.

Easily Available Over-The-Counter Painkillers

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or NSAIDs are over-the-counter medications that can be used without a doctor’s prescription to relieve earache. However, you must not take an overdose of such medicines or use them too often.

These medications reduce pain and fever associated with an active infection of the ears. But, if you are already using flu or other medications prescribed by a doctor, be careful about taking all these together. The two drugs can react with each other and cause harmful effects.

Neck Exercises

Ear infection causes the muscles around the ear canal to swell thus increasing pain and discomfort. Neck exercises can help reduce muscle tension and reduce pressure in your ear canal. The neck exercises include:

  • Rotating your head slowly in a circular motion
  • Tilting your head sideways (tilt the head toward right shoulder and then left shoulder)
  • Open your mouth wide and hold it like that for a few seconds

Ginger Juice

Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe your ears and provide relief from pain. You can use both ginger juice and ginger oil for this home remedy. Ginger oil is prepared by slightly heating any oil in ginger at a low temperature.

But, do not put it into your ears and apply it only on the outer side.

Keep Your Ears Clean

Ear infections worsen when you do not properly maintain ear hygiene. Therefore, it is important to keep the ear clean mainly if you have an ear infection. For inside the ear, you can drip a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear and then irrigate the ear with water.

Then for the outer side, just take a simple clean washcloth and lightly dab it around the ear. You can also use saline solution to clean the outer ear.

Change Your Sleeping Position

When you sleep with your affected ear placed on a pillow, it aggravates the pain. Therefore if the pain is only in one ear, sleep with your affected side facing the ceiling. You can also use more than one pillow so that your head is in a higher position than the body. It makes fluid drainage easier.

If both sides of your ear are affected, then sleep on your back so that none of the ears are directly touching the pillow.

Avoid tugging at Your Ears

Irritation in the ears is common due to an ear infection. It makes you want to scratch the ear canal and also tug at your ears. This not only increases the chances of eardrum rupture but also gives a chance for bacteria to spread more. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid touching ears frequently specifically when you have an active ear infection.

Visit the Doctor if Symptoms Worsen

All the home remedies are mostly effective when the ear infection is at a mild to moderate stage. To know the extent of your ear infection and its effects on the parts of the middle and inner ear, use an at-home ear camera just like  BeBird Note 5 Pro to examine your ears. This small pen-shaped device features an HD camera and an ergonomic design that can be safely inserted into the ear to observe its structures.

Furthermore, If there is excessive pain, discharge, or increasing discomfort, a visit to a professional can help reduce the risk of eardrum damage and hearing loss. So, you must take timely measures as indicated by the condition of your ears.

How do you know if you have an ear infection? Pain, fluid discharge, muffled sounds, and itching are common ear infection symptoms. Let’s learn how to treat these at home.