There are three main parts to the ear: The outer ear is where sound waves are gathered and then directed into the ear in the direction of the eardrum, the middle ear is where sound waves bounce and vibrate 3 very small bones, and the inner ear is where a very small spinal structure converts the vibrations into nerve impulses to the brain.
Many instances of ear problems arise from within the Eustachian tube, which is a small tube that attaches the middle ear and the throat. This tube is very important because it helps to equalize ear pressure that can rupture the ear drum. However, the Eustachian tube can also be a roadway for bacteria to travel to the middle ear from the throat and nose, which is responsible for an infection known as otitis media. If your Eustachian tube is shorter, you will be more susceptible to infections because the bacteria will have to travel a shorter distance to the inner ear. Once the inner ear becomes infected and inflamed, fluid builds up which tends to cause decreased hearing and a stuffy feeling in the head. When children get older, the angles of the Eustachian tube changes and allows fluids in the middle ear to drain more effectively. This is why children between the ages of six months and three years tend to have more ear infections than adults.
The middle ear does not hold patents on infections. Other areas of the ear are also susceptible. For instance, swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear that affects people that do a lot of swimming, though it can also affect nonswimmers as well. Swimmer’s ear usually starts out as an itching or tingling followed by a yellowish discharge outside the ear. Therefore, if you notice that your ear hurts when you pull on it or wiggle it, there is a good chance you may have an outer-ear infection. Symptoms usually include discharge from the ear, fever, and temporary loss of hearing in the affected ear.
Researchers have found that there is a link between frequent middle ear infections and food allergies. Many of the children with consistent middle ear infections have some type of food allergy. The main foods that are problematic are wheat, milk, and eggs. Whenever these common allergens were taken away, more than seventy-five percent of children get better. There are other factors that can be associated with ear infections and they are: Smoke from wood-burning stoves, second hand smoke, being bottle-fed, or being breast fed for less than 4 months.
All-natural ear infection remedies
- Kill bacteria and strengthen your immune system with Echinacea. You can take one dose 3 times daily for 3 days, followed by one dose once a day for 4 more days.
- Strengthen the immune response by taking vitamin C. For the best results, take three thousand milligrams a day in separate or divided doses.
- Zinc is also good for strengthening the response of the immune system. Try to take ten milligrams preferably as a lozenge 3 times a day for 5 days.
- Get rid of the deficiency that is associated with ear infections by taking Manganese. For best results, take ten milligrams a day.
- Help kill the bacteria that are associated with ear infections by taking Garlic. You can take a single dose of odorless garlic daily for about five days, or you can just simply follow the directions on the package.
- Help maintain healthy and beneficial bacteria in the intestine as well as kill infectious bacteria by taking Acidophilus. This is extremely important if you were given antibiotics by a physician to treat the ear infection. Antibiotics destroy the good bacteria as well. Replace the good bacteria by taking one dose of acidophilus for one week after taking prescribed antibiotics or you can follow the directions on the package.
Tips on how to prevent ear infections
For the most part, you can prevent some ear infections from occurring. To limit the risk of getting a middle ear infection, you should always blow your nose gently. If you blow too hard, you can actually force infection causing bacteria into the ear. You can prevent out-ear infections by keeping your ears as dry as possible. If water gets into your ear while bathing, you can take a hair dryer and hold it about 18 inches from your ear and blow warm air into the ear, do not use hot air. Any remaining moisture in the ear should be gone after a couple of minutes.