Ear infections may be either internal or external. Otitis media, a middle ear infection, Occurs behind the eardrum. Otitis externa, an outer ear infection, occurs in the ear canal outside the drum. Acute middle ear infections are associated with bacteria. Chronic middle ear inflammation may come from chronic bacterial infection or a buildup of fluid, usually caused by allergic reactions. Infants who are exposed to solid food and cow’s milk too early may develop significant food allergies which are directly correlated with chronic ear infections. The allergies often begin right after the child is weaned from breast feeding.
Middle ear infections cause acute pain, a clogged or blocked sensation in the ear with some temporary loss of hearing, and bulging of the eardrum. More rarely, the eardrum can rupture, discharging pus and fluid into the ear canal. Chronic ear infections cause redness of the eardrum and pressure and blockage in the ears with some, usually reversible, hearing loss.
Following a rupture, the eardrum will usually repair itself, but may leave scarring. Chronic ear infections may cause hearing loss, which usually resolves when the fluid drains or disappears. In chronic middle ear inflammation with an allergic basis (“glue ear”) antibiotics are ineffective on a long-term basis, and the causative allergic responses must be addressed. Even in acute ear infection, antibiotics may not shorten the course of illness. Conventional physicians often recommend surgical insertion of tubes into the eardrums to drain off the fluid, in order to prevent chronic hearing loss which may interfere with language development in young children.
- If a child quickly develops an ear infection after playing in the cold air, she needs Aconite.
- If the child has intense, throbbing pain in the right ear, a bright red face, and a fever of 103 F or higher, give Belladonna.
- For fussy children whose ear infections are associated with teething Chamomilla is best.
- Children who scream with pain during an ear infection may need Hepar sulphuris, Belladonna, or Chamomilla.
- If mercurius is needed, there is likely to be bad breath, a coated tongue, excessive saliva, and bad smelling, perspiration.
- Mild, moody children who cry easily and want to be held and caressed during an ear infection are likely to need Pulsatila.
- If Silica is needed, there will generally be a tendency to swollen glands, excessive bad smelling perspiration, and possibly a history of dental problem.
Self Care and Home Remedies
- Mullein garlic oil drops, three drops in the affected ear three times daily. Warm the oil bottle under the faucet first. Put a piece of cotton in the ear after inserting drops to prevent the oil from coming out. If there is a tendency for the infection to spread from one ear to the other, put the drops in both ears.
- Alternating hot and cold compresses to the affected ear.
- Beta-carotene: 50,000 units daily in acute cases; 25,000 units daily in chronic cases.
- It is often helpful to remove mild products from the diet, at least temporarily.
- Goat’s milk is good substitute for cow’s milk.