Getting an ear infection is a commonplace event for a lot of people. The human ear canal is quite susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections, this is even more true when it comes to younger children. Some estimates suggest that over twenty million pediatric visits can be attributed to nothing more than ear infections.
However, ear infections are not only found in youngsters. If you an adult who frequently gets ear infections, then there’s a good chance you’d be happy to discover useful information about the condition, as well as possible remedies. Read on to find out about symptoms, causes and ways to treat an ear infection.
The medical name for an ear infection is otitis media. The infection occurs in an area directly behind the eardrum. It is most often caused by bacteria coming from some outside source. There are cases however where water remaining in the ear can lead to the ear canal being more friendly to bacteria.
The bacteria that cause the infection typically find their way in through the Eustachian tubes (the channel that connects the inner ear and back of the throat). If you want to be able to treat and prevent an ear infection, then it’s vital to have an understanding of how it works.
Under normal circumstances the Eustachian tubes drain accumulating fluid from the ear as part of the ear’s regular physiological process. When the tubes do not drain the excess fluid properly it can lead to ear infections. One common example occurs during a bout with the common cold. Some of the follicles in the Eustachian tubes stop working the way they should, that, in turn, allows the bacteria to continue building up until an ear infection occurs.
Now, understanding the mechanism behind ear infections is one thing, but you need to know what the actual symptoms are to ensure proper treatment. The most noticeable symptom is pain. This pain runs the range from mildly irritating to the unbearably painful. It is also possible for discharge to be present, though that’s not always the case. Further symptoms, at later stages, can include vomiting and fever. Because the ear is largely responsible for our sense of balance, some people may experience dizziness or a loss of balance.
The good news is that there are several different ways relieve and cure ear infections. It’s no surprise that antibiotics are a favorite treatment amongst the doctors who can prescribe them. There’s nothing wrong with them, but the person suffering from the infection may not be able to see their doctor for a while, and they need relief from the discomfort now.
That’s where home remedies for ear infections come in handy. The first one most people opt for is over-the-counter ear drops made specifically for this purpose. If those don’t work, or all the stores are closed, you can always try some of the following: garlic that has been cooked in oil, lemon juice or vinegar. However, these should only be used as a last resort.