The ear is a complex structure that consists of three sections: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. A tiny tube, called the eustachian tube, connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and nose. This is the tube that we open by yawning or swallowing.
Most parents are familiar with ear infections and they are usually the most common reason for a visit to the doctor. Chances are, that by the time a child reaches the age of 6 they will have suffered an ear infection of some form. Most ear infections get better without any treatment, but if you are in doubt of the severity of the problem you should always contact your doctor.
Inflammation of the ear is called ‘otitis’. Otitis ear infection occurs when bacteria or a virus invade the external, middle or inner part of the ear. There are 2 common types of ear infections, otitis media and otitis externa. t for the rest of their lives.
Outer ear infections can spread from general skin infections, or might just happen on your ear.
They can be caused by:
* viruses like herpes,
* bacteria such as Staphylococci, or
* fungi such as candida, which causes thrush.
Infections often get into the outer ear because of scratching the skin. You might scratch the skin because it is itchy due to eczema or psoriasis inside the ear. You might also damage skin and allow infection to enter if you put objects such as cotton buds or pencils in your ear to try to get rid of earwax. This infection is sometimes called swimmer’s ear, because it can be caught though infected or polluted water getting into the ear.
Inner ear infections are often caused by the common cold, which spreads through the tube that connects your ears and nose (the Eustachian tube). They can also be caused by common childhood illnesses such as measles, or by getting water in your ear when you have a burst eardrum.
NATURAL PRESCRIPTIONS FOR EAR INFECTIONS:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF
* Treat with acetaminophen (like Tylenol) to relieve pain.
* Elevate the head of the bed by resting the bed frame on books or lift the crib or bed mattress the same way. This will facilitate draining of the tubes and help relieve pressure and thus pain.
* Relieve pain with a warm compress held to the ear.
* Drink fluids to help keep mucus thin and flowing. The act of swallowing opens the tubes and encourages them to drain, and the fluids fight infection.
* Use a vaporizer in the bedroom at night.
* If you or your child has a tendency to ear Infections, always use a decongestant at night when either one of you has a cold.
* Drink a dropperful of echinacea (available at health food stores) dissolved in a glass of water three times daily. This is safe for adults and children over a year old.
* During the acute stage of infection, take 200 mg. of N-acetylcysteine two times a day. (This is not recommended for babies under a year.)