Ear infections are the most common complaint we hear about when it comes to treating our pediatric patients. But children are not the only ones who suffer from ear infections and ear pain, and there are many natural ear infection remedies that are available to you.
How can you prevent, treat, and stop ear infections naturally?
Many parents believe that their only option for help and treatment of ear infections is to go to their medical doctor. Well I am here to tell you that this is not true and that you do have other options besides taking another antibiotic.
Believe me when I say that I understand the helpless feeling one has when their child is screaming inconsolably in the middle of the night. I have experienced these awful moments with each of my own three children. And I to as an adult have experienced severe ear pain, where all I wanted to do was lie on the floor with my painful ear facing down onto a heat pad or ice pack, whichever felt better in that moment. Ear infections and the pain associated with them is terrible and you want relief yesterday.
First and foremost, all ear infections are not caused by bacteria in the ear which require antibiotics to resolve them. In fact, anything that causes fluid to back up into the ear can lead to swelling and irritation, and thus pain. We have been conditioned to believe that with every ear infection or sign of an infection, we must run to the doctor to get and take antibiotics. But now, even The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a “watch and wait” approach when it comes to ear pain in children, and the same is true for adults to. Research has actually shown that an ear infection resolves in the same number of days with or without an antibiotic. We as chiropractors always choose to err on the side of less medication is better. Allowing your own immune system to fight the infection is valuable and recommended.
But what about the pain? What can you do to alleviate the discomfort and promote healing?
For myself, I found that when I laid my painful ear down onto a moist and heated washcloth, I felt almost immediate relief. The moist heat helps to promote and improve circulation to the area; so we recommend you apply a warm moist washcloth to the affected ear and down the side of the neck on the same side to promote drainage of the fluid in that area.
Another option we recommend and have found very helpful for our children and in our patients is the chiropractic adjustment. Why? When you have bones in your neck (the cervical spine) that are restricted, you also get tightness of the muscles in that area as a result of this restriction, and without normal motion and muscle function, the body has a difficult time flushing out the excess fluid that has backed up into the ear and lymph nodes in that area. Additionally, a chiropractic adjustment provides a boost to your immune system so that your body is able to function at peak levels and heal naturally. Seek out a chiropractor in your area or visit us, your Grand Junction chiropractor in Grand Junction, Colorado.
I also am a huge advocate for the use of natural essential oils. Now not all essential oils are created equally, but there are quite a few brands out there that offer high quality pure essential oils with unmatched purity. A couple of these are DoTerra and Young Living. We choose to use DoTerra in our office and with our family; we have been very happy with the quality and results we have experienced.
My first go-to oil for ear pain and ear infections is lavender essential oil. This oil is anti-inflammatory and incredibly soothing. I will remind you that you never want to put essential oils directly into the ear canal. I recommend you dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil and you can drop that mixture into the ear, or my favorite method is to drop the mixture onto a small piece of cotton ball, but one big enough not to fit all the way inside the ear, and let that sit and soak into the ear for about 30 minutes.
Now Let’s Boost The Immune System
Now that the pain is better, let’s also boost the immune system. Some immunity boosters that are great include probiotics, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, zinc, vitamin C, colostrum supplements, rest, and a healthy diet.
Stay away from the refined sugars, caffeine, processed foods, artificial dyes and sweeteners, wheat products, and dairy products. Focus on eating lean meats, high quality proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
If I had to choose one supplement that I recommend to our patients when they are overwhelmed on where to start, it would be a good probiotic. Go and visit your local health food store and ask for assistance if need be. They will direct you to the good and reputable brands. Probiotics are good bacteria and they help to support, regulate, and protect your system.
Do one or all of these things and you will find that you will relieve the ear pain you are feeling naturally without antibiotics and heal in about the same amount of time, sometimes quicker. Also, making some of these suggestions a part of your normal routine, for example, the supplementation, chiropractic adjustments, and dietary changes will also help you to prevent further ear infections in the future.
Drs. Wil & Kirsten Liwanag
If you found this article helpful, please share and like on Facebook. Please comment below with what natural remedies have worked for you or to ask a question. If you are in the Grand Junction, Colorado area and looking for a chiropractor, you can schedule an appointment online or call us at (970) 241-6366. Thank you!