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9 Quick and Unusual Ways to Relieve Childhood Ear Infections

Updated on February 2, 2021
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Dr. Stegall is a Keller chiropractor at Express Chiropractic in Keller Texas. He is also COO of Express Chiropractic Franchising.

Roughly five out of six children will have an ear infection before they reach their 3rd birthday. An ear infection, or otitis media, is so common that more and more parents are taking it upon themselves to seek information on how to relieve its symptoms and reduce the occurrence.

Since ear infections can be very painful and prevent a baby from getting adequate rest, logically parents want the quickest and easiest way to take care of it.

Thankfully, you don’t have to search far and wide to learn some great approaches for quickly reducing the symptoms of an ear infection. In this short article, you will discover some great approaches for not only reducing the symptoms associated with otitis media but also reducing its occurrence and all without medicine or traditional medical approaches.

Use gravity

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A childhood ear infection is usually a result of colds and secretions that get stuck in the ear. To help drain these secretions, use gravity as your friend.

There are two things you can do. First, elevate your baby’s head. Placing a pillow or two under the mattress often does the trick. Second, let your baby sleep with the infected ear facing up. This position relieves pressure by allowing gravity to drain fluid away from the eardrum.

Pull the earlobe out and down

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Lightly grasp the earlobe between your forefinger and thumb. Gently pull out and down (away from the head) a few times.

During an ear infection, the Eustachian tube (the canal that connects the middle ear to the upper throat and nasal cavity) gets blocked due to excess fluid. Pulling your child’s earlobe out and down can ‘stretch’ the Eustachian Tube open. If your child is in too much pain or you are uncomfortable with this process, consider taking your child to a natural or chiropractic pediatrician to have this procedure performed.

Clear the nose

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Because of the connection between the middle ear and the nasal cavity, clearing the nose may quickly relieve the symptoms associated with otitis media.

To clear the nose, you can gently squirt a small amount of sterile salt water into your baby’s nose. After that, use a suction bulb to lightly drain secretions.

Use Garlic

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Your grandma was not mistaken when she tells you to put 2-3 drops of garlic extract in the ear to heal infections. The procedure is easy. All you have to do is boil garlic in oil for 10-15 minutes, wait for it to cool down, carefully filter the concoction of any impurity, and your extract is ready for use.

Garlic is known to have a bactericidal and anti-fungal property. Garlic contains manganese, vitamin B6 and C, selenium, and fiber. Moreover, because of its high sulphuric level, garlic comes with antibiotic properties that flush out the digestive system of toxins and harmful substances.

So, in addition to what was already mentioned, in case your child can already take solid food, you can prepare garlic soup and let him/her sip it to soothe nasal congestion and improve the systemic immune system.

Give olive oil a try

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Put 2-3 drops of olive oil in the infected ear of your child. Make sure it is at room temperature.

There’s no secret to what olive oil can do. It has potent properties that help boost the immune system and prevent infections.

Olive oil contains saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, omega 6, and vitamin E and K. While these substances are essential of themselves, olive oil truly shines because of its high level of antioxidants such as oleocanthal and oleuropein.

Oleocanthal is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, something that is useful when dealing with ear infections. On the other hand, the oleuropein is a critical antioxidant in protecting the body from an increased level of LDL.

Warm compress

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Use a warm, moist towel to relieve your child’s discomfort. Place the towel over the ear of your baby for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure that the towel is just warm enough that it does not cause further discomfort to your child. A heating pad may be used for older children but not with a baby.

Rest and sleep

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The body’s natural recovery process includes rest. Sleeping or napping allows your baby’s body to recuperate and facilitate faster healing.

So how does rest heals the body or in this instance, your baby’s ear infection? During sleep, the body releases hormones that encourage cellular repair and tissue growth. Not only that, but while your baby is asleep, his/her body produces more white blood cells that eliminate viral and bacterial infections.

Use Onion Compress

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Scientists have long agreed that onion possesses impressive healing power. In fact, onions have been used by people in Europe to keep plagues at bay in the early 1900s. Onions are also utilized as part of the Ayurvedic Medicine.

So, why are onions so effective? Onions are rich in sulfoxides, thiosulfinates, and other aromatic cysteine sulfoxides. These substances are the same compounds that cause you to have teary eyes when preparing your dinner. Researchers have proven how thiosulfinates eliminates harmful organisms. They even play a vital role in preventing cancer and heart-related diseases.

Aside from beneficial compounds, onions are also rich in antioxidant quercetin. Researchers have proven that this antioxidant prevent free-radicals to proliferate in the body, thus boosting the immune system in the process.

To harness the power of onions, you can use it as an onion compress or poultice. Simply cut a fresh onion, wrap it in a clean cloth, and hold it over the infected ear for 5-10 minutes.

Another way to heal your child’s infected ear is to put 2-3 drops of onion juice into the ear. Just be careful to prevent any small pieces of onion from entering your child's ear.

Alternatively, you can also prepare onion soup. Not only the onion will help in fighting viral or bacterial infection, but it can also aid in dissolving secretions and phlegm.

Visit a chiropractor

Dr. Kinnison checking a child at Express Chiropractic in Fort Worth Texas
Dr. Kinnison checking a child at Express Chiropractic in Fort Worth Texas | Source

Most parents don’t think of chiropractic when looking for a remedy for their child’s inflamed or ‘infected’ ear. However, you will surely be surprised at how chiropractic can improve the condition of your child and even prevent an ear infection from developing.

So, how does a chiropractor help?

The spine houses the spinal cord that regulates the majority of neural function of the body. The control of your baby’s ear function can also be impacted by the spinal bones (vertebrae) in the upper neck and specifically any subluxations (slight misalignments leading to inflammation) of those specific vertebrae. Thus, any abnormality or interference with spinal nerve function can theoretically lead to or contribute to a myriad of conditions including an ear infection.

Spinal bone subluxations can occur as early as during the birth process. When you visit a pediatric chiropractor, the doctor will use very gentle pressure (think checking the ripeness of a tomato pressure) to restore the proper motion and alignment of your child’s spine and improve the auditory system of your baby.

Home Remedies for Ear Infections

Final thoughts

When you want to relieve your child’s ear pain, you want to do it quick. The remedies included herein may help you to improve your child’s condition in the fastest way possible. And though they might seem less mainstream medical and a bit unusual, they can be nevertheless effective, but should never be construed as an alternative to a diagnosis by your child’s doctor. If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s time to see your pediatrician.

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This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Daron Stegall DC

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