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Ear Infection - how to treat ear infection

Updated on April 9, 2013

Ear infection is one of the most common problem in children. Ear has three parts, outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Inflammation of the ear is called otitis.

Otitis externa
Otitis externa is the outer ear infection which is highly prevalent among children and swimmers. Generally, it is caused by swimming in polluted water. It is also called swimmer’s ear.
In otitis externa, the outer part of the ear (pinna) and the external auditory canal are gnerally affected. Symptoms of Otitis externa is severe pain when the pinna is moved. Other symptoms of otitis externa are redness as well as swelling of the auricles, itching of the external auditory canal, drainage from the ear and temporary hearing loss.

Common bacteria that can cause otitis external are Psuedomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus and funguses like Candida Albicans.

Otitis media
The most common type of ear infection is middle ear infection which is called otitis media. Runny nose, common cold and upper respiratory tract infection leads to build of fluid in the middle ear and inflammation of the tympanic membrane or eardrum. When bacteria and viruses start growing in it, infection occurs. Pathogens travel from the pharynx to the middle ear through eustachian tube, the tube that connects the pharynx and ear.

Acute otitis media or middle ear infection is usually caused by an upper respiratory infection, injury to the ear or may be associated allergy. Symptoms may by mild, just a fullness in the ear and some hearing loss. Other symptoms of infection like pressure or pain. It can be painless as well.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacteria that causes otitis media.
For viral otitis media, respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus are the common viruses.

Signs and symptoms of otitis in ear is due to the pressure of fluid accumulation. The inflammed Eustachin tube cannot effectively drain the fluid out. This causes pressure and pain. Other common middle ear infection symptoms are tinnitus, fever, feeling of fullness in the ear, irritability and deafness. Sometime the tympanic membrane or ear drum can rupture.

Acute otitis media can become chronic when it persists for more than three months. As pressure builds up, eardrum may rupture leading to fluid drainage to outside.

Otitis interna
Upper respiratory tract infections, viral infections and otitis media can spread to the inner ear. In otitis interna, the most common clinical symptoms vertigo and loss of balance. The inner ear maintains the balance of the body during head movements and changes in body position.

When an ear infection occurs in children they usually pull their ears, cannot sleep at night and cries for pain.

Ear infection treatment

Otitis externa is treated with topical antiseptic solutions as well as antibiotic and steroidal ear drops. Antifungal treatments with Clotrimazole and Ketoconazole creams are effective against fungal infection.

Otitis media is treated with antibiotic of choice, Amoxicillin. If allergic to this medicine, other antibiotics can be used.

For Otitis interna infection, viral medications, as well as corticosteroidal drugs like Prednisone are prescribed. For bacterial infection antibiotics like amoxicillin is prescribed.

Consult your doctor for treatment before any complications develop.

My personal experience with ear infeciton
When my child was getting ear infection one after another, even there was no runny nose or respiratory infections or swimming. I tried to figure out what kind of food he had before having ear infection, what was the extra food he had than usual. I thought may be orange juice is the one that he had the day before. I stopped giving him orange juice and he did not have any more ear infections. After six years of no ear infection, I thought may be it will not affect him anymore and one day gave him orange juice, that night he woke up at night and said his ear was hurting. Took him to the doctor and he had ear infection. Then I was confirmed that it was the orange juice which was causing the ear infection.

So from my experience, I think avoiding orange juice and any kind of citrus juice will prevent young children getting ear infection.


Home remedies for ear infection

Garlic in oil

Put one to two cloves of garlic in mastard oil and warm in low heat till the oil boils. Remove it from the heat and cool it to room temperature. Then, put two to three drops of the oil in the ear and leave it for half an hour to an hour. It will clear the infection and pain. Garlic is a powerful natural antebacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent. It is a good remedy for ear infection.


Mix one teaspoon of white vinegar and on teaspoon of water. Put two to three drops of this into the ear and this will clear the infection. Vinegar has antebacterial property which helps to kill the bacteria.

These are very useful home remedies for ear infection that can be applied immediately.


The information in this hub is not a substitute for medical help. Consult your physician before using home remedies.


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    • sfshine profile image

      sfshine 5 years ago from Michigan

      amithak50, thank you for your comment. Home remedies are always safe to use and works great.

    • amithak50 profile image

      amithak50 5 years ago from India

      Thanks a lot for the nice information..Nice home remedies

    • profile image

      sfshine 6 years ago

      The little ones always suffer with this. Hope he gets better soon. Thank you for your comment.

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Thanks, I'm dealing with an ear infection right now. It's viral and my son has same thing. Thank you for the info!