Otitis Media or Ear Infection

Otitis Media or Ear Infection is the Latin name for “inflammation of the middle ear” or middle ear infection. It is very common in children but can occur at any age.

Symptoms of Ear Infection

The ear infection usually starts with an upper respiratory tract infection, with symptoms such as cough, nasal discharge, stuffy nose and fever may be or not present.  The swelling of the mucous membranes and the nasal discharges can cause the blockage of the Eustachian tube and lead to ear infection. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the upper respiratory system. In children the Eustachian tube is much smaller than in adults and they are more prone to ear infections or otitis.

Eustachian tube ear infection

Treatment in an ear infection

The classical medical treatment is based on pain killers – ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Topical ear drops are also prescribed. Antibiotic therapy in ear infection is very common and often prescribed by doctors. However this should be prescribed with caution and weight the benefits and harms of using antibiotic therapy in ear infection. Most ear infections will solve without treatment and if the pain is manageable with analgesics deferring the start of antibiotics is recommended. 

ear infection otitis media

The symptoms of an acute otitis media are pain in the ear and can be accompanied by fever and irritability in infants. Using an extra pillow to keep the head elevated and warm application will usually diminish the pain. An acute otitis media can develop starting from a viral or bacterial respiratory infection, or can develop into a bacterial infection once the fluid trapped in the middle ear gets infected with bacteria.

A good natural approach in ear infection is aerosol salt therapy. This can be done using a salt machine that will release microscopic particles of salt into the air. These tiny particles of salt are able to penetrate, through normal breathing, behind the tympanic membrane and help to reduce inflammation, clear secretions and prevent bacterial infection. This is possible due to the salt properties of being mucolytic, anti inflammatory and antibacterial.

The use of home salt therapy helps to reduce and prevent ear infections and other respiratory illnesses. The salt particles are of great help in cleaning the secretions and strengthen the respiratory immunity.

Warm usually helps and adding few drops of warm olive oil with 1-2 drops of fresh lemon juice into the external ear will calm the pain and together with salt therapy will quicken the recovery.