Two thirds of all children will be diagnosed with an ear infection before their first birthday. Although this can be a very frightening diagnosis for parents of young children, ear infections are actually very manageable and they usually go away without the use of medication.
However, many parents turn to harmful antibiotics to treat their child’s ear infection when there is already an easy-to-make, natural home remedy that doesn’t come with all of the side effects of these over-the-counter drugs. But first, let’s take a look at what an ear infection really is.
What Is An Ear Infection?
An ear infection, otherwise known as acute otitis media, is the most common cause of earaches and is characterized by a bacterial infection of the middle ear, which is the space behind the ear drum that connects to the inner ear. Ear infections are often caused by the common cold or a flu. This is because the middle ear is connected to the upper respiratory tract by a tiny channel called the Eustachian tube. Bacteria from the infected respiratory tract is able to travel through this tube and cause an infection of the ear as a result.
Although ear infections can occur during any age, they frequently effect infants and young children. Ear infections are so common in children, in fact, that they account for 30 million doctor visits a year in the U.S. Many experts believe that the reason ear infections effect so many infants and young children is because their Eustachian tube (the tube that connects the respiratory tract to the middle ear) is still developing. In developing children it is very soft and has a hard time staying open, leading to a build up of bacteria and germs which then cause the ear infection.
Aside from young children and infants, people who are at risk of developing an ear infection include:
- People with a family history of ear infections
- Babies who are bottle fed
- Children that attend daycare centers
- People who consume second hand smoke
- People with a cleft palate
- People with poor immune systems or chronic respiratory diseases
Side Effects Of Over-The-Counter Drugs
In order to help treat and cure ear infections, many people turn towards over-the-counter antibiotics and other medications. However, these can often cause a variety of side-effects that can end up being more unpleasant than the ear infection itself. Here are some of the side effects of medications commonly used for ear infections:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat
- Stomach pain
- Black or bloody stools
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vaginal discharge and itching
Aside from the large amount of side effects that come with these medications, the overuse of antibiotics has been linked to the development of new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as well. This should be enough of a reason to start using this natural home remedy for ear infections instead of those harmful antibiotics.
Garlic And Olive Oil For Ear Infections
The use of a garlic olive oil remedy for ear infections has been around for possibly hundreds of years. What makes this remedy so effective is that both ingredients have amazing, natural antimicrobial properties.
Garlic‘s antimicrobial properties come from an organic compound that it contains called allicin. One study found that allicin was incredibly effective at inhibiting the growth of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, including drug resistant strains. It was also shown to have antiviral and antifungal properties, making it effective at treating an ear infection no matter what the cause is.
Olive oil not only has antimicrobial properties, but it is also able to sooth an irritated or inflamed ear. One study found that olive oil was able to inhibit the growth of all bacteria strains it was tested against, with researchers attributing its antimicrobial effectiveness to the phenolic compounds found in the solution.
Garlic Olive Oil Remedy
- Half a clove of fresh garlic, minced
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Heat up olive oil in a small
- Add minced garlic once olive oil is hot
- Place on low heat and allow it to sit for around 20 minutes
- Strain the olive oil, make sure there are no bits of garlic left in it
- Wait for olive oil to get to room temperature
- Pour two to three drops in infected ear
It is advised to always make a fresh batch of this mixture every time you use it. Let us know if this helped treat your ear infection in the comment section.