Ear infection remedies have been top priority here since our first run in with an ear infection with my two year old. She and I were up until the wee hours of the morning, and she was in so much pain that I ended up taking her to the ER for her first antibiotic.
When I discovered natural remedies, ear infections were at the top of my list to research. And through the years, we’ve not had to make a return trip to the ER! I’ll share all of my secrets with you for treating ear pain at home.
There seem to be two different forms of ear infections:
- One is the result of fluid behind the ear drum, which is often associated with a runny nose and cold symptoms. The pain is from the pressure on the ear drum. Most commonly, this form of ear infection is viral.
- The other is an inflammation of the ear canal, often called “swimmers ear”. This also strikes suddenly, but often after swimming or bathing, and without the usual cold symptoms.
Swimmer’s Ear Remedies
I have had good results using half vinegar & half alcohol at the first sign of swimmers ear. I actually packed a washed out eye drops bottle of it in our swim bag, and have used it right at the pool several times this summer.
Ear Infection Remedies
First, I check the ear, and made sure that the eardrum is intact…the ear canal looked red and swollen. I mentally assess: have they been swimming? Are they teething or starting to get a little cold? Are they simply uncomfortable or in major pain?
Time for a home remedy to get this under control quickly. I head into the kitchen and grab…an onion!
A traditional ear infection remedy is to put a half of a warm on onion over your child’s ear, or to put a few drops of onion juice into the ear.
Onion Juice Ear Infection Remedy:
The benefit of using onion juice is that it’s very quick. I tend to opt for this if my child wakes up with ear discomfort, as they’re able too just go right back to sleep after the juice is in their ears.
One downside is that it’s a little tricky to extract the juice from an onion. I’ve heard of numerous ways to extract onion juice, from grating and squeezing, to using a garlic press. Onions usually aren’t really all that ‘juicy’, and you don’t want pulp going down into the ear.
Here is my SUPER EASY solution…the easy ear infection remedy that I just used tonight, when my daughter was complaining of ear pain.
I cut the root end off of an onion. Then I held the onion on its side. Using the tip of a spoon, I scraped up the newly cut end until I had several drops of onion juice in the spoon.
I had her lay on her side with the hurting ear facing up, and I dripped the juice right into her ear. She kept her head tipped so the juice would stay in, and covered it with a cotton ball. In just a few minutes, her pain was gone, and she was able to turn over and go right to sleep. Onion juice can be repeated as often as needed when and if the pain returns.
***Update*** If you’re going to treat one ear, go ahead and treat both. That would have saved us both some sleep. I did repeat the remedy the next morning as well, but we have not had to repeat again.
Another Ear Infection Remedy Method
There is one benefit to using the onion half over the juice: Sometimes, the feeling of “water” in the ear is a bit traumatic. If your child is picky about water in their ears, or if there is *any* chance that the ear drum could be perforated, you can do this method instead.
More Ear Infection Remedies
A Fantastic Tool for Your Home Remedy Kit
Treating ear pain at home can be nerve wracking, because it’s hard to see what is going on in there. Last year, I finally broke down and bought an otoscope, which is the little light thingy that Doctors use to look in ears. It does take a little getting used to it to really understand what you’re looking for and at, but overall, it has been a very worthwhile investment in my first aid kit. (Here is a handy You Tube video explaining how to use it)
I have used it for ear checks, as well as to inspect sore throats, teeth, and other dark and dangerous places where a kid might hide a bean or pea. This is the one I purchased:
Another nice benefit to owning my own is that my kids are now used to it, and they are not scared at all when they go to the Dr., and he looks in their ears. Which makes check ups much less traumatic.
Please note: Never put anything into the ear if you suspect that the ear drum has burst, and/or if you see blood or fluid coming out of the ear. If a person is allergic to onions or garlic, or experiences pain or irritation with the remedy, then discontinue use. Not all infections respond to these remedies, and some may a doctor visit and internal antibiotics.
Please use your own best judgment when using home remedies, and consult your doctor as you deem necessary. I am just a house-frau, not a doctor. 🙂
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