If you have ever had an ear infection, you know what it’s like to feel desperate and in need of immediate relief. The pain can be indescribable and constant, and it is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms like ringing in your ears, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and fever. It can drive anyone absolutely mad. That’s why it’s important to learn how to get rid of your ear infection as fast as possible, because simply going to the doctor in the middle of the night isn’t always an option.
1. Remove that Wax Build-up!
One of the main causes of ear infections is wax build-up in the ear. As far as I’m concerned, this is where you should start when you want to get rid of an ear infection, because it is very common for excess wax to harbor bacteria or fungi and, in turn, block the Eustachian tube and cause infection. Removal of wax from the ear may be done in several different ways, but the two most commonly used means are as follows:
Olive Oil (or alternatively, mustard oil)
Warm some olive oil up just a little bit (it cannot be hot), and place a few drops into the ear. As the oil begins to loosen up the wax, you can gently remove the wax with a Q-tip swab (if there’s too much wax, however, do not stick the Q-tip in and risk pushing it further toward the ear drum).
Saline Solution – Mix your own saline solution by stirring 1 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water. Dip a cotton ball into the water, then while sitting, tilt your head to the side and squeeze the water into your infected ear. You don’t need to put too much in, just enough to penetrate the ear wax. Wait a minute, then tilt your head back over to the other side and allow the saline wax-water to drain.
2. Apply Heat.
Often a heating pad, hot water bottle (warm, not too hot), or a warm compress will alleviate pain and help prevent additional infection. Simply place on the ear for up to 5 minutes at a time. Do not leave on longer than five minutes, though, as the heat is not meant for constant application. It may, however, be repeated as necessary.
3. Get Out the Garlic.
Garlic is the king of all natural remedies when it comes to its healing properties. In the case of trying to get rid of an ear infection, garlic may be used in the following ways:
Make a garlic compress
Boil two large or three medium-sized garlic cloves in a cup of water for five minutes. Remove them, crush them and mix with a little salt. Place the mixture in a clean cloth and moisten with the existing garlic-infused water (what you cooked with), then place on the affected ear as a warm compress.
Eat it raw
Not everyone is able to do this, but if you can stomach it, you should consume 2-3 cloves of raw garlic daily – it helps to fight the infection and boost the immune system.
4. Try Salt.
Salt may be used as a hot pack to draw out moisture and fluid from the ear, as well as relieve pain and swelling. In order to use this method, heat up one cup of salt in the microwave, in a pan, or in the oven in an oven-safe dish. When the salt is hot, place it inside a clean sock or cloth and tie it off with a string or a rubber band. If it is too hot, let it cool for a bit until it reaches a bearable temperature. Just like the warm compress, you should not leave the salt pack on too long, but you may repeat the process as needed.
5. Pack the Ear with Soaked Cotton.
One of the oldest tricks to getting rid of an ear infection is to soak a cotton ball in a mixture of rubbing alcohol, water, and apple cider vinegar, and then tuck it into your ear. You use equal parts of each, then place it in your ear and lay down on the opposite (uninfected) ear so the mixture can slowly drain into your infected ear. Leave the cotton ball in for five minutes, then remove and dry your ear thoroughly.
It is important to treat any ear infection immediately – with or without home remedies. If you don’t treat your ears right away and fail to get rid of the ear infection, it is possible that it could lead to a complete loss of hearing. Always talk to a doctor if you suspect it is something serious, and if you don’t see fairly immediate results when treating at home.