An ear infection, acute otitis media, is a painful infection in your middle ear. Ear infections can happen in children and adults of all ages, typically after a cold, sore throat, or other respiratory infection. However, they're more common in kids. When ear infections keep you up at night, you may want to try homeopathic remedies rather than antibiotics.
However, if the pain worsens and there's no relief, you should call a doctor. Ear infections that are left untreated can cause hearing loss and other problems.
What Are the Causes of Ear Infection?
Ear infection can begin when the tube connecting the upper part of your throat and your middle ear is blocked. The tube, known as the Eustachian tube, can become blocked by mucus and swelling from a cold or when fluids pool behind your eardrum. The pool of liquid makes an excellent place for bacteria to grow and cause an ear infection.
When infection occurs, fluid builds up. Pressure from the fluid pushes on your eardrum and can be very painful. The pressure makes your eardrum inside red and bulging.
What Are the Symptoms of an Ear Infection?
Ear infection symptoms can come on quickly. Signs and symptoms may look different in children than adults. Depending on their age, you may have to look for certain signs when your child can't tell you their ear hurts.
Ear infection symptoms in children include:
- Ear pain, more frequent when laying down
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Hard time sleeping
- Crying more than usual
- Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
- Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Fluid drainage from the ear
- No appetite
Ear infection symptoms in adults include:
- Ear pain
- Fluid drainage from the ear
- Trouble hearing
What Are Homeopathic Remedies for an Ear Infection?
There are many treatments for ear infections in classical homeopathy. Keep in mind that homeopathic medicine is not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Homeopathic remedies come from the belief that "like cures like." That means that what causes disease symptoms in healthy individuals will cure the same symptoms in ill people. Most remedies are a combination of a natural substance and a synthetic compound to enhance the therapeutic benefits. You should choose the right dosage with caution, so you don't experience severe effects.
Homeopathic remedies include:
Belladonna (Atropa belladonna). Belladonna works best for ear pain that fluctuates. It is accompanied by a fever, flushing, and sensitivity to light. You should have a quick response to belladonna. Belladonna works by blocking some functions of your nervous system, and the plant itself is highly toxic.
Dosages will depend on the severity of your condition. For acute cases, 30C is recommended. For severe cases, you may need 200C, 1M, or 10M.
Wolfsbane (Aconitum napellus). Wolfsbane is another commonly recommended home remedy for ear infections. It works best for ear pain that comes on quickly, and often after you're outside in the cold and wind. This remedy works best when you also have a high fever, agitation, and a feeling of restlessness.
The recommended dosage is 200C. You should take 10 doses orally three times a day or as directed by your doctor.
Symptoms of wolfsbane may include:
- Severe anxiety
- Sudden vomiting
- Sudden memory loss
- Heaviness in chest
Ferrum phosphoricum. This remedy is best for ear infections that have just started and don't have severe symptoms. The recommended dosage is 30CH GR. Adults should take five granules three times daily, and children should take three granules three times daily. You should consult with your doctor about the right dosage. Taking too much can result in an overdose, and you should contact the Poison Control Center immediately.
Homeopathic remedies can give you quick earache relief without having to go to the doctor. There's not a standard for homeopathic remedies, and in some cases, you may need to see a homeopathic doctor. Make sure you take note of all the symptoms, as this will help you get the exact remedy you need.
One study backs the recommendation of the American Academy of Publications to use homeopathic ear drops to manage ear infection symptoms. By using homeopathic remedies for an ear infection, you're reducing the use of antibiotics.
Other home remedies for ear infection include:
Hot or cold compress. Putting a cold or hot pack on your affected ear can help relieve the pain. Doctors advise choosing the temperature you prefer. Make sure it's not too hot or too cold by wrapping the pack in a thin cloth.
Changing sleep position. While this home remedy won't provide full earache relief, it can help prevent discomfort in the morning. Use two or more pillows to keep your affected ear above the rest of your body. If you sleep on your side, rest on the opposite ear. Both of these techniques will help relieve some of the pressure from your ear.