Home Treatments for Ear Infection
Ear infections are typically the reason why parents seek medical treatment for their child. However, you can treat your child’s ear infection at home before you call the doctor. In fact, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most ear infection will clear up own its own without antibiotics. Home cures also treat the ear infection symptoms, such as pain.
Treat the Symptom
Relieve pain symptom. You can treat the ear infection with heat. Apply a heating pad, warm water bottle or warm, moist wash cloth to the ear. If you decide to use a heating pad, use caution. Do not allow your child to go to bed with a heating pad. Also, don’t use a heating pad if your child isn’t old enough to tell you when the heating pad is too hot. In both instances, your child’s ear could burn. Try another option to relieve pain. Give your child relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as Aleve, Advil or Motrin or acetaminophen (Tylenol). The over-the-counter medicines will help your child feel better. However, do not give your child aspirin. It has been linked to Reye syndrome in individuals younger than 20 years old.
Use drops of oil. You can use vegetable, garlic or olive oil in your child’s affected ear. Warm the oil. Make sure the oil is not too hot, then place several drops into the ear.
Distract Your Child
Arrange for quiet time. Plenty of rest will help your child’s body fight the ear infection. So, make sure your child has enough rest. However, since your child will probably suffer from boredom or cabin fever, low-key activities can help your child rest too. Some activities that will help with rest are board games or book reading.
Medicines to Avoid
Avoid over-the-counter remedies. Antihistamines, expectorants and decongestants do not work well to treat ear infections. In fact, antihistamines can actually make your child feel worse and thicken the fluids in the ear.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if symptoms become worse. For instance, if your child is irritable, has a fever or has pain that does not improve in one to two days. Another reason to call your doctor is if your child suddenly stops complaining about severe pain. This can mean that the eardrum has ruptured. If your child complains of additional symptoms like swelling in the ear, headache, dizziness or facial muscle twitching, contact your doctor.