Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Ear Infections

Frequently Asked Questions About Ear Infection

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  • Ear infections occur when a virus, bacteria or fungi target any area of this organ, causing inflammation and fluid buildup
  • To prevent complications from appearing, it's imperative that you seek medical attention immediately if symptoms appear, and employ natural treatment protocols to help address the infection
  • Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before trying natural treatments, so you can be guided on how to use these properly and prevent complications from occurring

Q: What does an ear infection look like?

A: Changes in the eardrum’s appearance may signal the presence of an infection. According to WebMD, an infected eardrum is red and swollen, while a healthy eardrum is clear and pinkish-gray. Swelling occurs because of irritation caused by colds, flu and various allergies.

Once the Eustachian tubes connecting the middle ear to the throat are blocked by a virus, bacteria or fungi, fluid begins to build up in the middle ear. A fluid or pressure buildup may cause the eardrum to burst and lead the ear to discharge yellow, brown or white fluid.1

In some cases, pus may also drain from the ear,2 and this is a major red flag because it signals that the infection may have already caused a rupture in the ear’s tympanic membrane, and be a potential precursor to hearing loss.3

Q: What does an ear infection feel like?

A: Patients with an ear infection often feel pain and discomfort — the two most common symptoms of a middle ear infection.4 You can also tell if someone has an ear infection if they show indicators such as:5,6

Coughing7

Irritability

Sleeplessness

Appetite loss

Diarrhea or vomiting (prominent in infants)

Meanwhile, some patients with a middle ear infection called otitis media with effusion (OME) may experience a feeling of “plugged up” hearing, lackluster performance linked to hearing loss, or feel a sense of fullness in the ear.8

Q: Can an ear infection cause a fever?

A: Yes. A fever can be a sign of a middle ear infection,9 most especially among babies.10

Q: How do you sleep with an ear infection?

A: People diagnosed with an ear infection are advised to rest or sleep sitting up. This may reduce pressure on the eardrum, promote fluid drainage, and alleviate pressure and pain in the ear. Patients with ear infections can prop themselves up with a stack of pillows, or sleep in an armchair that is a bit reclined.11

Meanwhile, if your child has an ear infection, ensure that their head is elevated once they sleep to help relieve pressure on the ear. Parents magazine suggests that if children are over 2 years old and don’t sleep in a crib, they may use a pillow when they lie down. Babies, on the other hand, can sleep upright in a car seat. Once they feel better, they can sleep in the crib again. Always  avoid using a pillow with an infant.12

Q: Will an ear infection go away?

A: The pain caused by an ear infection, while it develops rapidly, does not tend to last long as it can gradually resolve in around 24 hours. Middle ear infections can go away on their own (even without treatment), in around two to three days.13

If someone develops an effusion, or a fluid buildup behind the eardrum, after an ear infection, this may last for several weeks to months. It can trigger discomfort, or a dull and abnormal feeling, or short-term hearing reduction in the ear.14

Q: How do you get rid of an ear infection?

A: Ideally, you may get rid of, or address an ear infection by employing any of these remedies:

Garlic

Breast milk

Coconut oil

Onion

Hydrogen peroxide

Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before trying these natural treatments, so you can be guided on how to use these properly and prevent complications from occurring.

MORE ABOUT EAR INFECTION

Ear Infection: An Introduction

What Is an Ear Infection?

Ear Infection Symptoms

Ear Infection Causes

Types of Ear Infection

Ear Infection in Babies and Children

Are Ear Infections Contagious?

Ear Infection Treatment

Essential Oils for Ear Infection

Ear Infection Prevention

Ear Infection FAQ

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