An ear infection is a very common condition among both children and adults. It causes a lot of pain and discomfort, and when it’s not fully cured, it likes to come back.
Our ear is a clever mechanism, which may be divided into three parts. The visible part together with the ear canal is called an external part. The small bones which amplify the sound we hear is known as the middle part. The middle and external parts are separated from each other by an eardrum.
The inner part is the last part of your ear and it plays a very important role as it converts the sound you hear into electrical waves, which are then sent to the brain. Various bacteria, viruses, or fungi may attack each of these parts and when that happens we deal with an ear infection.
Doctors usually treat ear infections by antibiotics, however, they are not always necessary. If you react quickly, you can get rid of the problem naturally and quickly. It may sound surprising, but all you need to get is good quality medical olive oil.
However, before you find out how to use olive oil to cure an ear infection, find out what the causes and symptoms of this condition are.
What Are The Causes of Ear Infection
There are various reasons of ear infections, but the most frequently it is a consequence of the infection of the upper respiratory system, thus, it’s always very important to fully cure all the conditions. It also happens when the tube which connects your ear to the back part of your nose, known as Eustachian tube, is smaller. A cleft palate may be to blame as well.
Some more trivial matters can also be responsible for an ear infection as you may get it when the plane ascends or descends and the air pressure changes. Your ear can also get infected with polluted water, for example, when you swim in a dirty lake. It’s also important to dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or showers.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t clean your ears too thoroughly. Never put anything to your ear, just flush it with water while showering. Otherwise, you can also lead yourself to an ear infection.
What Are The Symptoms of Ear Infection
Different types of infections may give various symptoms. Some of them, however, are common to all of them. In case of an ear infection, for sure you will experience an earache, which is often accompanied by headache. Some ear discharge may also appear and you can have the impression that the sound is muffled.
You may also hear a buzzing or humming sound in your ear or ears and the area of your ear may be red, irritated, or itchy. Blisters in the canal of the ear or on the outer part of your ear may appear too. Additionally, an ear infection is often accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, or vertigo.
Olive Oil And Ear Infection
Using olive oil for ear infections is actually a very old tradition, unfortunately, currently forgotten and replaced by chemical medications. We should come back to this method as it’s natural, safe, and effective.
You may not know that but olive oil has wonderful antibacterial, antiviral, and analgesic qualities. What’s more, it can also soothe your infected ear and help you get rid of all the bacteria, viruses, or fungi, which caused the infection.
Olive oil can also help you if your Eustachian tube is blocked as it can quickly clean your ear. It can clear your ears form excessive earwax too. It’s very important that no dirt or earwax accumulated in your ears as it’s a very common cause of infections. Olive oil may also reduce inflammation or prevent the damage of your cells due to the presence of polyphenols and antioxidants.
How to Use Olive Oil For Ear Infection: Best Home Remedies
If you don’t want to use antibiotics for your ear infection or simply you or your child get it so often that you’ve started to look for another solution, try olive oil. It won’t harm you, but it can help you get rid of your ear infection quickly, naturally, and with no side effects.
1. Warm Olive Oil
That’s probably the easiest way of using olive oil for ear infections as all you need is about two tablespoons of olive oil and an ear dropper. However, it’s important to warm the olive oil up for a while, but cool it down and make sure it’s only warm and not hot.
When the olive oil has the right temperature, use the dropper to apply about two or three drops of it into the infected ear or both if required and close it with a cotton ball. You can follow this process twice a day.
When olive oil is heated, it has wonderful remedial qualities for an ear infection as it can soften the wax and help you eliminate the infected earwax. It can also alleviate pain and reduce inflammation that often accompanies ear infections.
2. Olive Oil and Cloves
Olive oil will be even more effective if you use it with other ingredients. A good option is to mix it with cloves. You simply need to blend three or four cloves so that you get a powder. Mix the powder with two tablespoons of olive oil and lie down with your infected ear directed upwards. Apply around four drops of the mixture into the ear.
Stay in this position about ten minutes and then tilt in the opposite side to remove the solution from your ear. Repeat with your other ear if it’s infected too. Clean your external ear with a clean cloth if any of the oil remained in your ear. Follow the procedure at least twice a day.
Olive oil itself has wonderful properties, but cloves will intensify its remedial effect as they have antifungal, antiseptic, and germicidal qualities. They may help you kill the bacteria, viruses, and fungus, which are responsible for your ear infection.
3. Olive Oil and Garlic
You can feel immediate relief from pain and inflammation caused by an ear infection if you mix olive oil with another powerful ingredient, which is garlic. This natural antibiotic can successfully kill bacteria and viruses. It’s also a great antioxidant and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Prepare one clove of garlic, crush it and mix it well with three tablespoons of olive oil. Leave the mixture for a few minutes and then strain it to separate the garlic. Place your head so that your infected ear is up. Use an ear dropper to apply a few drops of the mixture into your ear. Stay in this position for about fifteen minutes. Tilt to your other side and remove the mixture from your ear.
Repeat the process with your other ear if it’s infected too. Follow the procedure at least twice a day and you should feel a positive difference after a few days.
4. Olive Oil and Peppermint Oil
In order to treat your ear infection you can also try a beneficial combination of olive oil with peppermint oil. It will be enough to mix two tablespoons of olive oil with about four drops od peppermint oil.
Use an ear dropper to apply the mixture into your infected ear. Keep it up, though, and stay like that for about ten minutes. Remove the mixture and repeat with your other ear if it’s infected too. You can do it twice a day.
Peppermint is quite strong so after the application you may feel a burning sensation in your ear, but it will go away once you remove the mixture from your ear. This powerful solution will kill the bacteria which caused your ear infection as peppermint oil has great antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic properties.
5. Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also a good option for curing your ear infection as it can regulate the pH level in your ear. Combine it with wonderful olive oil and you will get a powerful remedy for your ear infection. With this method you should get rid of your problem very quickly.
The method is very simple to use. You just need to mix three tablespoons of olive oil with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Warm up the mixture on a medium flame for a few minutes. When it cools down, lie down with your infected ear directed up. Use an ear dropper to apply around five drops of the mixture into your ear.
Keep the solution in your ear for about ten minutes so that it will go deeper into your ear. Remove the mixture and repeat with your other ear if it’s infected too. Follow the procedure at least twice a day and you should quickly feel a positive difference.
6. Olive Oil and Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has amazing antiviral and antibacterial qualities, which may help you eliminate the culprits of your infection. It can also successfully halt the infection in the early stage and prevent it from further development. When combined, tea tree oil and olive oil may quickly alleviate the pain and inflammation caused by your infection.
Simply mix two tablespoons of olive oil with four drops of tea tree oil. Heat the mixture on a medium flame for a few minutes. Apply two or three drops of the solution to your infected ear or ears. You can do it with the use of an ear dropper.
The mixture should stay in your ear for around ten minutes. After that time remove it from your ears and gently clean the external part of your ear with a soft cloth. If you follow the process twice a day, you should quickly get rid of your infection.
7. Olive Oil and Cinnamon
Olive oil will be even more powerful in fighting your ear infection if you combine it with a pinch of cinnamon. It can quickly relieve that pain, reduce inflammation, and kill the bacteria that caused your infection.
Simply add a pinch of cinnamon to two tablespoons of olive oil. Warm up the mixture for a minute and wait until it cools down a little. When it has the body temperature, strain the mixture to get a pure liquid. Apply three drops into the affected ear.
Leave it for about ten minutes and then remove it from your ear. Gently clean the external part of your ear with a soft cloth. Follow the procedure twice a day and you should quickly eliminate the problem of an infected ear.
8. Olive Oil and Lavender Oil
This is a wonderful combination that is effective, but at the same time gentle. Therefore, it can be used by both adults and children. Lavender oil has wonderful antiviral and antibacterial qualities. It can also help you remove the infected wax from your ear.
All you need to do is mix one tablespoon of olive oil with five drops of lavender oil. Warm up the mixture a little bit as it removes the earwax better then. If you want to use it for a baby, just gently massage the external part of the ear with the mixture.
In case of youngsters or adults apply a few drops of the mixture into the infected ear or ears. You don’t have to clean it. Follow the procedure twice a day and you should feel the relief from an ear infection quickly.
9. Olive Oil and Onion
Onion is probably one of the cheapest and easiest remedies for various infections. For sure you have this ingredient in your kitchen so the moment you feel that an ear infection starts, go for it to eliminate it quickly.
You need to prepare a small amount of olive oil and onions which your previously grated. Put the ingredients in a small saucepan and warm it up for several minutes. Onions will release a remedial juice during the heating process. Leave it for about fifteen minutes to cool down.
Strain the mixture so that you get a pure liquid only. Apply a few drops to your infected ear or ears. Leave it there for a few minutes and after that time remove it from your ears. Clean your ear area gently. Follow the procedure twice a day.
10. Olive Oil and Mullein
Mullein flowers can bring you quick relief from pain and inflammation that result from an ear infection. They can kill the bacteria and viruses which may be responsible for your condition. You will find dried mullein flowers in herbal stores.
You simply need to make some tea with the mullein flowers. One teaspoon of the herb for a half cup of boiling water will be just enough. Cool it down and mix one teaspoon of the tea with one teaspoon of olive oil. Leave it overnight and in the morning apply a few drops of the solution into the affected ear. Do it with the use of an ear dropper. You can follow it even a few times a day and you should quickly get rid of the infected ear.
Some Extra Tips
Olive oil itself or when combined with other ingredients is a powerful remedy to various ear infections. However, you should know some helpful tips to make it even more effective and safe.
The most important thing you should remember about is that you must use special medicinal olive oil as it’s sterilized and therefore you can safely pour it into your ears. Never use the olive oil which you have in the kitchen and use for cooking as it’s a completely different type of olive oil, which can’t be used in ears.
If after a few days of home treatments your ear infection doesn’t seem to clear up, go to your doctor immediately. An ear infection when left untreated may be very dangerous and can even damage your ear permanently. In some cases simply an antibiotic therapy is required or it may turn out that the earache you’ve been suffering from is not caused by an infection, but by some different disease.
If there is any risk that your ear drum is ruptured, don’t use the treatments with olive oil as it can be dangerous to your ear. In such a case, consult your doctor first.
Before you start using olive oil to your ear, make sure that you are not allergic to it or other ingredients you mix with the olive oil. An allergy may only make your condition worse. Therefore, for the first application of olive oil into your ear use just a drop and check if it doesn’t cause any unpleasant reactions.
When you suffer from an ear infection, make sure that you clean and dry your ears thoroughly after a long contact with water, for example after swimming, showers, or baths. It’s especially important when you swam in a lake, river, or a public swimming pool as the water in such places may be contaminated with some dangerous bacteria.
A good preventive measure is to apply a few drops of olive oil into each ear before you have a swim or shower. You should especially do it if you often suffer from ear infections. Olive oil won’t let water enter your ears. It’s also important to dry your ears carefully every time you had a swim. In general, you should avoid swimming until you cure your ear infection.
As you may have noticed the most of the remedies with olive oil require warming it up. When you do it, however, make sure that it’s not too hot when you apply it into your ears.
The temperature of the olive oil is very important as when it’s cold it doesn’t have such a strong beneficial effect. However, when it’s hot, it can damage your ear. A lukewarm temperature is perfect as it can dissolve the wax in your ear, but it’s at the same time safe.
When you suffer from ear infections, cover your ears when you go outside, especially if the weather is windy as it can make your ear infection more severe. Thus, always put a cap on your ears or cover it with some scarf.
It may sound surprising, but when you deal with an ear infection, you should cut down on dairy products as it can make your ear more painful and swollen. In general, it’s better to avoid dairy products if you often suffer from an ear infection as some studies have shown that it may be a possible culprit of your problem.
As an ear infection may sometimes be caused by a sudden change of the air pressure, you can try a simple trick when you travel by a plane. Just chew a gum when the plane ascends or descends as it can boost the muscle which sends air in the inner ear and can quickly equalize the air pressure in your ear.
A very common mistake is a bad technique of drying your ears. The key rule is that you should never insert anything to your ear when you dry it. You can clean an external part of your ear with a soft cloth and if you’re afraid that your inner ear is wet, dry it with your hair dryer. Remember, though, that it should be set at a low temperature. Also, don’t keep the hair dryer too close to your ear.
Another common mistake is using buds to clean your ears from wax. Actually, you should never insert anything into your ear. The only safe way of removing wax from your ears is by flushing it with water. However, if the wax produces in normal amounts, it should remove naturally, on its own. What’s more, you need some wax in your ear as it keeps a healthy environment in your ear.
You need to take proper care of your ears as all the infections are potentially dangerous. Therefore, never ignore an earache and if after a few days it doesn’t go away, seek a medical consultation.