Ear Infection Remedies

According to the National Library of Medicine, an ear infection is inflammation of the middle ear, which is located just behind the ear drum. Ear infections are the most common reason children are taken to a pediatrician, according to DrGreene.com. Ear infections are more common in young children and infants than in adults, possibly because the tubes in childrens’ ears are not fully developed. Ear infections may be treated with either prescription medicine or home remedies; an individual suffering from an infection of the ear should consult his doctor before attempting to self-treat.

Waiting

According to the Mayo Clinic, around 80 percent of all ear infections resolve themselves without the use of medication. If the infection is the result of a viral infection, antibiotics won’t help kill the infection. The Mayo Clinic recommends waiting 72 hours for adults, or if the child is older than six months, is in good health and is demonstrating mild symptoms, to see if the infection clears up on its own.

Medication

If the ear infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be prescribed, says the Mayo Clinic. The most common antibiotic for an ear infection is amoxicillin, but others may be used as well. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to help relieve the pain and pressure associated with an ear infection. The National Library of Medicine warns that any medication containing aspirin should not be given to children under the age of 16, as it could result in Reye’s syndrome. The Mayo Clinic recommends using ibuprofen or acetaminophen to treat pain associated with an ear infection.

Warm Compress

Placing a warm, moist compress on the ear may help alleviate pain and reduce swelling in the ear, according to the National Library of Medicine. The procedure involves running a wash cloth under hot water and ringing it out so it remains damp, then lying on one side and placing the warm compress on the affected ear.

Tubes

If a child does not respond to antibiotic treatment or develops a chronic ear infection, a doctor may recommend inserting tubes in the ears to help drain fluid, according to the National Library of Medicine. The tubes typically fall out on their own, but can be removed by a doctor in the event they remain.

About this Author

Emily DeSerio has been a freelance writer since November 2009. DeSerio works in the mental health field as a clinical social worker. She began her higher level education at the University of South Florida (USF) with a B.A. in English and went on to complete a Master of Social Work degree at USF as well.