8 Ways to Battle or Prevent Ear Infections
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8 Ways to Battle or Prevent Ear Infections

This article was written as a response to the question: Measures to prevent ear infection?
Ear infections are something most of us have to deal with at some point, some of us more than others. How can you reduce the chances of getting an ear infection? How do you minimize the pain and discomfort of ear irritation or infection? Whether a child's ear infection, or an adult's, the preventative and palliative care are similar. Here are 8 tips that will help minimize the chances of ear infections.

8 Ways to Prevent and Treat Ear Congestion and Infection

Having battled ear woes for most of my life, I have found these doctor-recommended measures to be of great help...*

  • Keep water out of ears as much as possible. When washing and rinsing hair, lean head forward, not back, to prevent water from entering ear canal. When swimming, use earplugs (see tip on earplugs to reduce chance of infection).
  • Take decongestants (NOT ANTIHISTAMINES!) to reduce swollen ear tissue, helping to dry and expose tissue to more air.
  • NEVER EVER stick things in your ears...if they are constantly itchy, the doc can hook you up with some great drops that soothe and moisturize, but don't add to clogging. When we use any object to attempt to clean, or scratch, our ears, we introduce bacteria and irritate sensitive skin, drastically upping the chances of infection.
  • If you use earplugs, earbuds, etc., try to minimize the time spent wearing them, and make sure you disinfect EVERY TIME you stick them back in your ears. Carry individual wipes if you need to, but keep buds and plugs clean and free of bacteria. If you must wear ear protection for your job, or other reason, it is much better to use the padded 'headphone design' protection.
  • Use a hairdryer to blow gentle, warm air into ear canal, both drying, and generally soothing discomfort.
  • Check yourself (or have doc check) for allergies, since allergies are often at the bottom of ear issues, and medicate, or if possible, avoid the allergen(s) altogether.
  • Use drops recommended for disolving wax if you have a wax buildup problem, and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. Be patient, it takes several days of use to soften the wax enough to be easily rinsed out.
  • There are several homeopathic products designed to assist with ear troubles. Colloidal silver, gentian violet, and aloe are some common ingredients that many find helpful and soothing.

*This is, by no means, an exhaustive list.There are other alternatives, such as tubes inserted into the ears to assist with drainage (mostly used in children, but occasionally in adults). If these measures do not bring relief, or if the pain or pressure is quite uncomfortable, do not hesitate to go to a doctor, as your hearing could be compromised if an infection becomes severe enough. If you have been to your general practitioner more than once for this same issue, it may be time to consult with an ENT ear/nose/throat) specialist. Do not take your hearing for granted!

References used while writing this article follow.

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/default.htm

http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/ear/otitis_media.html

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Comments (6)

I, too, get ear infections regularly from allergies.  Buzzed it up!

Good sharing. Keep it up. Buzzed up.

As a mother of swimmers i can honestly say we've tried all these at one point or another. Definitly important to note that these suggestions are not necessisarily stand alone suggestions. Another suggestion - when swimming at least - is to wear your earplugs and also a swim cap!

Good article -- tweeted.

Ranked #17 in Ear Infections

Thanks to all!

I am going to take these as reminders. Just had my right ear suctioned 4 days ago and I'm still taking meds. 3 more days and I hope the infection totally goes away and won't bother me anymore.

I should have known better. When that insect went right inside my ear, I should gone straight to the doctor and did not wait long enough for severe pain in my ear before I went.

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