Ear infections are a common and painful problem, particularly among growing children and swimmers. While ear infections are often treated with prescription antibiotic ear drops, a few home remedies can work just as well to relieve pain, kill bacteria and relieve an ear infection.
1. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, soaking a cotton ball and dropping it into the ear to kill fungus which causes an ear infection. Allow the solution to set for 5 minutes and then tip the head, allowing the ear to drain and then dry the ear as much as possible with soft cotton. Vinegar home remedies should only be used for fungal ear infections, such as swimmer’s ear.
2. Use tea tree oil home remedies for bacterial ear infections. If you are certain that the infection is not swimmer’s ear, chances are it is a bacterial infection. Again, mix equal parts of tea tree oil and water, dropping it into the ear and allowing it to set for 5 minutes before tipping the head and draining the ear. Tea tree oil can be used in the manner to prevent ear infections of all kinds if you are prone to them, as it helps to kill bacteria and dry the ear canal.
3. Place a few drops of garlic extract in the ear to help stop the pain and kill bacteria. Garlic extract can be purchased in most health food stores or herbal supply stores and should be kept in a cool, dark place. Use the extract two to three times daily, allowing it to set for 3 to 5 minutes and then tipping the head to drain any fluid from the ear.
4. Apply heat to the ear, one of the most common and effective ways to promote drainage and relieve pain. You can use a heating pad, microwave a rice-filled sock or even use a hot water bottle. Only apply heat for 15 minutes at a time, three to four times daily.