Ear infection in babies and children is quiet common health problem. It is a frequent cause of sleepless nights not only for the baby but even for parents. The first symptom of infection in ear is severe ear ache that makes the baby cry all through day and night.
Ear infection often occurs after an episode of common cold, running nose or sore throat in babies. Usually the middle ear is affected. In severe cases there is discharge of pus from the ear canal. Ear infection in babies need immediate medical attention as sometimes untreated infection can cause rupture of eardrum.Repeated ear infection can cause hearing loss, therefore parents should also take care to prevent its frequent episodes.
What Causes Ear Infections In Babies?
Ear infection in babies is usually caused by bacteria and viruses. Infection sets in after an attack of cold, sore throat or running nose. Ear is made up of three parts; outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Middle ear is more prone to get infected. It occurs because of fluid buildup due to blockage of Eustachian tube. This tiny tube in the middle ear is connected to throat and the end of nose.
Normally fluid is drained from the tube. It often gets blocked during cold and sinus infection as a result the fluid gets trapped inside the tube. It becomes a hot bed for multiplication of bacteria. Bacterial infection causes inflammation behind the eardrum giving rise to severe pain.
In babies the tube is short and horizontal therefore babies are more susceptible to ear infection. As the baby grows, Eustachian tube becomes longer and more vertical and it allow easy flow of the fluid.
Ear infection is common in babies and children than adults because their immune system is still in developing stage. Therefore it becomes difficult to fight the infection. Sometimes ear infection can also occur in outer ear. It can occur due to an abrasion which can get infected.
Ear Infection Symptoms In Babies
Babies are often not able to express their ear pain verbally to their parent, especially if they are below the age of 1 year. In such case parents might get the hint by observing the child. Usually his mood changes and he becomes fussier and starts crying without any reason. Baby cannot bear slightest touch to the infected ear because of pain. Ear pain is one of the most prominent symptoms of ear infection.
Ear infection usually occurs after an episode of common cold in babies. Baby may also suffer from fever due to infection. Most babies pull their ear when there is pain. The discharge from ear can be thick and yellow. It may have unpleasant smell. Due to pain the baby finds difficulty in lying on the infected side of the ear.
Natural Way To Treat Ear Infection In Babies
Majority of ear infections in babies heal on their own. However, traditionally doctors give antibiotic liquid orally as well as ear drops to cure the infection. But now as there is risk of sensitivity of antibiotics in children, doctors use it judiciously instead of prescribing randomly in ear infections. To alleviate pain, doctors also prescribe pain relieving medicines.
Many natural medicines are also useful, besides they do not have any side effects as compared to antibiotics.
- Garlic oil is considered equivalent to antibiotics in its natural form as it is capable of killing the bacteria. Warm few chopped cloves of garlic in oil. Let the oil become cold. Strain the oil and put one or two drops of it in the infected ear. Compound in garlic such as allin and allinase helps to alleviate pain as well as act upon the bacteria.
- Mild and gentle massage on the outer side of ear with diluted eucalyptus oil will help in increasing circulation as well as drainage of fluid from the tube. Baby feels better when a warm cloth is placed on his painful ear.
- Mullein ear drops is time tested natural remedy for ear infection in babies. Mullein drops are prepared from mullein plant.