It is a common misconception that ear infections only affect young children and that we’re “in the clear” after reaching a certain age. However, adults most certainly get earaches and infections too, and they can be severe enough to take you out of work and other activities for several days.
In this article, we’re talking about adult ear infections, including their most common causes, prevention tips, and natural remedies to ease the pain.
Types of Adult Ear Infections
Ear infections in adults can affect three different parts of the ear: the inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear. Each one of these types may be caused by something different, but most are the result of bacterial infections.
Causes of Adult Ear Infections
Inner ear infections are often the result of inflammation and may be the sign of a more serious medical condition. Meanwhile, middle ear infections are usually caused by fluid that becomes trapped behind the eardrum. This makes the eardrum bulge and causes ear pain and a feeling of fullness or drainage in the ear.
Finally, outer ear infections can be caused by a condition commonly known as “swimmer’s ear” that occurs when water is trapped in the ear after swimming. Bacteria can also affect the outer ear due to a scratch or inserting an object in the ear causing injury.
Symptoms of Adult Ear Infections
Inner ear infections are often accompanied by symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In addition to ear pain behind the eardrum, middle ear infections are often accompanied by fever or hearing troubles. For outer ear infections, you will often notice that the discomfort begins as a rash that is red, tender, and swollen.
Natural Remedies for Adult Ear Infections
Adults who suffer from frequent upper respiratory infections, have allergies, or who smoke are at a greater risk of developing an ear infection. Many doctors are quick to prescribe antibiotics for ear infections, but there are effective natural treatments worth trying as an alternative.
Some people swear by dropping garlic oil into the ear because garlic has certain “natural” properties that may help. Tree tea oil is also used for its antiseptic benefits, but applied around the ear rather than directly into it.
It’s also a good idea to eat more probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt, to help restore the body’s natural balance of good bacterial and bad bacteria. Another natural remedy to try involves soaking a cotton ball in a solution of apple cider vinegar diluted with water and leaving it in the ear for five minutes. Chiropractic care is also recommended for adults who experience frequent ear infections.
For greatest soothing relief, without the danger of pharmaceutical drugs, many people use the homeopathic Earache Remedy.
Preventing Adult Ear Infections
Some adults even suffer from chronic ear infections, which may have milder symptoms but come and go without totally healing. To prevent ear infections from becoming a chronic condition, it is advised to stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke, since cigarette smoke has a very harmful effect on ear health. Always practice good hygiene, such as washing the hands regularly, to prevent ear infections and common colds that can lead to bacteria build-up in the ears.