Antibiotics are overprescribed for many common illnesses. While sinus infections are the number one disease that antibiotics are overprescribed for (most sinus infections are caused by viruses, which aren’t killed by antibiotics), ear infections, especially in children, also tend to be overprescribed antibiotics.
It’s understandable—ear infections hurt, especially middle ear infections, and no one wants to see a child suffer—but prescribing antibiotics may not actually be helping the problem.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has now recommended that the use of antibiotics be curbed for ear infections, and only prescribed in situations where they’re necessary and helpful—in most other cases, the ear infection will clear up on it’s own, and only the pain needs to be managed.
In cases of high fever, extreme pain, very young children with severe ear infection symptoms, or a ruptured eardrum, antibiotics could be helpful.
There aren’t many natural treatments for middle ear infections or inner ear infections. For outer ear infections garlic infused olive oil is an old remedy (but it takes a few weeks to make, so have it ready!), and if it’s mild (no broken skin) you can put hydrogen peroxide on it.
To soothe the pain of ear infections, a warm wash cloth can help soothe, and your doctor can recommend appropriate over the counter pain relievers. It also helps to take your mind off of it with distraction, as head-centered pain can be overwhelming.
What natural ear infection remedies are you familiar with?