Earaches were the thing that troubled my daughter when she was little. She would sometimes wake me up screaming in agony and it was awful to see her in so much pain. Because I suffered the same issues when I was little, and lived off penicillin, I was determined to make life easier for her and find some more natural ways to stop her earaches. Read on to hear how we knocked them on the head every time and never needed to resort to antibiotics.
Earache is probably the worst kind of pain for a baby or toddler can experience, and it is especially unsettling when little ones do not understand the cause of the pain. It can lead to ear infections and can also interfere with our balance and overall sense of well-being.
Paediatricians and GPs spend more time diagnosing and treating earaches and ear infections in children than almost any other condition. These are particularly prevalent during the winter months when immunity is low.
Historically GPs prescribed antibiotics when an ear drum was red or mildly inflamed, but recently doctors have started to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, believing that most earaches and infections will resolve themselves if the symptoms and pain are treated.
In this post, I will share with you the quick wins that helped my daughter and I hope will make a huge difference to your children. It may mean you can all get a good night’s sleep, which is essential to keep immunity strong.
You might not realise that your ears have a natural protective flora in them, and when they are blocked or infected this flora is disturbed. So, probiotics are a great way to readdress the balance of this crucial aural flora.
Some people suggest that before you put your child to bed, you open the capsule or sachet and let the powder disperse directly onto your child’s tongue. This then lets the probiotics directly access your child’s adenoids, eustachian tubes, and middle ear. This measure will help restore and re-balance their ear flora directly. It should also reduce the adenoid inflammation and let ear fluid drain properly from the ear and alleviate any pain. You can repeat this with more probiotic powder if your child wakes in pain later in the night.
Recent researchers working with a group of children who had experienced recurrent ear infections showed that the use of a probiotic for several weeks substantially reduced the likelihood of them experiencing future ear infections and greatly reduced the fluid in the middle ear.
Xylitol is a 5-carbon sugar alcohol, which is naturally found in low concentrations in the fibers of fruits and vegetables. It is used as a healthy sugar alternative in a number of toothpastes, chewing gums and sweets. Chewing on Xylitol chewing gum or sucking on a xylitol sweet may help with a painful ear and should be considered in the older child with a sore ear. If your child is prone to ear infections then you can give this to them regularly to help keep their ears well.
A Woolly Hat
Wearing a woolly hat is a great way to treat the pain caused by an earache, keeping the ears warm and covered. A warm head and ears enable a strong blood flow in the head and ears which gives the white blood cells an easier fight against any infection. Even in the coldest weather and winds, it is always possible to keep the ears and head of your little ones warm by completely covering their ears in a warm woolly hat. They can also wear the hat inside the house when they have earache and even wear one in bed to keep the ears cosy and protected.
Garlic and Olive Oil
The best natural aide for an earache is a simple combination of garlic and olive oil. A solution is very easy to make and highly effective. Simply take one clove of garlic (known as one of nature’s natural antibiotics) and squeeze the juice through a garlic press into 3 tablespoons of warm extra virgin olive oil. You can stir these together to infuse them, or to speed things up blend together in a high-speed blender. Once ready, drip three to five drops into the sore ear whilst your child is lying flat or head bent. When the ear is full of oil, pop some cotton wool in to plug up the ear. It will probably take half an hour for the pain to go and you can repeat three times a day for as long as is needed.