Ayurvedic treatment for Ear infection

Ear infection

Know More on ENT(Ear Nose Throat)

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Ear infection Ayurvedic treatment

Ear infection is a condition affecting the middle ear, mostly caused by bacteria or viruses. Children are more prone to this condition as compared to adults. Ear infections may cause significant pain due to the inflammation and fluid accumulation in the middle ear.

Treatment is usually focused on pain management and monitoring the problem, since the infection often clears up on its own. Severe cases as well as occurrence of ear infection in infants may often require antibiotic therapy. Chronic and frequent infections may cause long-term problems related to the ear such as persistent fluids in the middle ear, hearing problems and other serious complications.1

Karna Roga, or ear disorders in Ayurveda ear disorders, can be caused by one of four imbalances:

  • Vata: Imbalances of vata leads to thin discharge, dry ear wax, severe pain, ringing in ear (tinnitus), and deafness.
  • Pitta: Imbalances of pitta causes yellow discharge, swelling, redness, tearing, and burning.
  • Kapha: Imbalances of kapha leads to white and slimy discharge, abnormal hearing, itching, stable swelling, and mild pain.
  • Sannipatataja: This phenomenon is when there is a simultaneous imbalance between vata, pitta, and kapha; the discharge is colored according to the predominant dosha.2

Ear infections are generally due to imbalances in the kapha. A child with a kapha body type is susceptible to getting ear infections in the springtime, or other times when there is kapha favouring environment or when the child is in the kapha time of life (around eight years old). The risk of ear infections also increases if the child is eating a kapha-aggravating diet (lots of sweets, wheat, dairy).2

Causes

Ear infection

Swollen or blocked Eustachian Tube (small tube connecting ear with the nose) is one of the most common cause of ear infection and causes of Eustachian tube blockage include:1

  • Certain allergies
  • Infectious or allergic colds
  • Sinusitis (infection in the sinus)
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Smoking
  • Swollen or infected adenoids (tissue between back of the nose and the throat)

Symptoms

Ear infection

Signs and symptoms of ear infection appear very quickly.1

Children1,3

Common signs and symptoms in children include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the ear, especially when lying down
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Irritability
  • Trouble in hearing or responding to sounds
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F
  • Pus-like discharge from the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

Adults1

Common signs and symptoms in adults include:

  • Pain in ear
  • Pus-like discharge from the ear
  • Reduced hearing.

Diagnosis

Ear infection
  • The physician will use an instrument called otoscope to examine the ear drum to check for any signs for infection. A Pneumatic otoscope is used to check for blockage or filling of the middle ear.
  • Tympanometry is another test which uses sound and air pressure to check for fluid in the middle ear. An audiologist will perform a hearing test to check whether there is hearing loss if needed.4

Management

Ear infection

The ayurvedic management of ear infection comprises of finding the dosha imbalance and pacifying it to bring the balance in body doshas. Simple aahar and vihar along with herbs can help treat the disease.

The aahar and vihaar recommendations for the management of ear infection is given below:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Since ear problems are associated with an imbalance in the kapha dosha, a diet that does not vitiate the kapha dosha, should be followed. The following dietary guidelines must be followed: -
    • Sour foods must be avoided as it impairs the kapha dosha. These include sour fruits and curds.
    • Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, papayas and cucumbers must be avoided since the increase the risk common cold. This would aggravate the ear problem. All refrigerated foods must also be avoided for the same reason.
    • Onion, ginger and garlic should be preferred during ear problems.
    • Turmeric is also very good remedy for infections, and must be used for spicing the meals.
    • Follow a kapha soothing diet.
  • Stress on breastfeeding for infants
  • Avoid processed and oily food

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Keep the ears warm
  • Massage around ear. Place hands on your cheeks and massage this area while opening and closing mouth.
  • Increase the intake of Vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C helps in combating infection by boosting the immunity. Zinc it reduces ear infection
  • Avoid smoking as well as exposure to second hand smoke, since smoke can block Eustachian tubes.
  • Maintain a good hygiene, avoid colds. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching eyes and nose.
  • Useful Herbs for the Treatment of Ear Infections and Aches include Bael, holy basil, neem. The preparations of these herbs can be used to combat ear infections.
  • The procedure of neti, i.e., rinsing of the nasal passages with a mild, salt water solution, which effectively removes accumulated kapha or phlegm can also help relieve ear infection.

FAQS

Ear infection
  1. What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose in response to an immune response given by body when it comes in contact with certain allergens (things causing allergy in a person). It simply means that immune system is overreacting to certain allergy causing substances such as pollen, dust mites, skin and saliva of furry animals such as cats, dogs, etc. Around 10 to 30 percent of population in the world may suffer from this condition. Allergic disorders in Ayurveda are widely elaborated under the concepts of Ama, Asatmya ahara vihar, Anurjta and viruddha aahara. Impaired digestion and metabolism causes Ama. It leads to the manifestation of Rhinitis or Pratishyaya by affecting Rasa and Rakta Dhatu.

  1. What causes allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis happens when your body releases histamine after coming in contact with an allergen. Histamine is a natural chemical that guards your body from the allergen. This chemical is responsible for the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, including a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Other common causes in addition to pollen, include

  • Grass
  • Dust
  • Animal skin
  • Mites
  • Moulds

Some external factors that can trigger or aggravate this condition, include:

  • Dampness
  • Cold temperature
  • air pollution
  • chemicals in Hairspray/perfumes/colognes
  • Wood smoke
  • Fumes
  • Smoking
  1. What diet changes I can do to avoid ear infection in my child?

Here are few diet tips to avoid ear infection in your child:

Since ear problems are associated with an imbalance in the kapha dosha, a diet that does not vitiate the kapha dosha, should be followed. The following dietary guidelines must be followed: -

  1. Sour foods must be avoided as it impairs the kapha dosha. These include sour fruits and curds.
  2. Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, papayas and cucumbers must be avoided since the increase the risk common cold. This would aggravate the ear problem. All refrigerated foods must also be avoided for the same reason.
  3. Onion, ginger and garlic should be preferred during ear problems.
  4. Turmeric is also very good remedy for infections, and must be used for spicing the meals
  5. Avoid processed and oily food
  6. Avoid water getting into ear during bath.
  1. What are the causes of nosebleeds?

Nose bleeds can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Scratching the inside of your nose with a sharp fingernail
  • Forcefully blowing your nose
  • blow to your head, or a fall
  • A minor injury to your nose
  • Presence of cold or flu which causes a blocked or stuffy nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Very dry environment or places that have hot, dry weather
  • Hay fever or other allergies
  • High altitude
  • Abuse of nasal decongestants
  • A crooked nose that's either present from birth or the result of an injury.
  • broken nose
  • Recent nasal surgery
  • Hardened arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Medicines that cause you to bleed more easily, including aspirin
  1. What can I do to manage or avoid nosebleed?

Here are some tips to manage/avoid nosebleed:

  • Avoid mental pressure and stress.
  • Sound sleep for 7-8 hours is highly recommended.
  • Cold water is one of the best ways to stop nasal bleeding
  • Instillation of lemon juice should be dropped into nostrils provides excellent relief
  • Juice of fresh coriander leaves can be used as nasal drops
  • A cotton bud dipped in rosewater and kept inside the nostrils stops the bleeding
  • Tulsi juice mixed with honey will also help and provide extra strength to the body
  1. My husband snores a lot. What could be the reasons?

Snoring may be caused by a combination of factors which are as follows:

  • Sleeping on the back
  • Being overweight/obese
  • Congestion of the upper respiratory tract
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol in the evening prior to sleep
  • Use of sleeping pills and tranquilizers
  • Inadequate sleep
  • stress
  • Saggy and extra soft mattress
  • A pillow that is too low/high
  • History of smoking
  1. How is snoring treated in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda classifies sleep disorders as Kapha dominant disorders since they are highly associated with obesity as a main symptom, however, Vata and Pitta could have an impact on this disorder. Kapha dosha first accumulates, and aggravates in the digestive system, it then over-flows into the circulatory system, subsequently relocating into the Medas (Medovaha srota), then manifest and diversifies.2  Lekhana and Medohara (fat scraping/ reducing) ahara and vihar and Shodhana therapies may be beneficial.

Ayurveda has a holistic approach in treating different conditions that include a combination of ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for effective management.

  1. What are few tips to reduce snoring?

Here are few tips to reduce snoring:

  • Maintain a proper diet and exercise well to lose weight
  • Avoid alcohol consumption since it can increase sleep apnea
  • Prefer sleeping on the side (especially the left side as this promotes better digestion)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Ensure that you always get sufficient and a sound sleep
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Use a pillow of an appropriate size and firmness
  • If possible, elevate the head end of the bed if possible
  • Use of nasal spray to relieves nasal congestion
  • Inhale steam with eucalyptus oil
  1. My child frequently gets chest infection, what diet can I give to improve his condition?

Following are the diet tips to improve/better manage chest infection:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet as it can help strengthen the immune system, makes you less susceptible to developing chest infections
  • Avoid milk products and other mucous forming foods like ice-cream, cold water, sugar salt refined flour, bread and fruit juices
  • Prefer hot food and drinks since they help in soothing the discomfort associated with cough
  • Preparations containing long pepper and dry ginger are helpful in treating cough
  • Ghee can be used to soothe the throat
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Prepare a solution of a glass of hot water, half a lemon’s juice squeezed in it and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture sip by sip
  • Avoid excessive consumption of tea, caffeinated and carbonated drinks 
  1. My child has crying spell and pulls his ear sometimes. Is he having ear pain?

The symptoms of ear pain in infants include:

  • Fever and irritability in babies
  • Pulling tugging or rubbing of ears in children
  • Babies do not feed well; loss of appetite in children
  • Sleep problems and restlessness at night
  • Coughing and runny nose

 

References

Ear infection
  1. Ear infection (middle ear). Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/home/ovc-20199482. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16
  2. Otitis Media. Available at: http://lifespaayurveda.blogspot.in/2007/07/otitis-media.html. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16
  3. Ear Infections. Available at: http://www.healthline.com/health/ear-infections#Overview1. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16.
  4. Ear Infection Health Centre. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/understanding-otitis-media-treatment. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16.
  5. Ayurvedic Treatment for Ear infection. Available at: http://www.ayurvedatreatments.co.in/ayurvedatreatments/index.php/ayurvedic-treatments/324-ayurvedic-treatment-for-ear-infection. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16.
  6. Ear pain/infection (Otitis). Available at: http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/symptom/Ear-pain-infection/124. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16.

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