Ayurvedic treatment for Ear pain

Ear pain

Know More on ENT(Ear Nose Throat)

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

Definition

Ear pain Ayurvedic treatment

Earache is associated with a piercing, dull, or burning pain in one or both ears. It may be constant or last a short time. It can be caused due to:1

  • Infection of the middle ear (Otitis media)
  • Swimmer's ear (infection of outermost ear)
  • Malignant otitis externa (cancerous external ear infection)

Karna Roga or ear disorders, as they are generally known in Ayurveda, can be caused by one of four imbalances:

  • Vata: Imbalances of vata leads to thin discharge, dried ear wax, severe pain, 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, 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 kapha’s congestive qualities are increasing in the 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 pain

The eustachian tube is small tube connecting ear with the nose, drains fluid that is made in the middle ear. A blocked eustachian tube may cause build-up of fluid. This may lead to pressure behind the eardrum or an ear infection.1

Causes of ear pain may include:

  • Jaw arthritis
  • Ear infection
  • Damage to the ear from pressure changes (from high altitudes and other causes)
  • Damage to the ear caused by objects stuck in the ear or build-up of ear wax
  • Hole in the eardrum
  • Sinus infection
  • Sore throat
  • Jaw bone/joint pain due to Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
  • Tooth infection

Infection is the major cause of ear pain in a children or infants. Other causes may include:1

  • Irritation caused to the ear canal by cotton-tipped swabs
  • Accumulation of Soap or shampoo in the ear.

Symptoms

Ear pain

Symptoms include with ear pain include:3

  • 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
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Balance problems

Diagnosis

Ear pain

The physician will examine the ear using an instrument called an otoscope if he or she suspects an infection. The eardrum will appear swollen, red or inflamed in case of an infection. Further tests may be needed to confirm the same.3

Management

Ear pain

The ayurvedic management of ear pain 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.

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 impair 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)

  • Apply 2 drops of the juice extracted from ground basil leaves inside the ear.
  • Boil and mash 2-3 cloves of garlic. Wrap this compress in a woolen cloth and place on the aching ear.
  • Put 2-3 drops of warm mustard oil in the infected ear
  • Place a clean towel soaked in warm water near the infected ear for about 20 minute to help with the pain and discomfort.
  • Inhale steam from boiling water mixed with several drops of eucalyptus oil. Inhale the steam through the nose several times till the pain subsides. This will ease the pressure and help to drain the fluids from the ear.
  • 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.

FAQS

Ear pain
  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 pain
  1. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003046.htm. 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. Earache: Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention. Available at: http://www.webmd.boots.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/earache. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16
  4. 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.
  5. Home Remedies for EARACHE. Available at: http://www.medindia.net/homeremedies/earache.asp. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16

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