Ear infections are common in children and can affect adults, too. Some people suffer from painful infections throughout their lives.
If you or your child experience earaches, here’s how to safely relieve the pain and discomfort using essential oils.
About Ear Infections
Ear infections can be caused by allergies, colds, sinus infections, and viral infections. They may occur in the middle, outer or inner ear. You’ve probably felt your ears become blocked temporarily if you have ever had water in your ears or felt them “pop” in an airplane -- this is a mild example of what an ear infection feels like.
Typically the painful ear infections that we get as children are the result of a blockage in the Eustachian tubes, which are small tubes running from the middle of the ear to the throat.
On occasion, the cause of an ear infection can be a ruptured eardrum.
Most ear infections are harmless and will clear up on their own. But anyone experiencing earache symptoms and fever together should see a doctor, especially if this is happening with young children. If left untreated, ear infections can be dangerous and lead to permanent ear damage.
Once you are sure that there is nothing more serious, and you have received antibiotics or other over-the-counter treatments (if necessary), you can use essential oils at home to help relieve pain and reduce the symptoms of infection.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely for Ear Infections
Essential oils are generally safe to use and have very little in the way of side effects. That being said, it’s important to use caution, especially if you are using essential oil remedies with children.
Always dilute oils in a carrier oil or in water as they can irritate the skin. Never ingest oils or use them directly on broken skin, and keep them away from children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should use essential oils with caution.
The best ways to use oils for ear infections and related health problems are:
- If the outer ear is in pain, apply a few drops of diluted essential oil to the affected area and massage gently.
- Use a few drops in a hot bath or a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.
- Use a few drops of diluted oil as part of a warm compress treatment.
- Soak a cotton ball in diluted essential oil and place it gently in the ear opening.
- Use a couple of drops of essential oil in olive oil and release directly into the ear canal. Tilt the head in the direction which allows it to drip into the ear canal. Do this for about a minute, then return your head to the normal position, letting the oil drip out.
These treatments work best in tandem with professional treatment or the case of mild pain or blockage. Do not put anything into the ear canal if there is untreated severe pain, as this may indicate a ruptured eardrum.
The Best Essential Oils for Ear Infections
Some essential oils like the ones listed below have antibiotic and antibacterial properties, which means that they can be beneficial if applied to the affected area.
- Use peppermint essential oil if you have pressure or pain related to allergies or sinusitis. The bright, pleasant aroma is both relaxing and invigorating.
- Thyme essential oil has been used therapeutically for centuries. It contains an antiseptic called thymol and is great for all kinds of infections.
- Oregano essential oil has powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can be used for colds, inflammation, digestion, and much more.
- Tea tree essential oil has strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It’s a great oil to have around the house for several uses.
Discover the Benefits of Aromatherapy Oils
We have a wide selection of organic essential oils which can offer relief from pain and discomfort related to ear, nose, and throat conditions.
If you are new to essential oils, consider trying one of our blends or ordering a single essential oil like tea tree oil to discover the amazing health benefits.
We also offer a full range of unique, high-quality aromatherapy diffusers. All of our products are safe and effective to use in the home.