Ear infections. They suck. There’s no getting around it. They are crippling in their painful simplicity. They haunt your every waking moment. They are annoying. Eventually, your mind starts to play games on you. You start to wonder; will cutting my ear off produce a higher quality existence than I currently have now?
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 5 out of 6 children experience an ear infection before they are 3 years old. Wow. I suppose that little statistic only confirms what most parents already know. According to Mayo Clinic, young children are more susceptible to ear infections because their eustachian tubes are still developing into their more permanent, adulthood shape.
So what is a parent to do?
According to Mayo Clinic, if your child is less than 6 months old and you suspect an ear infection, contact your pediatrician. If your child is older than 6 months with mild ear pain and a fever below 102 degrees Fahrenheit, you can wait and see if conditions improve within 48 hours. If they do not, contact your pediatrician. If your child is older than 1 year, the pain is mild, and doesn’t have a fever above 102 F, it’s also okay to wait and see if the infection will resolve on its own. I would suggest also employing the Tea Tree Essential Oil remedy described below as soon as the “patient” begins to experience inner ear discomfort.
For children (1-12), dilute 1 drop each of the following essential oils into 1-2 teaspoons (1 tsp for older children to 2 tsp for younger children) of carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, etc): Thyme, Lavender and Tea Tree. If you only have Tea Tree, go ahead and try this remedy with only that oil. I have done that and it still worked. The key is to use oils with anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities. Apply some of this mixture around the ear – around, not directly on the ear – every hour until symptoms are relieved. At night, place 1 drop of this mixture onto some tissue or cotton ball and leave in the ear overnight.
For teenagers and adults, apply 5 drops Tea Tree, 5 drops thyme, and 10 drops lavender in 1 teaspoon carrier oil (or just 10 drops Tea Tree) and apply around the base of the ear every hour. At night, place 1 drop of Tea Tree on some cotton/tissue (the tea tree will dilute/disperse throughout the tissue) and leave in the ear overnight.
Do NOT use undiluted Tea Tree around your ear. This is a very sensitive area of skin. I tried this once and while, I must say, the pain went away after 24 hours, my skin was very irritated. Lavender, however, is perfectly safe for older children and adults to use undiluted.
Mild ear infections that are not going away on their own will most likely notably improve within 48 hours of using this treatment. Severe ear infections may still require a visit to the doctor.
If conditions worsen with this alternative treatment (unlikely), discontinue use and consult a doctor. This may be the result of an allergic reaction to the oils.
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