Ear infection is common; it can be infection of the outer ear or inner ear. Infection in inner ear is more concerning as it has major role in detecting sound and balancing the body. Inner ear is a section of ear that is behind the eardrum. It is not visible to naked eyes.
Bacteria, viruses and fungi are mainly responsible to cause infection in the ear. Inner ear is composed of bony labyrinth. It is a cavity in skull bone, the temporal bone. Infection in inner ear or the labyrinth is also called labyrinthitis.
This infection needs to be treated as soon as possible. Besides conventional antibiotic medicines, there are several natural alternatives to alleviate the symptoms and treat the condition.
Causes Of Inner Ear Infection
Infection of inner ear as any other infection is caused by microorganisms. It can be bacterial infection, viral or fungal. The possible causes can be due to blockage in the Eustachian tube in middle ear or an infection in the tube, viral infection of vestibular nerve that passes from the inner ear.
The most common example of it is infection caused by herpes virus. Inflammation of meningis, the lining covering brain can also be one the causes. Few people are more prone to inner ear infection. The risk increases in smokers, patients suffering from chronic sinusitis, upper respiratory infection, allergic rhinitis etc.
In majority of cases the inner ear gets infected due to infection in the blocked Eustachian tube. Once the tube is blocked, there is build up of fluid which becomes a field for increased growth of bacteria. People with extreme stress and alcoholics are also at risk of suffering inner ear infection.
Symptoms Of Inner Ear Infection
The symptoms of inner ear infection are sudden in onset. The symptoms can prolong for several days depending on the severity of infection. Some patients may experience pain while others may not. However, they may have several other symptoms related to infection such as:
- Loss of balance.
- Spell of dizziness.
- Ringing in ears all the time.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Occasional mild to moderate pain around the ear and at the back of the ear in the body area.
- Hearing loss which can be permanent if the condition is not treated on time.
In most cases the symptoms are temporary and they recede as the infection subsides. However, recurrent infection caused due to risk factors such as smoking, sinusitis can result in hearing loss over a period of time.
Home Remedies To Cure Inner Ear Infection
In majority of cases infection in inner ear resolves on its own, if it is mild to moderate as triggers are removed or treated. However, in many cases of bacterial infection doctors prescribe antibiotics to kill the germs and prevent further complications. If the cause is virus infection, antibiotics are of no use and the symptoms alleviate as the virus infection subsides.
There are several home remedies when used in conjunction with modern day therapy are found extremely effective in treating the condition earlier.
- Salt is available in every kitchen cabinet. It is one of the most useful home remedy in treating inner ear infection. Salt has mild antibacterial qualities. Salt water gargling is beneficial. Place warm salt wrapped in a cloth around the ear or at the back of ear. The heat released from it helps to draw out fluid from the tube and reduce inflammation and pain.
- Gargle of apple cider vinegar mixed with water, is time tested home remedy for treating inner ear infection. All you have to do is put few drops or a teaspoon of apple cider in a glass of water. Gargle it daily for few days. It helps to resolve the problem within few days.
- Garlic is another home remedy used since ages for ear problems. Garlic has inherent antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Add garlic in your daily food. Extract garlic juice from garlic cloves. Add it in warm coconut oil. Once the oil has cooled off, put one or two drops in the affected ear.
- Staying active is necessary to alleviate the infection faster. Ask your doctor to explain exercises for balancing the body. It includes movement of head in certain position or balancing the body while standing or sitting posture.