Ear infections can be excruciating and induce serious symptoms like fevers and severe dizziness. If the infection is left untreated, the eardrum may rupture. In some cases, vinegar can help heal the infection and relieve the symptoms.
Ear Infections: An Overview
Ear infections occur when bacteria, viruses, or fungi invade the ear canal and begin to reproduce inside. The immune system attempts to kill them by sending extra white blood cells to attack them. As a response, the infected area becomes swollen and extremely painful. Sometimes the swelling is so severe that hearing is temporarily reduced in the affected ear. A fever, also an immune response to eliminate infections, may occur as well.
Use of Vinegar in Ear Infections
One of the best ways to eliminate the growth and reproduction of microorganisms within the ear canal is to flush the canal with white vinegar, which is acidic enough to kill the germs.
Using a sterile eye dropper, put 3 to 4 drops white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into the ear canal. Lie on your side, opposite from the infected ear, for a few minutes to let the vinegar soak in. Plug the ears with cotton balls to soak up any vinegar that leaks out. Repeat several times a day until the symptoms clear and you can hear out of the affected ear.
Another method is to make a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water or vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Make sure all liquids are at room temperature—dropping cold liquid into the ear can cause dizziness and unsteadiness. Use a bulb syringe (available at a local pharmacy) to suck up the liquid slowly, then squirt the liquid into the ear gently while you’re laying down. Drape a towel around your shoulders to soak up the solution as it leaks out. Irrigate your ear with the solution several times a day until the symptoms clear up.
If the infection is too deep in the ear canal, vinegar or other liquids might not be able to reach it and effectively kill the germs inside. If your ear infection doesn’t improve within a few days of vinegar treatment, it’s time to see a doctor. Your physician can prescribe antibiotic ear drops as well as systemic antibiotic pills to cure the infection.