Ear infections can be excruciatingly painful and induce serious symptoms like fevers and severe dizziness. If the infection is untreated, rupture of the eardrum may occur. Luckily in some cases, vinegar, a common household product, can help alleviate ear infections and bring real relief from their symptoms.
Ear Infections: An Overview
Ear infections occur when bacteria, viruses or fungi invade the ear canal and begin to reproduce inside. As the microorganisms reproduce, the body's immune system attempts to kill them by sending extra white blood cells to attack them. As a response, the area in which the infection occurs becomes swollen and extremely painful. Sometimes the swelling is so severe that hearing is temporarily reduced in the affected ear. A fever, another of the body's immune responses to eliminate infections, may also occur.
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. White vinegar is acidic and toxic to the microorganisms that are causing the infection. Killing the germs, alleviates the infection and relieves symptoms.
Put three to four drops of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into the ear canal using a sterile eye dropper. Lie on your side for a few minutes so the vinegar soaks deep into the ear canal.
Use a cotton ball to plug your ear upon standing so that the vinegar does not drip 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 used are at room temperature; dropping cold liquid into the ear can cause dizziness and unsteadiness.
Use a bulb syringe (available at your local pharmacy) to suck up the liquid slowly, then squirt it into the ear gently while you are laying down. Drape a large 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 after a few days of vinegar treatment your ear infection doesn't improve, it's time to see a doctor. Your physician can prescribe antibiotic ear drops as well as systemic antibiotic pills to cure your ear infection.