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Homeopathic Remedies for Ear Infections

Also indexed as: Glue Ear, Infection (Ear), Otitis Media

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Small children often develop middle ear infections (otitis media) during colds; however, ear infections can occur at any age. Allergy or swelling of the tonsils and adenoids may block the Eustachian tubes and sinus passages, and inflammation and fluid can increase in the middle ear, causing pressure, pain, and sometimes even a ruptured eardrum and discharge. A different kind of ear infection (otitis externa) affects the outer ear and the sensitive skin inside the ear canal; it often starts with a scratch that gets infected by bacteria or fungus (swimmer’s ear), becoming swollen, inflamed, and very painful.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Aconitum napellus: This remedy is indicated if an earache comes on suddenly with cutting, throbbing pain—often after exposure to cold and wind, or after a shaking experience. The person usually is fearful, agitated, and restless. Fever may be high and thirst is strong. Symptoms are often worse near midnight, and can even wake the person up.

Belladonna: Intense bouts of earache that come and go very suddenly, with heat and inflammation, suggest a need for this remedy. Pain can be pounding or throbbing, and may be worse from jarring. The person usually has a fever, a flushed red face, eyes that are sensitive to light, and skin that is hot to touch. The right ear is most often affected. A child needing Belladonna may feel drowsy with the fever, or be restless and have nightmares.

Chamomilla: Paroxysms of pain that seem intolerable suggest a need for this remedy. Children may seem angry and beside themselves, and often scream and hit. They may feel better from being carried constantly and vigorously walked around or rocked. Ear pain and other symptoms are worse from heat and wind, and the cheeks (often only one) may be hot and red.

Ferrum phosphoricum: This remedy can soothe the ache and inflammation of an ear infection—or even stop it, if given when the symptoms have just begun to show. The person looks pink and flushed, with fever and a feeling of weariness. The outer ear may look warm and pink, and the eardrum can slightly bulge.

Hepar sulphuris calcareum: This remedy is indicated when an earache is very painful or infection is advanced (with a bulging eardrum or pus formation). Stabbing, sticking pains “like a splinter being driven in” are a likely indication. The person is very sensitive to everything, especially cold and drafts, and may feel extremely vulnerable and touchy.

Magnesia phosphorica: An earache that feels much better when warmth and pressure are applied suggests a need for this remedy. The pain may be mostly neuralgic, with little evidence of fluid or infection.

Mercurius solubilis: This remedy may be helpful if an ear infection is advanced, with pus formation, shooting pains, and roaring in the ear. A person who needs this remedy is often very sensitive to temperatures (both hot and cold), has swollen lymph nodes, offensive breath, a puffy tongue, and sweat and drooling during sleeping.

Pulsatilla: This remedy is often indicated for ear infections that follow or accompany a cold. (Cold symptoms include a stuffy nose, especially indoors, and large amounts of yellow or greenish mucus.) The ear may be hot and swollen, with a feeling that something is pressing out. Pain can be worse in the evening and at night, as well as worse from heat, with a pulsing sensation. Deep itching may be felt inside, especially if ear infections are chronic. A child needing Pulsatilla usually is sad and tearful, wanting to be held and comforted.

Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

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