Win a copy of The Tourist Trail this week in the Writing forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

outer ear infection

 
master steward
Posts: 28359
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For years I've struggled with this. 

Most recently, I went through 18 months of it and not getting rid of it.  At times, i could tell how bad it was because the wind would hit just right and I could smell it.

About eight years ago I beat it by:  forcing myself to not touch it.  This is rather maddening and since I was doing a lot of it subconsciously (including in my sleep) I rigged up all sorts of contraptions to keep myself from being able to touch my head. 

The bizarre thing about it is that you want to scratch it.  Scratching is the natural way we have to deal with all sorts of stuff.  Only in this case it makes things much worse. 

This time (about two weeks ago) I beat it in a much more normal way.  And it was far easier.

First I'm gonna tell you what worked this time and what didn't work.

---------------------------------
What worked for me for getting rid of my outer ear infection:

I did this treatment three times a day for the first three days, then twice a day for three days and then once a day for three days.

Mix distilled water with epsom salt, and use an ear bulb thingy to thoroughly rinse out my ear.  Drain ear.  Then put in about three drops of hydrogen peroxide - and leave that in for about a minute.  It should fizz slightly.  Drain ear.  Put about three drops of ear drops in. 

---------------------------------

The salted water would get about 96% of the yuck out.  The hydrogen peroxide would get another 3% out and the drops would take care of what was left and be preventative until the next treatment.

Things I had tried before: 

Using hydrogen peroxide - sometimes mixed with iodine.  It would fizz so much a foam pillar would rise from my ear.  I think there was just too much ick.  And using it too much would end up hurting my ear - sometimes causing other problems.  But this helped far more than anything else - up to the real solution detailed above.

The ear drops alone:  that seemed to do nothing.

Scratching:  felt so very good and right but always made it way worse and way itchier.

manual cleaning:  would sometimes help a little, but usually made it itchier. 

For the last two weeks my ear has been great.  My ear has not itched and I have not smelled anything yucky.  I wanted to write this down before I forgot.  Both, in case I need it in the future and in case it might be of help to somebody else.




 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
humm my dog is prone to outer ear infections I'll try this route on him if he starts to show one again this winter.

on a related note peroxide in the ears also helps fight viral infections as the eardrum is one of the entry points/hideouts that tiny lil virus's can get into you soft tissues through, but the excess oxygen that a daily dose of peroxide adds destroys the little things. at least thats the theory it seems to work and I can't imagine it doing any harm used against minor flue/cold sysmptoms that I'd never go to the hospital for anyway.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 28359
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So for the better part of a year I have had zero outer ear infection.  Life is awesome.

A little started about a week ago while I was traveling.  I did some of the epsom salt followed by hydrogen peroxide stuff yesterday and should do some more today.

The important thing is that after struggling with it all day long, every day for years, it has been a huge relief to have a solution.  It took a recurrence to remind me of what I used to go through.  But this time I feel like I have the tools to mend it quickly.

Life is good.

 
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anytime I get a slight ear infection, I dip a q-tip in a little bit of tea tree oil and it is done, usually after one application.  Be careful, too much and it will burn. 
 
                                
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been facing the problem of ear infection when I was 10 years I have tried lot of thing by putting medicine, oil and even I tried to clean my ears everyday but still there is dryness in my ear. Doctor told that this is an allergy symptoms of cold and cough that's why your ear is block. Anybody facing such kind of problem?
 
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Be aware that it is possible to have a bacterial and fungal infection in your ear simultaneously and require different treatments.

Bulb ear syringes used incorrectly can break the eardrum rather easily and then the infection can move into the middle ear.

Some ear specialists use sophisticated video tweezers to clean out ear wax and do not recommend bulb syringes.

 
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you can't get hydrogen peroxide, use lemon juice, diluted in warm water, at least half and half. I used it on my infant daughter some 35 years ago and it worked immediately. The only time she was ever sick was an infection in her ears after flying in a plane. (probably due to the toxic chemicals they use to disinfect them).
 
                            
Posts: 55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You may be able to assist your body in fighting the infection but...

You have immunity and/or circulation issues if it doesn't go away. We like to think of of "issues" as treatable with "things" but treating the entire body is a true answer.

Paul are you blood type A? (guessing is not easy, so no surprise if you are not)

Children of smokers often get more chronic ear infections (at least as children) if there mother was type A blood, even though they may not be.
 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recommend getting a culture done of the puss and see what organisms are actually in it. From there your choice of treatments is much clearer. Are you dealing is an MRSA? Who knows? Get tested. Whatever one may think about western treatments, few can deny the utility and accuracy of their tests. When we start by knowing what we're up against the way forward becomes less cluttered. An infection that's recurring over such a long period of time is an immediate danger, and needs professional attention. This is from an herbalist who's suffered recurring MRSA's.

Not touching is indeed the hardest part. One practitioner recommended wearing gloves at night to prevent unconscious scratching. I thought that was rather ingenious.
 
                            
Posts: 55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Actually treating someone for their genetics, with a tinge of the type of problem they have, works better than just "targeting" a "problem".

For example you can't fix blood sugar problems that stem from an over toxified liver, by solely managing carbohydrate intake.

He has an immunity problem, not a infection problem. Yes you can treat the infection but it is like taking a pain killer for a broken bone that needs a splint. You can go this way, maybe not have one for awhile, but you won't be "fixing" the problem really.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 28359
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I had a recurrence. And once again I would only do something when it would get really bad. And once again it stuck with me for over a year until i buckled down and really dealt with it several times a day even after it seemed to go away.

I think that's the hardest step for me: it seems to have gone away, but I need to keep treating it.

This time, I used the bulb thing to irrigate my ear repeatedly, until I saw this picture of one of the bulb things:


(source)

And I stopped doing that.

(I just now went downstairs and cut open my bulb thing - flawlessly clean on the inside)

So, the thing that worked at the end:

1) when I would shower (every morning) I would let the water into my ear and really rinse things out. I felt that this was far superior to anything I was doing with the bulb.

2) After the shower I would put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in my ear and then lie down until the fizzing was pretty much done. Usually five to ten minutes.

3) Add a few drops of the ear drops.

4) repeats steps 2 and 3 once or twice more through the day.

5) DO NOT SCRATCH EVEN THOUGH THE TEMPTATION IS HUGE! And do not use a finger or tissue or anything to clean the ear.

I think I stuck to this strictly for about five days and that beat it.

It has now been well over a month.


 
Posts: 232
Location: San Diego, CA USA
1
medical herbs writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Also? This protocol is pretty awesome! Even cures deafness sometimes! http://www.herballegacy.com/Earaches.html
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 28359
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My right ear became so angry a few days ago that the side of my head swole up and the ear closed.  I felt pretty sick for a day.  

We had some mullein blossom and garlic oil.   I treated with that several times and this morning my ear opened up again.  A woman was here last night and said she was plagued with "swimmers ear" which is the same thing.   She said she would put alcohol in her ears and it would clear it up every time.  

So this morning, jocelyn treated my bad ear with some water and rubbing alcohol and then we finished up with a few drops of the mullein blossom oil.  We'll see how it goes.
 
steward
Posts: 3152
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
616
hugelkultur urban chicken food preservation bike bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really like the garlic mullein oil for ears.  Oil is an excellent thing to put in an unhappy ear because it works in harmony with our ears' natural cleaning system.

The ears produce cerumen (ear wax) deep inside, near the eardrum.  This wax coats the inside of the ear and waterproofs it.  The movement of the jaw, with chewing and talking, will help the ear wax move along the ear canal out to the pinnae (the outer ear) where you can get it with your finger.  This is the design.  I don't recommend q-tips, or at least if you must make sure you are very careful because it's easy to shove cerumen deeper into the ear canal and make things worse.

Oil will help soften the cerumen so it can do its job, and resume moving towards the exit.  Sometimes a person has a major ball of wax in their ear, and then irrigation with warm water will often get it to come out.  I won't do irrigation on someone with a particularly painful ear, because duh, it hurts and also they might maybe have a ruptured ear drum and you don't want to squirt water at that.  If you put oil in your ear I recommend warming it up.  Putting the little bottle in a bowl of hot water works, carrying it in your front pocket also works, albeit more slowly.  

Some people, especially those of Asian descent, don't have sticky cerumen, they have dry flaky cerumen.  Oil is helpful for this sort of cerumen as well.

Rubbing alcohol is useful for drying out the ear - it displaces water and it dries easily.  Acid is helpful for preventing infections in the ear.  If a person is prone to swimmer's ear, they can instill drops made with half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol after getting the ears full of water (swimming, etc).  You do NOT want to use these drops to treat an ongoing otitis externa (infection in the ear canal) because it will HURT.  They are good for prevention.

If I have a patient who has trouble with their ear more than once, I recommend instilling sweet oil or garlic mullein oil into each ear canal weekly.  Let it really soak in, so you can only do one side at a time.
 
Posts: 125
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Years ago I suffered from swimmers ear and general ear discomfort related to my asthma and my then doc said just put a few drops of mineral oil in the ear each day. Never had any problems since with my ears.
 
Posts: 26
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe a doctor?  Warm honey mixed with turmeric works for me.
 
Posts: 47
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've always heard it is bad to put any water in the ear when you have an ear infection, that it increases the moist environment that yeast and bacteria love. So instead of flushing with water to warmup coconut oil or use olive oil to flush the ear and then wipe out as much as you can. After letting the oil drain thoroughly to flush with rubbing alcohol to dry up and disinfect.
 
Can you really tell me that we aren't dealing with suspicious baked goods? And then there is this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!