Otitis is a common ear infection.
Often recurring, otitis, if not quickly treated, can weaken the hearing apparatus. As soon as the first more or less acute symptoms are perceived from inside the ear (pain, fever, hearing reduction), it is possible to relieve the pain thanks to Essential oils. How to relieve the pain from ear infections with essential oils?
What is otitis?
There are several types of otitis or ear infections.
The external otitis affects the outer ear, the auricle and ear canal. The internal otitis affects the inner ear, in the area where the balance centre is situated. It is rather rare and usually causes vertigo.
In this article we are dealing with the middle ear otitis that affects principally the eustachian tube (tube connecting the ear drum to the back of the nose) and ear drum. It is the most often encountered and can affect anyone, although more particularly children and babies because of the length and position of their eustachian tube. In children this tube is generally shorter and horizontal which favours the transfer of pathogens from the nasal pharynx to the middle ear.
It is often the results of a viral or bacterial infection such as a nasopharyngitis. The bacteria or virus being in the back of the throat climbs the eustachian tube and infects the ear drum. Benign in most cases, it generally evolves favourably within a few days. The acute middle ear otitis is viral in 85% of cases.
Symptoms of otitis
The meaning of the word “otitis” means an inflammation of the ear. It is characterised by the following 3 symptoms:
- a redness,
In adults, the acute middle ear otitis is generally characterised by fever and severe pain in the ear as if “you can hear your heartbeat in your ear”. The ear is often blocked and the hearing acuity is lessened. Otitis is generally unilateral, affecting only one ear.
In children, and especially in very small children, it is harder to diagnose. Indeed, a baby cannot express the pain felt so only through indications such as: crying in its sleep, problem going to sleep, reduction in appetite and games. Sometimes the symptoms are more explicit with a child whose hearing is impaired or who continually touches its ear.
When an otitis is suspected in a child under the age of three, a visit to your doctor is mandatory.
In children over the age of three and in adults, it is mandatory to consult a doctor in the following cases (the list is note exhaustive):
- High fever (>39°C)
- Acute pain
- Persistence of symptoms beyond 48 to 72 hours
- Trouble breathing
- Hearing acuity diminished
Why use EOs to combat otitis?
EOs soothe pain caused by the ear inflammation because of their analgesic effect. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties act also on the origin of the pain. In association with the immune-stimulant benefits of EOs your body will become stronger and more able to combat otitis effectively.
The 3 main EOs:
Do not pour any essential oil in your ear!
- Tea tree EO
- True or fine or aspic lavender EO
- Eucalyptus radiata EO
TEA TREE EO to boost white blood cells and eliminate infection
Properties: powerful antibacterial acting on a broad scale, antiviral, antifungal and immune stimulator.
It is particularly recommended in bacterial infections or in viral infections of the respiratory tract, both upper and lower, such as sinusitis, rhinitis and also otitis. Slightly analgesic and anti-inflammatory, it is perfect to treat otitis.
FINE LAVENDER EO soothes pain
True lavender EO soothes pain because of its analgesic and anaesthetic properties. Also sedative and calming, it will help you live more easily with all the unpleasantness linked to otitis and favouring the ability to go to sleep despite the pain.
EUCALYPTUS RADIATA EO reinforces the anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory actions
Properties: disinfectant (antibacterial and antiviral), decongestant (loses mucus and secretions)
This essential oil is the most recommended oil for breathing comfort. It is therefore a great aid in the treatment of otitis because in most cases it is the infected mucus and secretions within the respiratory tract and in the back of the throat that are responsible for the start of otitis.
It is also an essential oil that can be used very effectively in diffusion to disinfect ambient air and prevent or treat respiratory infections.
Thujanol thyme EO (Thymus vulgaris CT Thujanol):
Properties: antibacterial and strong antiviral, but also pain relief provider and anti-inflammatory, the Thujanol Thyme is ideal in the case of otitis, a mixture of infection, inflammation and pain.
LINALOOL THYME EO destroys infectious agents
The Linalool Thyme EO is a powerful anti-infection. Linalool (up to 50%) presents a large spectrum of action from an antibacterial point of view in the fight against bacteria responsible for the infection or the superinfection of the ear. It is also and mainly a major antiviral essential oil.
The Linalool Thyme EO is the anti-infection element of synergies that will help to fight bacteria and the virus responsible for otitis.
ROMAN CHAMOMILE EO TO TAKE AWAY THE PAIN
Roman Chamomile produces an EO rich in monoterpene esters. This category of molecules has many properties that produce a strong anti-inflammatory. In addition, Roman Chamomile essential oil is also a very good analgesic.
Important notice: A benign otitis can generally be treated in a natural way by applying external massages to the outer circle around the ear. This will allow the penetration of the essential oils, through the skin, towards the inner ear. Purifying diffusions can also play a role at the same time by being anti-infectious and analgesic.
How to use essential oils to soothe otitis
- Place on the tip of your finger a drop of one of the EOs mixed with a drop of VO (or in synergy in ½ teaspoon of VO): massage behind the ear, 3 times a day for 3 days.
- Consult your doctor if the pain persists
- Beware, never introduce EOs directly into the ear canal! They could damage the ear drum. However, our ears have their own cleaning system, by their production of cerumen, that should not be disturbed. This is also why, in other circumstances, you should avoid using cotton buds: they can come in the way of the natural flow of cerumen and form a blockage.
Recipes against otitis (using the EOs you have)
3 to 4 drops of the mixture and massage AROUND the ears. Repeat the application 5 to 6 times a day for 5 days.
3 ANTI-OTITIS MASSAGE OILS for adults (except pregnant or breastfeeding women)
- Eucalyptus Radiata EO 2 drops
- Niaouli EO 2 drops
- Tea Tree EO 2 drops
- Linalool Thyme EO 2 drops
- 10 drops of VO
- Lavender EO 30 drops
- Verbenone Rosemary EO 30 drops
- Eucalyptus Radiata EO 30 drops
- Niaouli EO 30 drops
- 10 ml of VO
- Eucalyptus citriodora EO 15 drops
- Linalool Thyme EO 10 drops
- Eucalyptus Radiata EO 15 drops
- Fine Lavender EO 10 drops
- 20 drops (1mL) of VO
anti-otitis massage oil for babies/children (+3 months)
- Tea Tree EO 5 drops of
- Roman Chamomile EO 5 drops
- Eucalyptus Radiata EO 5 drops
- 60 drops (3 mL) of VO
Do not use Essential oils on babies under the age of three months.
anti-otitis massage oil for children
- Linalool or Thujanol Thyme EO 5 drops
- Ravintsara EO 7 drops
- Noble Chamomile EO 3 drops
- 60 drops (3 ml) of VO
anti-otitis massage oil for pregnant women (+3 months)
Do not use Essential oils during the first three months of pregnancy.
Diffusion of EO in cases of nose infection, throat infection or ear infection (otitis):
The+: easy to use, it will help treating the infection and disinfecting ambient air so as to prevent the recurrence or risks of contagiousness.
- 10 drops of Ravintsara EO
- 10 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata EO
- 5 drops of Tea Tree EO
- 20 drops of Lemon essence
Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a bottle and shake well in order to blend all liquids together. Diffuse 6 drops in an electric diffuser morning and night for 30 minutes.
SOME ADDED ADVICE
- Passive smoking increases the risk of otitis
- Avoid plane travel
- At the pool, avoid putting your head under water and protect your ears with a swimming cap.
- Apply a cold water pack on the ear to produce an immediate analgesic effect (for example a washing cloth soaked in cold water or one filled with ice cubes) – only if the ear drum is not perforated.
- For babies: raise the baby’s head to sleep or when drinking because lying flat is painful in cases of otitis.