While ear glue sounds really bad, it's actually quite a common childhood condition that's caused when the middle ear becomes filled with fluid. If your child has problems with hearing, ear glue could be the cause. Children who are suffering from hearing loss due to glue ear tend to speak more quietly and are unable to understand conversations taking place amid background noise, and tend to tune in and out of conversations they are unable to hear. Ear glue is pretty common among kids, and one out of five kids around the age of two have ear glue, and eight out of ten kids will get ear glue before the age of ten years. And it's not just kids who are prone to ear glue- adults can suffer from the condition as well.
What causes Ear Glue?
Basically, when the middle ear behind the eardrum becomes filled up with fluids. The bones which transfer sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear can't move freely, so the sound vibrations don't travel effectively. While experts aren't exactly sure what makes fluids build up in the ear, it appears to be an issue that is related to the tube which connects the throat to the middle of the ear, or the Eustachian tube. Issues can arise after a previous ear infection or when an irritation is caused by allergies, dust or smoke. Children are more prone to ear glue when they are raised in a household in which one of more adults smokes.
How to get rid of glue ear naturally
1. Olive oil or coconut oil: You can warm up either of these oils and add a few drops into each ear to alleviate ear pain. Just make sure not to put anything into your child's ear as this can damage the ear drum.
2. Garlic: This is an analgesic and natural antibiotic which can reduce earache. Crush a clove of garlic and pace the extract into the ear.
3. Onion: Another (smelly) food that's great for ear glue due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Crush a fresh onion and place a piece of it in a cloth. Hold the cloth over the infected ear for around five to ten minutes and repeat this procedure a few times a day. Alternatively, you could add the juice from an onion to the coconut or olive oil and then apply it in the ear.
4. Ginger: Ginger is a great natural ingredient for plethora of health issues, including glue ear treatment. The strong anti-inflammatory properties of ginger is a good pain reliever for ear glue.
5. Hot water bottle: A good old hot water bottle not only takes care of sore muscles and cramps, but is also one of the best home remedies for glue ear. Take a cloth and wrap it around your hot water bottle. Place it next to your ear with the earache to relieve pain.
6. Essential oils: The best essential oils for glue ear are peppermint, tea tree oil and lavender. These essential oils should be diluted in equal parts to a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Put some drops on a cotton swab and apply to the outside area of the ear, but be sure not to place any of it inside. You can place the essential oils on a cotton piece and carefully place it over the ear opening. Leave it overnight.
7. Garlic: Combined with ear drops, garlic can help alleviate ear pain infections. The General Health Services in Israel found that herbal remedies were equally as effective as standard antibiotic treatments.
8. Nasal balloon: If you have spare balloons leftover from a party, then try the glue ear balloon remedy Blowing a balloon through the nose might actually help you treat ear glue. A 2015 study from the University of Southampton in the UK showed that blowing into a balloon via the nose can help treat ear glue. By blowing through each nostril into the balloon, air travels into the middle ear, which normalizes air pressure levels and clears out fluid buildup.
9. Do nothing: Often times, the majority of middle ear infections which can culminate into a case of ear glue tend to clear up by itself. A study done by the University Medical Centre, Utrecht found that antibotic treatment did not have many benefits for children ages six months to two years, therefore, immediate treatment was not recommended for them. Monitoring the ear glue infection is also known as "watchful waiting".
Preventing Ear Glue
1. Quit smoking: When it comes to ear infections, especially in children, smoking is the first thing you want to avoid. Children who grow up around a smoker are much more likely to suffer from ear glue. Studies have found that children who are exposed to cigarette smoke at home have a 38 percent higher risk of developing ear infections such as glue ear. Protect your children's health by not smoking.
2. Breastfeeding: Studies have also found that breastfeeding can prevent glue ear. While experts aren't sure why, it is believed that protein compounds found in breast milk help to reduce inflammation in the ear canal. One study discovered that exclusively breastfeeding for at least four months or more protects infants from episodes of ear glue. Numerous other studies have found that breastfeeding infants is a good preventative measure against ear glue.
3. Eliminate allergens: Children who are allergic to dust, moulds or pollen are more likely to get ear glue. This is because the allergies cause inflammation in the ear Eustachian tube. Eating a diet that has no food allergens can reduce ear glue incidences in children and adults as well.