Home Remedies for Ear Discharge

Ear discharge is also known as otorrhea in medical terms. It corresponds to any fluid that comes from the infected ears. It is very commonly seen in people of all ages. Even infants and small children can get this problem. The type of ear fluid determines the underlying health problem. The drainage from the ear is usually earwax that is produced by the body naturally.

Reasons for Ear Discharge

The following are the possible reasons for ear discharge.

  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Injury
  • Trauma to the ear canal
  • Infection in the middle ear
  • Eczema
  • Skin irritations in the ear canal
  • Swimmer’s ear


Symptoms of Ear Discharge

The following are the symptoms experienced during ear discharge.

  • Pain in the ears
  • Heavy feeling inside the ear
  • General discomfort
  • Foul smelling discharge from the ears

Home Remedies for Ear Discharge

Before starting the treatment for ear drainage the underlying causes must be diagnosed properly. In case of mild and acute ear discharge, simple and natural remedies can help in treating the problem and easing the symptoms associated with it. But if the problem persists for longer period of time, it is better to consult the doctor and start treatment immediately.

1. Gravity

During ear discharge, it is important to remove all the fluid build-up in the ear. This can be done by letting it flow due to gravity.


What to Do?

  • Tilt the head parallel to the ground to the side with the affected ear
  • Put a clean finger in the ear and try to create vacuum to help in dislodging the fluid
  • Using a cotton bud clean the discharge
  • You may also simply lie down on the side of the affected ear with a towel under the ear
2. Steam

Steam is another effective remedy to dislodge the fluid in the ear. This will help in opening the Eustachian tube to encourage the release of fluid trapped in the ear. This will enable smooth drainage of the discharge fluid from the ear.


What to Do?

  • Boil 3-4 cups of water until it steams
  • Turn off the heat and add few drops of eucalyptus or any other essential oil to the hot water
  • Place a towel over the head and inhale the steam slowly for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Tilt the head to one side so that the fluid drains out
  • Repeat as and when needed
3. Garlic

Garlic has natural antibiotic properties that can help in fighting off any infection. It also prevents the infection from coming back when used regularly. It is very effective in curing middle ear infection that causes fluid discharge.


What to Do?

  • Crush 2 or 3 garlic cloves and extract the juice
  • Using a dropper put 3 to 4 drops in the ear
  • Let it work for 5 minutes then blow dry the ear by holding the dryer at least 12 inches away from the head
  • Repeat this process twice daily
4. Neem Oil

Neem or Indian lilac or margosa has natural antiseptic properties. Neem oil can be used in treating infection and inflammation of the middle ear. It also helps in reducing the pain and inflammation in the ear.


What to Do?

  • Put 2 or 3 drops of neem oil into the affected ear using a dropper
  • Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Tilt the head and let the fluid come out of the ear
  • Repeat twice or thrice a day to get faster results
5. Warm Compress

Warm compress is one the best ways to reduce the pain and discomfort due to ear discharge. The heat promotes the fluid to dislodge easily and relieves pain.


What to Do?

  • Dip a clean washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess water
  • Place the moist cloth on the ear for 2 to 5 minutes
  • Tilt the head to promote fluid drainage
  • You can also lay by keeping your head on the heating pad wrapped in a towel
  • Do this for few minutes and then repeat
6. White Vinegar

White vinegar has antibacterial properties that help in expelling out the fluids. It can be clubbed with rubbing alcohol that works as a drying agent to promote evaporation of fluid buildup inside the ear.


What to Do?

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol
  • Fill this solution in a dropper
  • Lie down with the affected ear facing upward
  • Put 2 to 4 drops into the ear and wait 10 minutes
  • Tilt the ear and allow the drainage
  • Repeat this remedy twice daily to break down the infection and the ear wax
7. Basil

Basil is also one of the effective remedies to get relief from ear discharge and the pain associated with it. The antibiotic property of basil helps in keeping the infection at bay.

Aaron Tait Photography

Aaron Tait Photography

What to Do?

  • Wash 5-7 basil leaves and crush them to get the juice
  • Heat the juice slightly by placing it in the microwave for few seconds
  • Using a dropper, add 2 to 3 drops into the affected ears
  • Repeat the remedy twice daily for a few days
8. Onion

Onion is very effective in treating ear infections and ear discharge according to Ayurveda.


What to Do?

  • Extract the juice of one small onion
  • Heat the juice slightly by placing it in the microwave for few seconds
  • Put 2 to 3 drops of the juice into the ear
  • Wait for 5 minutes and then tilt the head to drain out the fluid
  • Use this remedy twice or thrice daily

The above home remedies can be used along with the regular treatment. However, if the problem persist, it is better to consult the doctor.

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