Middle -ear infection, known as Otitis Media in medical parlance, is a serious ear disease. It is a common childhood disorder. This condition generally follows the infection of upper respiratory tract.
The ear is the organ of hearing and one of the most important part of the body. It is divided into three parts known as the external part, middle part or drum and the internal part. It is very sensitive organ and its inner structure is inaccessible. It is therefore necessary to deal with the disorders of this organ promptly.
In Otitis Media, inflammation occurs on that portion of the ear which is directly behind the ear drum. There is discharge of pus into the outer ear. As the condition progresses, the inner ear beomes seriously affected and hearing considerably impaired. There is suppression of middle ear through a perforation of drum. In case of children, supression may start slowly without any reason. If the suppression is left unattended it may result in deafness.
During childhood, ear infections often follow measles, chicken pox, mumps or the common cold. Chronic tonsillitis and other infectionsmay spread to the Eustachian tube whch connects the ears with the throat and nose. This causes pus to collect in the middle ear cavity.
The realcause of middle ear infection is, however, the outcome of previous medical treatment of childhood fevers or due to operations for the removal of tonsils or adenoids. The disease denotes that toxins which nature has been trying to throw off through the usual channels of elimination have been diverted back into the system and have been lodged in the inner ear structure. This causes the continual suppression and discharge associated with the disease.
A thorough internal cleansing of the system is essential to get rid of toxins, which is at the root ofthe trouble, and clear up the infection. To begin with, the patient should avoid all solid foods and subsist on liquid diet and fruit juices for three or four days. Orange juice will be especially beneficial. This juice can be taken diluted with water on 50 : 50 basis. If possible, a warm -water enema should be administered daily during this period to cleanse the bowels. After some improvement, the child-patient should adopt an exclusive diet of fresh fruits for further two or three days. In this regimen, he should be given fresh juicy fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple, peach, grapes, pear and papaya. Thereafter, he may gradually adopt a well-balanced diet according to his age, with emphasis on whole grain cereals, raw or lightly cooked vegetables and fresh fruits.
Further, liquid diet followed by an exclusive fruit diet should be undertaken at two or three monthly intervals, until the discharge has completely cleared up. Younger children can however, commence the treatment with an all-fruit diet, instead of liquid diet, for three days or so, with two or three consecutive days at monthly intervals.
The patient should avoid white flour, sugar and all products made from them, pickles, condiments and fresh foods. He should completely eliminate the foods which raise the amount of phelgm like miled rice, sugar and lentils.
The pain of middle-ear infection can be releived by hot fomentations to the side of the head over the ear. Irrigation of the ear with very hot water ( temperature 120o to 130oF) will also help relieve the pain.
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of earache and discharge from the ear resulting from middle-ear infection. The most important of these is the use of garlic. A few cloves should be warmed and mashed with salt. This mixture should be wraped in a piece of woolen cloth and placed on the painful ear. Simultaneously one or two cloves of garlic should be chewed daily for few days. It will give relief. Garlic oil is also a popular remedy for earache.
The use of margosa ( neem) oil has been found effective in infection and inflammation of the ear. One or two drops of this oil can be instilled into the ear with beneficial results.
Onion is beneficial in the treatment of pus in the ear. The juice extracted from an onion should be slightly warmed and put in the ear two or three times daily. It will bring good results.
The older children should undertake regular exercises and outdoor games. Fresh air and sun bathing are of vital importance. The patient should sit in the sun so that sunlight penetrates the inner part of his ear for 15 minutes. It will help stop the discharge of pus from the ear.