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How To Sleep When You Have An Ear Infection

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Causes Of Ear Infections

How to manage your childs ear infection

Typical ear infections mainly occur due to the blockage of the eustachian tubes followed by swelling. In turn, it causes the buildup of fluid in the middle ear.

Know that Eustachian tubes are small tubes running from the ear to the back of your throat. Some of the causes of blockage in the eustachian tube are

  • Swollen or infected adenoids

Other conditions related to ear infections

Since the middle ear infection is the center of origin for any particular ear infection, other conditions are associated with it. Some of these conditions are outlined below.

  • Chronic effusive otitis media: it is a condition caused by a buildup of remaining fluid accompanied by a bacterial and or viral infection. It is why children are susceptible to these ear infections, which might interfere with their hearing.
  • Chronic suppurative otitis media: it is a condition that doesn’t quickly go away with typical ear infection treatment. If not handed in time, it might cause a massive hole in the eardrum hence causing hearing problems.
  • Otitis effusive media: it is characterized by buildup of fluid, i.e., effusion and swelling in the middle ear. However, the fluid buildup isn’t accompanied by viral or bacterial infections. Also, this condition may occur due to fluid buildup persistence after an ear infection is gone. On the other hand, it may occur due to noninfectious dysfunctional infections, thus affecting hearing.

Exercise Routines That Help You Help You Fall Asleep Quicker With An Ear Infection

Exercise routines that help you help you fall asleep quicker

The jaws movement can help ease the ear pain so that you can sleep faster. The most common activities that are associated with jaw movement are:

Each of these jaw movement actions can cause you to fall asleep quickly since they help reduce the ear pain in your ear and ease the pressure in your ears. This is by the relaxing of your ear muscles.

Also, you can do moderate exercises, such as meditation as it can help reduce stress and inflammation. Engaging in light physical exercises can be extremely beneficial in:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Ensuring that you have enough blood flow throughout your body
  • Reduces the stress placed on any region that is inflamed within your body
  • It can also assist in relieving ear pain from ear infections. Small exercises could aid in removing congestion from your eustachian tubes and the inside of your ear. But, as you have a good idea of what an eustachian tubes is, the pressure it exerts on them could result in the development of tension when it is affected ear. The tension can then lead to discomfort in the ear that can be associated with sleep-related discomfort.

    Home Remedies For Ear Infections

    The bodys immune system may be able to fight the majority of ear infections on its own but there are a couple of remedies that can speed up the process. After all, we all want to sleep better and not have to go about daily duties with pus oozing from our ears or suffering from sharp pain throughout the day.

    Here are the best home remedies for sleeping with an ear infection.

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    Best Position To Sleep To Drain Eustachian Tube

    We understand by now that the most crucial factor in allowing the Eustachian tubes to drain out tends to focus on making them dilate enough to allow the free movement of air and fluids. Since a vertical position tends to achieve the best results, it is only fitting that you try to sleep upright rather than lay down to sleep with an ear pain. To achieve this, you can either recline against a set of pillows or sleep on a comfortable backrest pillow with arms like BedLounge.

    If however, sleeping upright tends to be a more tedious task than what you can handle, sleeping in the supine position or side position can work as well, provided you make the necessary amends to your sleeping position. You need to keep your head sufficiently elevated, to make sure that your ears are higher than the rest of your body.

    Moreover, it is recommended that side sleepers continue alternating their sides as they sleep. However, make sure that you donât sleep on the infected side for too long.

    Other Remedies That May Help

    Home Remedies for Ear Infection

    These other at-home remedies may provide some relief:

    • Neck exercises. Rotating and stretching your neck can help ease pressure thats built up in your ear canal.
    • Ginger. With its anti-inflammatory properties, using ginger juice around the outer ear canal may soothe pain.
    • Hydrogen peroxide. Place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into your ear. After a few minutes, let it drain into a sink. Rinse off your ear.

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    When To See A Doctor

    You should seriously consider quitting all home remedies and consulting with your primary healthcare provider if an ear infection persists for more than three days. Your physician will conduct a proper diagnosis and administer antibiotics or other medications as appropriate.

    You should also consult a doctor ASAP if the drainage from the infected ear contains pus or bloodthis may indicate an eardrum perforation.


    Ear infections left untreated can result in more severe problems such as permanent loss of hearing loss. Hence you must visit a qualified healthcare practitioner if symptoms persist.

    Ear infections can lead to hearing loss both in adults and children.

    Why Do Children Get Ear Infections

    If you could peak inside your childs head, you would see thin tubes that connect their ears to the back of their throat. These are the Eustachian tubes, the ears air pressure regulators and drainage system. In adults, theyre long and slanted for efficient drainage. In children, the tubes are short and horizontal. The ear cant drain as effectively, and its easy for bacteria from the throat and nasal tract to travel into the ear.

    Once bacteria is in the ears, the inside of the ears gets inflamed. The opening to your childs tiny Eustachian tubes get swollen shut. A vacuum is formed by the natural pressure in your childs ears. Normally, the pressure is relieved when we chew and swallow, which encourages the Eustachian tubes to open. When theyre swollen shut, the pressure builds. Fluid is pulled out of the surrounding tissues.

    The fluid becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and the next thing you know, your child is experiencing the classic symptoms.

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    Try This Fix: A Hot Plate

    It may sound odd, but one solution for an aching ear is a hot plate. Lisa Orloff of South Orange, New Jersey, says, I swear by this for earaches. The heat feels really good as it radiates inward. Heres how to put the method to work: Microwave a small ceramic plate or saucer for a couple of seconds. Its ready when its not too hot to the touch to take it out of the oven. Then place the plate gently cupped over the ear that hurts and hold it there.

    MORE: The Absolute Worst Way To Clean Your Ears

    Cold And Warm Compresses

    What is the best thing to do with my baby with an ear infection?

    Compresses are an excellent way to help with the discomfort you may feel in your ear as well as the inflammation. You can use a wet washcloth or towel and do this before bedtime. Alternate between the two and leave each one on for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

    • A cold compress will help with inflammation and can numb the pain.
    • The warmth from a heated towel helps to relax the muscles in your ear and improve blood flow.

    If you hate having to keep holding a washcloth or ice pack to your head try using a Huggaroo Hot/Cold Migraine Hat as a hands-free alternative! I use mine for soothing ear infection inflammation, migraines, and jaw pain. Its incredibly versatile and convenient. Best investment Ive made this year!

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    Symptoms Of Inner Ear Infection

    Since the inner ear plays key roles in both hearing and balance, any issues with these senses could be linked to an infection in this area. Infections in other parts of the ear are less likely to affect your hearing or balance, but the other symptoms can be similar.

    Possible signs of an inner ear infection or inflammation include:

    • Vertigo, a sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving around even when everything is still
    • Having trouble balancing or walking normally
    • Feeling like the ear is full or blocked
    • Tinnitus or ringing in your ears
    • Fluid or pus coming from your ear

    Inner ear infections can also be linked to other symptoms, depending on the source of the infection. For example, if the infection spread to the inner ear from your airways, you might also have a runny nose. In some cases, these other symptoms might be fading when the problems in your inner ear begin, because the original infection might have been eliminated. You could also have more generalised symptoms of infection, such as a fever.

    How To Prevent Ear Infections In The First Place

    Preventing ear infections can make life easy compared to seeking a solution after the infection has already occurred. Here are a few tried and tested ways to avoid ear infections:

    Flu Vaccination: Research has proven that taking the flu vaccine yearly can prevent ear infections especially among children. The vaccine is known for offering protection against bacteria that may cause ear infections.

    No Swimming: If youre constantly suffering Otitis Externa commonly known as Swimmers Ear, itd make a lot of sense to avoid swimming. Also, make sure to find ways of preventing water from getting into the ears when bathing including wearing swimmers earplugs.

    Keep the Ears Clean: Resisting the temptation of pushing cotton buds or other small objects into the ears especially when it feels itchy can be rewarding. These items may block the Eustachian tubes and increase the risk of suffering an infection.

    Avoid Smoking: Studies have shown that exposure to cigarette smoke may increase the risk of suffering ear infections. If you smoke, quitting the habit can save your life in many ways, including the prevention of these infections. Even if youre a non-smoker, it is important to ditch environments such as pubs and bars where smoking is allowed.

    Manage Allergies: Staying away from your allergy triggers can help prevent the risk of suffering ear infections. Once you experience an allergy bout, make sure to take the medications as prescribed to prevent the worsening of your symptoms.

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    The Numbing Ear Drops

    Numbing drops are another well-known treatment for easing the earache and helping you sleep better. But, it is important to wait before trying them.

    While ear drops may be an effective treatment for some, for others they may cause adverse consequences. Along with active ingredients like benzocaine some of the over-the-counter drops contain a range of herbal extracts that may cause a negative reaction in certain people.

    The potential side effects of this medication include allergic reactions as well as a stinging sensation that can be felt in the ear.

    Before using numbing drops for the ear it is recommended to consult your doctor to determine the safety of the product in the particular circumstance you are facing.

    See A Doctor If Symptoms Persist Beyond 48 Hours

    How To Sleep With An Ear Infection Positions

    If your ear infection fails to resolve, your ear pain worsens suddenly, or your symptoms continue to persist for more than 48 hours then you should see a doctor .

    In the meantime, it is imperative that you do not attempt to poke at your affected ear as this can make things much worse.

    I would also advise you to strictly refrain from self-medicating yourself with ear drops or strong medications such as antibiotics.

    If the pain is significant, you can take a painkiller such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen which is readily available over the counter.

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    Ruptured Eardrums Usually Heal In A Few Weeks

    The good news about ruptured eardrums is that they usually heal on their own in a few weeks. You should hear normally by then.

    At every point in the healing process, Harbor Audiology is here to help.

    Your hearing specialists at Harbor Audiology provide the hearing care you need for the best hearing possible.

    Harbor Audiology has experience filing for VA benefits, and we work with all major insurance plans.

    We are open most evenings and Saturdays. Harbor Audiology has offices in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Silverdale, Sequim, Port Angeles, and Bainbridge Island.

    Request your appointment online today!

    How Are Ear Infections Treated

    The treatment of an ear infection depends on various factors such as the age of the patient, the causative pathogen, and the site of infection such as the inner, middle, or outer ear.

    Otitis interna which is the infection of the inner ear tends to resolve by itself.

    If your ear infection is of a bacterial origin, then your doctor would prescribe you an antibiotic either in an oral form or a droplet form.

    If the ear infection is viral or fungal in origin, then antibiotic tablets or drops would be of no help.

    If a fungal agent is responsible for your ear infection, your doctor would prescribe you with antifungal ear drops.

    In case of a severe infection, your doctor may prescribe you painkiller tablets or steroid containing eardrops to help with the pain and swelling.

    In case of recurring infections and bacterial sepsis, surgical interventions such as drainage or removal of the adenoids by an ENT surgeon is recommended .

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    What Causes An Ear Infection

    Ear infections happen in the middle ear. They are caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The infection creates pressure in the Eustachian tube. This tube does not work properly when filled with drainage from the nose or mucous from allergies, colds, bacteria, or viruses.

    A childs adenoids sometimes can block the opening of Eustachian tubes because they are larger in young children.

    Ouch: How To Help A Child With An Ear Infection

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    According to the National Institute of Health, five in six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Theyre painful, theyre stubborn and they can be tough for a young child to cope with. If your child is suffering, there are a few things you can do to help ease their discomfort.

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    Are There Any Side Effects

    Earplugs are generally safe. However, they do come with a few potential side effects, especially if you use them regularly.

    Over time, earplugs can push earwax back into your ear, causing a buildup. This can cause several problems, including temporary hearing loss and tinnitus. To clear the wax, youll need to either use ear drops to soften it or have it removed by your doctor.

    Earplugs can also cause ear infections. While they can happen due to a buildup of earwax, bacteria growing on earplugs can also cause them. Ear infections are often painful and can have lasting complications, such as hearing loss, if not treated.

    How To Sleep With Ear Infection Pain At Night

    When you buy an item using one of our links, we may earn a portion of the sale. Pillow Insider and some products featured on the site are owned by the same company. Learn more.

    You might have noticed how your ear pain tends to worsen at night when you sleep. While the ear pain at any time can prove to be rather annoying, it can be extremely distressing especially when you are trying to go to sleep. The constant throbbing in your ear can leave you sleepless and restless, making it difficult for you to take on the next day with rejuvenated energy.

    However, we are here to give you glad tidings of the fact that making minor adjustments to the way you sleep can alleviate troublesome symptoms of earache.

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    How Is Labyrinthitis Treated

    Treating most cases of labyrinthitis includes observation, bed rest, and hydration. Steroids, such as prednisone, are typically prescribed to minimize inner ear inflammation. In some cases, steroids may be injected through the eardrum into the middle ear space. Severe nausea and vomiting may be treated with anti-nausea medications. Vertigo may be treated with antihistamines or sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, although long-term use can prolong the recovery.

    The treatment of bacterial labyrinthitis is to control the primary infection, which is usually a middle ear infection. This may require antibiotics, placement of an ear tube, or more advanced ear surgery. Treatment for autoimmune labyrinthitis addresses the underlying autoimmune condition with steroids or other immune modulating medications usually directed by the rheumatologist.

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    Do Ear Infections Always Need To Be Treated With Antibiotics

    Is wearing earplugs at night bad for you?
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    I see many parents bring their children in to Express Care with ear infections and request antibiotics, but sometimes antibiotics arent the right choice. Most ear infections cure themselves without the help of antibiotics.

    Lets first discuss what an ear infection is and other approaches to take. An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that affects the ear. It becomes painful when buildups of fluid and inflammation occur in the air-filled space behind the eardrum. Signs and symptoms of infection will quickly show. A great way to tell if your child has an ear infection is if he or she start showing the following symptoms:

    • Pain in the ear, especially while lying down
    • Pulling or tugging the ear
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
    • Fever or headache

    Generally, an ear infection will improve within the first couple days, and clear up within one to two weeks without any treatment. It is recommended to use the wait-and-see approach for:

    • Children age 6 to 23 months with mild inner ear pain in one ear for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F
    • Children age 2 and older with mild inner ear pain in one or both ears for less than 48 hours and a temperature less than 102.2 F

    Check out these additional tips to reduce the risk of developing ear infections.

    Leanna Munoz is a nurse practitioner at Express Care in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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