Earache historical posts May 1998

Help - earache!!

Posted by jo on May 27, 1998 at 06:56:37:

Hi Walt

I have been following your board for a while and am incorporating your suggestions re a fit and healthy life. I am generally a well person, however, yesterday I picked up an ear infection which is doing the rounds at work - the ear feels sore and throbs - I think it is an outer ear infection as it hurts if I pull/press my ear lobe.

Hopefully it will have improved on its own by the time you reply to this, however, do you have any suggestions for natural remedies should it still be here or reoccur. I am loathe to visit my doctor who will just prescribe antibiotics.

Thank you for your help

Jo




Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by GENE on May 28, 1998 at 14:53:31:

In Reply to: Help - earache!! posted by jo on May 27, 1998 at 06:56:37:

Make a mixture of Alcohol and Vinegar 50/50, and clean using cotton shwab. This appear to be what is called Ottitis Externa or possible sweemers ear.
Do it always after taking shower!
This may save you $ 150.00 I paid to find out, in a simmilar case.


Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by Gene on May 28, 1998 at 14:58:06:

In Reply to: Help - earache!! posted by jo on May 27, 1998 at 06:56:37:

Take a stereofoam cup, put in a cotton, and poor hot water to generate steam. Lower your ear to it and steam.
The heat may be a great solution.
Than use Alcohol/vinegar 50/50 as in next note.


Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 29, 1998 at 10:09:08:

In Reply to: Help - earache!! posted by jo on May 27, 1998 at 06:56:37:

Dear Jo,

This is one of the places where conventional medicine might be just what you need.

HOWEVER, what you REALLY need is for someone knowledgable to look at your ear drum. If it cannot be seen because of impacted wax, THAT is your problem. No treatment will be effective if here is a foreign body in your ear canal (wax is just one possibility). Since I can tell you from personal experience, that it is impossible for one to see into one's own ear, you will need a professional for that.

Another part of the reason for seeing a professional is that NOTHING should be put into the ear canal IF the ear drum is not intact. The only way to tell that for sure is to look at it.

Next, it is important to know why you would have an infection in your external canal. Congratulations on knowing that pulling the earlobe is a reliable way to tell if this is at least an external canal problem.

Are you a swimmer? Do you use Q tips to clean your ear?

I wish this were a ssimple as it sounds on the surface but it is not. You want to be sure that, at least, anything you do does not cause more harm than good. Once you know exactly what this is AND why you have it, you should be able to prevent it happening again.

For now, if the eardrum is intact, and there is no foreign body in the canal, antibiotic ear drops for a couple of weeks (coupled with keeping any water out of the ear) is what I would do. THEN, if you are a swimmer, write again since ear infections from swimming is a completely preventable condition.

Remember, TMJ can cause exactly what you are describing. IF, when you are examined, the doc says that your ear looks normal----that is the next thing you should think of.

Let us know what you learn & what happens.

Walt



Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by Jo on May 29, 1998 at 10:23:20:

In Reply to: Re: Help - earache!! posted by Walt Stoll on May 29, 1998 at 10:09:08:

Thanks Walt

I went to see my doctor yesterday as I am about to get on a plane and was a bit worried.

He just said it was inflamed and started to prescribe antibiotics. I said I wasn't keen to take them and he then said to leave it 'til monday and come back if its not better by then.

Is there anything I can do to alleviate the swelling/pain - does the alcohol/vinegar thing sound like a good start????

Jo


Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by Jo on May 29, 1998 at 10:23:55:

In Reply to: Re: Help - earache!! posted by Gene on May 28, 1998 at 14:58:06:

Thanks Gene for your advice - I will give it a go.

Jo


Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 30, 1998 at 09:27:55:

In Reply to: Re: Help - earache!! posted by GENE on May 28, 1998 at 14:53:31:

Dear Gene,

I certainly agree that your conclusion is the most likely one AND that your solution (alcohol & vinegar) might well be the "cure". HOWEVER, if the eardrum is not intact (for whatever reason) the treatmetn could cause a lot more harm than good. Also, if there is a foreign body (wax or whatever) in the ear NOTHING will prevent a recurrence so long as it is there.

For prevention of ALL swimmer's ear problems, one should follow the simple procedure that the Aquanauts (military program) now has as routine instructions for anyone diving with them: Fill the ear canals with mineral oil BEFORE diving and fill the canals with rubbing alcohol AFTER diving. Anyone doing that will never have swimmer's ear again.

Walt



Re: Help - earache!!

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 31, 1998 at 10:29:09:

In Reply to: Re: Help - earache!! posted by Jo on May 29, 1998 at 10:23:20:

Dear Jo,

Since the diagnosis of external otitis has been made (trusting that the doc could see your drum), you can be assured that flying will not be a problem. The problem has to be middle otitis (behind the drum) for flying to be a problem.

The organisms that like to cause external otitis do not like an acid environment. The alcohol/vinegar thing could help. The problem is that you have to put the stuff in your ear with that ear UP so as to fill the canal with the solution. THEN, after a few minutes, you have to get as much of it out as you can (just by draining). Under no circumstances should you use a q-tip in your ear canal. This is NOT for fear of hurting your drum. The reasons are more complex than that & I have trouble explaining it without having a picture to show you at the time.

The water in the vinegar wets the canal (the last thing you want). The alcohol is mainly to dry out the canal. Remember, distilled vinegar is about 99% water.

ALSO, heat application will help speed up the infection's resolution. However, you have to be sure to put the heat on with that side UP. Swelling is your enemy and gravity causes swelling. Although it is a lot more convenient to lie down on the heating pad, that puts the ear down. You have to lay with that ear UP & put the pad on top. Twenty to thirty minutes of as hot as you can stand it--you don't have to burn yourself, repeated about 3-4 times a day would probably resolve this infection without anything else being done. Lots of bother, but......

Walt



1998: May

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