7 Ways of Using Olive Oil for Ear Infections

Have you ever had an ear infection?

If yes, then you know how painful and uncomfortable this condition is.

It’s even more frustrating if your little child is the one suffering.

All day, your child will be crying incessantly and pulling her ears in the attempt to get rid of the pain.

Don’t worry.

You can treat this condition with the use of natural solutions such as olive oil.

To make sure that you treat it effectively, it’s important to get to know more about this condition.

Here’s what you’ll learn from this article:

  • Basic information about ear infection along with its symptoms and causes
  • Properties of olive oil that make it highly useful in treating an ear infection
  • Remedies that are easy to follow and would require only the use of simple ingredients

Ear Infection – Getting to Know the Basics

Ear infections occur when viruses or bacteria infect the middle ear [1].

The middle ear is the part of the ear just beneath the eardrum [1].

This condition causes great pain as the middle ear becomes inflamed and fluid accumulates in this section [1].

There are two types of ear infection:

  • Acute ear infection – These are painful but typically shorter in duration
  • Chronic ear infection – These are recurrent infections that may cause permanent damage to one’s hearing [1]

Although adults can also suffer from this, children are more prone to this infection [2].

This is because the immune systems of children are not yet as fully developed as with adults.

It’s good to know though that some of these cases clear up without treatment [2].

Most doctors only prescribe pain medications to alleviate the discomfort it brings [2].

However, there are some cases in which the infections do not resolve on their own, or would keep on coming back [2].

The problem with recurrent ear infections is that these can lead to complications such as hearing problems [2].

Do you know what’s causing your ear infection?

Most ear infections are caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis [2].

Some cases are triggered by viral infections [2].

Apart from viral or bacterial infection, this condition may also be a result of the following:

  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • Sinusitis
  • Excessive mucus
  • Smoking
  • Infected adenoids (adenoids are the tissues near the tonsils) [3]

There are also certain factors that may increase the risk of getting this infection, and these include:

  • Changes in altitude or climate
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Use of pacifier in infants
  • Illness [3]

In addition to the pain and discomfort, these are the other indicators of this condition:

  • The persistent pressure inside the ear
  • Pus-like drainage from the ear
  • Difficulty in hearing [3]

In babies and young children who are not yet able to talk, you can detect ear infection through these following signals:

  • Incessant crying and fussiness
  • Pulling of the ears
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Fever
  • Drainage coming from the ear
  • Lack of balance or coordination
  • Failure to respond to sounds [4]

If your child is younger than six months and has a fever, it’s imperative to consult a doctor right away [3].

Beneficial Effects of Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized for its healthful effects [5].

People who regularly consume this type of diet have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and other ailments [5].

One of the main reasons for this is olive oil [5].

The olive tree originated from the Mediterranean region [6].

Both its fruit and oil extract are staples in the Mediterranean diet [6].

In fact, olive oil is the “main source of fat” in this part of the world [6].

Olive oil contains many active compounds that are beneficial to human health, and these include oleic acid, phenolic compounds and squalene [6].

Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol are two of the phenolic compounds that not only give this oil its pungent aroma and unique flavor but also a multitude of pharmacological effects [6].

Some of the many roles that olive oil has become known for are as an antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral, and hypoglycemic, among many others [6].

The studies that have been done on olive oil and its compounds serve as proof to its countless medicinal properties [7].

It’s no wonder the use of this oil has spread beyond the Mediterranean countries and is now widely popular in many parts of the world [7].

Also Read: Olive Oil on Face: 6 Benefits + How to Use It

How Does Olive Oil Work for Ear Infection?

Olive oil has three qualities that are helpful in treating ear infections:

  1. Antibacterial

A 2001 study confirmed that olive oil has broad-spectrum microbial activities that can work against a wide array of bacterial strains, including those that cause ear infection [8].

Many other studies have similar findings, validating the potent bactericidal effects of olive oil and its active compounds [9, 10].

  1. Analgesic

In 2011, researchers probed the analgesic effects of olive oil, and how useful it can be for painful conditions like ear infections [11].

Positive results were yielded, and hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein were pointed out as responsible for olive oil’s pain-relieving properties [11].

  1. Anti-inflammatory

Olive oil is also believed to have the ability to reduce inflammation.

This has been verified a number of times in scientific research [12, 13, 14].

According to experts, the compounds in olive oil are capable of inhibiting the pro-inflammatory enzymes [12].

By toning down pain and inflammation, olive oil can help provide immediate relief, whereas by controlling bacterial infection, it can help resolve the problem.

7 Ways to Use Olive Oil for Ear Infection

Use the following remedies to treat ear infection and alleviate its symptoms.

#1. Warm Olive Oil

Warm olive oil works well not only in toning down inflammation but also in providing immediate relief from pain.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put olive oil in a pan.
  2. Warm it slightly.
  3. Using a medicine dropper, pour a few drops into the ear.
  4. Repeat remedy once a day for one to two weeks.

Also Read: How to Use Olive Oil for Skin Health Boost

#2. Olive Oil and Garlic Juice Disinfectant

Garlic contains antimicrobial substances that can help resolve the issue of ear infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Crush garlic cloves to extract juice.
  2. Mix garlic juice and olive oil.
  3. Use a medicine dropper to put a few drops of the mixture into the infected ear.
  4. Do this procedure once a day until the infection clears.

#3. Olive Oil with Essential Oils

Certain essential oils like chamomile are known for their antibacterial properties. Lavender oil, meanwhile, is an effective analgesic.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 drop of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine olive oil with chamomile and lavender oils.
  2. Apply the mixture on the infected ear using a cotton ball.
  3. Use this remedy twice a day for up to two weeks.

#4. Olive Oil and Crushed Basil Leaves

Crushed basil leaves can help neutralize bacteria in the ears that cause infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Crush basil leaves and extract the juice.
  2. Mix basil juice and olive oil.
  3. Soak a cotton ball into the mixture.
  4. Insert cotton ball into the ear.
  5. Repeat procedure twice a day for one week.

#5. Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar Bacteria Buster

Apple cider vinegar has long been used for bacterial infections like an ear infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine the two ingredients.
  2. Fill the ear with the mixture with a dropper.
  3. Leave it on for 5 minutes.
  4. Tilt your head to drain the ear.
  5. Follow this technique twice a day for one week.

Also Read: Top 10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for the Skin

#6. Olive Oil and Warm Compress for Pain Relief

Warm compress is an efficient way to relieve pain and discomfort.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bottle of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Press gently a bottle of warm water against the infected ear.
  2. You can also use a heating pad if you don’t have a bottle of warm water.
  3. Do this for five to six minutes.
  4. Reapply three to four times.
  5. Soak a cotton ball in olive oil.
  6. Insert cotton ball into the ear canal.
  7. Do this procedure twice a day until the infection clears.

#7. Olive Oil and Onion Juice for Bacterial Control

Like garlic, onion also contains potent antibacterial chemicals that can help control infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of onion juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix onion juice and olive oil.
  2. Using a medicine dropper, pour a few drops of the mixture into the ear.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the mixture using a towel.
  5. Do this daily for one to two weeks.

Some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q. Can you use cooking olive oil for treating ear infections?

A. Yes, it is okay to use cooking olive oil for your ear infections. Or you can purchase a small bottle of olive oil for your ears from a nearby chemist.

Q. What essential oils are good for ear infections?

A. Some essential oils that are quite useful in treating your ear infections are tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, thyme oil and basil oil.

Q. What are the symptom of a ruptured eardrum?

A. The common symptoms of a ruptured eardrum is a pain in your ear that subsides quickly. A spinning sensation in your head. Ringing in the ears. Discharge from your ears that can be pus-filled, bloody or clear. Not able to hear properly. Nausea or vomiting.

Q. Can you use olive oil when you have the symptoms of a ruptured eardrum?

A. No. You should not use olive oil or any other ear remedies if you have a ruptured eardrum. Make sure to consult your doctor before doing anything on your own in such a case.

Bottom Line

If you would like to get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by ear infection, make use of olive oil, which will not only alleviate symptoms but will also get to the root of the problem.

Most of the recipes that you’ll find here are in combination with other natural ingredients, which are not only equally beneficial in treating bacterial infections but are also inexpensive and very easy to find.

Hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any queries or confusions regarding this topic, ask us by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

And don’t forget to share your experience with us.

Read Next: 10+ Quick Home Remedies for Ear Infections (with Step-by-Step)