Most children, as well as some adults, will experience an ear infection at some point in their lives — it's practically unavoidable. There are a few different types of ear infections, and most of them, thankfully, are not too serious. Some vitamins and nutrients have the potential to reduce an ear infection, and even prevent one in the first place.
An Introductory Look at Ear Infections
You and most other people have probably experienced earache due to an ear infection. It may or may not have happened during your adulthood, but most people do experience an ear infection at least once during childhood
Ear infections are most common in the middle ear
, which is an air-filled space between the opening of the ear and the eardrum. Ear infections can also occur in the outer ear (e.g., swimmer's ear), or in the inner ear, though this is less common. Ear infections often clear up in a matter of days or weeks, even without treatment in some cases. Many people, and parents, still prefer to treat them. An ear infection can be either bacterial or viral. A prescribed antibiotic could help a bacterial infection, but not a viral one.
The symptoms of an ear infection in a child are recognizable. They include ear pain (often worse when lying down), fever, difficulty sleeping, trouble hearing, and fluid leakage from the ear. Pain and hearing impairment are the most recognizable symptoms in adults.
Remedies for an Ear Infection
Alternative remedies for ear infections are commonly used, and even preferred over OTC meds and prescription antibiotics. This is certainly the case for viral ear infections
. Each of the following healthy substances could help remedy an infection.
, a vital immune-boosting nutrient
, has been shown to help reduce the chances that you contract an ear infection. Merely increasing your levels of vitamin D through supplementation can successfully reduce the chances of an infection.
is a micronutrient
that helps activate the immune system to produce cells that combat bacterial and viral infections. There is evidence to suggest that this benefit extends to ear infections. Separately, zinc can aid in the recovery of your hearing if you experience sudden hearing loss.
are a near-certain aid to the immune system
, which makes them a worthwhile supplement if you have an ear infection. A probiotic supplement is commonly recommended for pediatric ear infections. Supplementing with probiotics could also help prevent an ear infection.
, an amino acid, is essential (meaning your body needs it, and can't produce it internally), and it supports the immune system such that it helps create antibodies
. L-lysine also has antiviral properties, so it could potentially work against viral ear infections. Low levels of L-lysine could correlate with occurrences of ear infection.
Ear infections can be painful and irritating. If you seek to treat or avoid ear infections in you and/or your children, then consider keeping one or more of the above supplements on deck. We recommend talking to your healthcare provider before taking a supplement for the first time, as some supplements can interact with some medications.