Serous otitis: natural treatments

Often, ear infections cause severe pain in the ear. However, there is a kind that evolves quietly. This is serous otitis. Painless and asymptomatic in children, it is not without health consequences. Indeed, inflammation causes deafness, sometimes significant. And it is young children who are the first to be affected by the disease. Fortunately, before resorting to surgery, there are natural solutions to prevent and cure serous otitis. Discover grandmother’s remedies and tips to overcome this evil.

What is serous otitis?

Serous otitis refers to the chronic inflammatory condition of the middle ear. It occurs when there is presence of a yellow serous liquid, of variable fluidity, behind the eardrum.

This state results from a prolonged absence of aeration of the middle ear by blockage of the Eustachian tube. Normally, this small pipe is used to send air into the ear in particular situations (variation in altitude, for example). The longer the lack of ventilation lasts, the thicker and more viscous the liquid behind the eardrum becomes, which significantly affects hearing.

On the other hand, you should know that serous otitis is very common in children between 1 and 8 years old. And there is a peak around the age of 4 years. Community life (nursery, school, etc.) plays a decisive role in the occurrence of serous otitis.

Note that inflammation is however much rarer in adults. Generally, it is associated with respiratory infections.


In the child

The diagnosis of serous otitis is often laid late. Indeed, the inflammation does not cause any symptoms. It is a completely painless disease. The child does not complain of earache. In most cases, serous otitis requires no treatment since it resolves spontaneously within a few weeks.

But although asymptomatic in children, serous otitis is not without consequences since it causes conductive hearing loss. Ultimately, this can have adverse effects on the communication and development of the young subject. Most often, it is a language delay and behavioral problems that lead parents to consult.

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It is therefore necessary that the management of the disease is rapid. The treatment doctor or the pediatrician must then carry out an ENT examination in the young patient. And this on a regular basis to avoid any ear problems.

In adults

On the other hand, in adults, it is different with much more explicit signs: feeling of blocked ear, partial deafness, buzzing, runny nose, balance disorder, slight pain in the ear…

Serous otitis is not a disease to be taken lightly. Ear pain and the appearance of these symptoms should prompt you to consult.

The causes

Where do serous otitis come from?

Most commonly, ear infections in general occur after nasopharyngitis. It is she the main responsible for the appearance of an otitis because the bacteria go up along the Eustachian tube.

And there are also acute otitis media, which, if poorly treated, become superinfected and cause serous otitis.

Aggravating factors

The community life is one of the contributing factors. But be aware that there are also other environmental factors responsible for serous otitis. Among them, passive smoking, pollution or allergies.

Natural treatments for serous otitis

Nose washes

The main treatment is to restore the aeration function of the Eustachian tube. It is therefore necessary to unclog and clean the nose satisfactorily. Clean baby’s nose often or encourage your child to blow his nose on his own, if he is old enough to do so.

And to avoid the risk of recurrence, ENT specialists also recommend regular nose washes.

Spa treatments

As a basic treatment, ENT specialists recommend sulfur spa treatments (La Bourboule, Luchon, Uriage, Cauterets).

Tubular insufflation

This physical technique consists of sending air through the nasal cavities towards the ear. In addition to tubular insufflation, there is also the Valsalva maneuver, practiced by divers. It balances the pressure between the outer ear and the middle ear.

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There are homeopathic treatments that exist to limit the symptoms of ear infections. There are two main ones to act against serous otitis:

  • Arsenicum album 5 CH : this remedy is used to overcome otitis, and in particular serous otitis because it has an action on the Eustachian tube;
  • Mercurius dulcis 5 CH : this drainage remedy is essential in the case of serous otitis. Indeed, it treats Eustachian tube obstructions with deafness.

To note : you can also take three granules of Belladonna and Capsicum annuum.

essential oil

Among the most effective natural remedies, there is HE. To treat serous otitis without medication, you can use lavender essential oil, to be mixed with a little vegetable oil.

Then massage around the ear with the solution. Note that it is also possible to apply it in the ear canal, provided you proceed with delicacy. To do this, use a cotton swab.

Prevent the risk of otitis

Since nasopharyngitis is the main cause of serous otitis, you should not let a bad cold drag on. Get treated before the bacteria travel up the eustachian tube and cause ear pain.

In addition, it is essential not to allow acute otitis media to settle. This can become superinfected and cause serous otitis. Consult a doctor who will prescribe an appropriate treatment.

Finally, people with allergies should try to eliminate known allergens from their environment. Sometimes doctors recommend a treatment that stimulates their immune system against allergens.

Good reflexes on the plane

If you have serous otitis, adopt the right reflexes. Avoid or delay scuba diving or air travel. Changes in pressure can cause ear pain.

If you cannot postpone your trip through the air, chew food or drink. This is especially true for young children. For example, while traveling by plane, give your baby a bottle of milk to drink. As for adults, they will adopt certain gestures when boarding the plane: breathing with their mouth open, yawning, chewing gum, swallowing.

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