Fluid in the ear

Fluid in the ear

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Fluid in the ear is usually related to inflammation. The liquid that forms is thin, slimy or even bloody. Viruses or bacteria are the most common causes. However, water can also remain in the ear after bathing, which, however, normally drains off automatically.

Tube catarrh

Fluid can form in the ear in connection with a tube catarrh. The so-called Eustachian tube, also called tube or ear trumpet, connects the nasopharynx to the middle ear and ensures pressure equalization. The tube is lined with mucous membrane and can swell or swell if there is an infection in the nasopharynx. This is called tube catarrh. As with a "normal" catarrh, fluid forms here. If the aisle is closed, a so-called timpani effusion develops.

If the pharyngeal tonsils are too large, this can hinder the entrance to the Eustachian tube and also lead to fluid accumulation. This is often the case with young children and feels like cotton wool is in the ear. The hearing is reduced.

With acute inflammation in the form of a tube catarrh, those affected suffer from symptoms such as crackling in the ear when swallowing, ear pressure and ear pain. In order to differentiate a mild tube catarh from an otitis media, it is essential to consult a doctor.

Inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media)

Inflammation of the middle ear usually occurs as a result of an infection of the upper airways. So the inflammation continues through the ear trumpet into the middle ear. The mucous membrane there ignites. This creates a secretion, a liquid in the ear. Patients often complain of accompanying massive, pulsating headaches. Babies touch the affected ear all the time and cry bitterly. Other symptoms include general malaise, fever and hearing loss. In young children, the symptoms are often quite non-specific, such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and restlessness. In ear infections, the eardrum may perforate, causing the pain to abruptly drop and fluid to drain from the ear. Otitis media definitely belongs in the hands of a doctor, as in the worst case it can result in mastoiditis (inflammation of the mastoid cells) and the brain can then become involved (e.g. brain abscess).

Chronic otitis media chronica

Chronic otitis media mostly develops from recurrent acute infections. A disordered physiology in the middle ear area can also be the reason for this. Those affected complain of deafness and constant walking in their ears. This is a chronic discharge from the ear - a fluid that constantly forms and seeks the way out. Pain only occurs when acute otitis media picks up.

Water in the ear

Ear water is often associated with swimming or showering. This is not a bad thing and usually passes pretty quickly. As long as the liquid is still in the ear, it cracks a little and the hearing is slightly reduced. Usually the water disappears on its own. However, if this is not the case and the liquid remains in the ear for more than two days, inflammation can occur. If the liquid does not flow away even when shaking and bouncing and the uncomfortable feeling remains, a doctor can remedy the situation. Any inflammation is treated with suitable medication. In addition, a heat source, a hot water bottle or a warmed grain pillow, which is placed on the affected ear, helps.

Naturopathic help for tube catarrh

If the cause of the fluid in the ear is a tube catarrh, the first step is to increase the defense. This is especially important in children for whom the immune system is not yet mature. An adapted form of autologous blood therapy is a frequently used therapeutic approach.
Appropriate remedies from homeopathy are, for example, Cinnabaris - in connection with sinus infections, potassium bichromicum - in the case of recurrent catarrhal inflammations, opera loofah - in connection with stick runny nose. The Schüssler salts, such as No. 1 calcium fluoratum, No. 6 potassium sulfuricum, No. 8 sodium chloratum and No. 11 Silicea, are also helpful for tube catarrh. Naturopathy is also happy to use decongestant ear drops. Here, however, it must be ensured that the eardrum is intact.

In the case of a bacterial infection, nasturtium is a helpful plant. This increases defense and antibacterial. It is available in tablet form or as a tincture.

Warm, moist pads, possibly with chamomile, support the therapy. The well-known and extremely effective onion wrap should also be mentioned here. Chopped an onion, packed it in a tissue and then put it on your ear, fixed it with a headband or a hat - and you're done. This can remain there as long as this is tolerated. The onion does not smell very pleasant, but it has an anti-inflammatory effect and can thus relieve the inflammation and prevent a spreading infection. So that the mucous membrane of the tube does not become infected at all, nose drops are helpful. Drops based on sea salt or other naturopathic substances such as loofah can be used here.

Naturopathic help for otitis media

The middle ear inflammation absolutely belongs to the doctor. However, in addition to conventional medical therapy, which usually consists of an antibiotic, naturopathy has healing aids. Homeopathic drugs such as Aconitum, Belladonna, Pulsatilla, Chamomilla and Ferrum phosphoricum are often prescribed here. In order to treat otitis media naturally, there are a variety of mixed preparations on the market that can accompany antibiotic therapy.

With recurrent otitis media, the cause is often a disturbed intestinal flora. Here, an intestinal cleansing is necessary so that the body can again perform its defensive function. The majority of the human immune system is "stationed" in the intestine. Therefore, the cause of recurrent infections is often there.
Naturopathic therapists also use homeopathic remedies for chronic or frequently recurring otitis media. These are for example Acidum nitricum, Barium carbonicum, Belladonna, Calcium phosphoricum, China officinalis, Dulcamara, Psorinum and Silicea. To find the right remedy, a detailed medical history is necessary.

The onion wrap mentioned above is also recommended here, together with the allopathic therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) often uses acupuncture for such ear infections. In children, this can be done by so-called seeds, small balls that are placed on acupuncture points.

Conventional medical therapy

In the case of fluid in the ear caused by a wide variety of ear infections, conventional medicine treats it with antibiotics, if it is highly acute. This is especially important so that the infection cannot spread any further. With recurrent inflammation, in connection with mucus involvement and hearing loss, the insertion of a tympanic tube is often recommended. Under general anesthesia, a small incision is made in the eardrum, the mucus is suctioned off and the small tube is inserted. This way, the ear is properly ventilated again and any liquid can run off. The tympanic tube usually falls out after healing and the cut in the eardrum heals without any action.

Regular medical check-ups are especially necessary for children who suffer from recurrent ear infections, as speech disorders are often associated with hearing loss. The little ones often suffer from polyps. The children have difficulty breathing and sleep with their mouths open. Every infection becomes a pain. In some cases, an operation cannot be avoided.

Naturopathy - polyps

Constant fluidity in the ear - swollen mucous membranes - the nose is closed - breathing difficult. Polyps are diagnosed. This mostly applies to blonde, blue-eyed toddlers. The little ones suffer. Sometimes they hear poorly and the language leaves something to be desired. Naturopathy tries to treat lymphatic disposition in children. Here, lymphatic agents, lymph ointments, intestinal rehabilitation and autologous blood therapy with potentized autologous blood do a good job. Surgery can be prevented in many cases if it is started in good time and is carried out ironly and, above all, regularly. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • Christian Lucae: Recurrent otitis media, tube catarrh and impending tympanosclerosis, Allgemeine Homeopathische Zeitung 2014; 259 (01): 30-33, (accessed 10.09.2019), thieme
  • Richard T. Miyamoto: Acute Otitis Media, MSD Manual, (accessed September 10, 2019), MSD
  • German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine: Earache, S2k Guideline, AWMF Register No. 053/009, (accessed 10.09.2019), AWMF
  • Thomas Lenarz, Hans-Georg Boenninghaus: ENT, Springer-Verlag, 14th edition 2012

Video: EAR INFECTION With DRAINAGE Time Lapse Video (July 2022).


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