The fluid in ears, though more common in children, can affect adults too. Sometimes, occasional complications may occur. Thankfully, there are certain essential oils for fluid in ears that can help. They are natural remedies that can speed up drainage and soothe the pain and inflammation.
In this article, you’ll be reading about:
- The usual treatment methods and why antibiotics are not going to do any good in this case.
- Some of the best Aromatherapy oils that can help with fluid in ears, ear congestion, etc.
- Best ways to use these oils to get good and safe results. Plus a few tips on how to drain the fluid in your ears at home.
- A few Aromatherapy blend recipes to use whenever you feel fluid in your ears.
- More about the causes and symptoms of some fluid in the middle ears. Plus, more natural remedies to try until you get to see your doctor.
Best Essential Oils for Fluid in Ears, How to Use Them and Blends
The ears’ functionality becomes obvious in circumstances such as a change in altitude or illness.
The anatomy of the ear consists of three parts: the external ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. The fluid that sometimes causes pain or even hearing loss, is located in the middle ear.
Medically speaking, this condition is known as “fluid in the middle ear” or “Otitis Media Effusion” (OME).
This fluid occurs because of some sort of dysfunction of the Eustachian tubes. In children, these tubes are narrower and shorter, not yet fully developed.
That is why children get otitis or fluid in their middle ears more often. The condition is also known as a childhood disease.
Nonetheless, adults can suffer from fluid in their ears too. That happens especially because of air pressure changes (flying or diving).
Luckily, the fluid in ears is usually clearing up on its own. It may take up to three months or more to drain on its own, but it does happen. If the symptoms don’t improve, it’s after that period of time that you should see a doctor.
There aren’t that many treatment options for this condition. Some of them are really invasive and even traumatizing to the middle ear. Not being an infection, the fluid will not drain with antibiotics either.
Doctors usually prescribe nasal decongestants and corticosteroids among others. But they don’t always work, which is why Aromatherapy makes a good complementary and alternative therapy.
How can essential oils help with fluid in ears?
These are concentrated plant substances, with very complex chemical profiles. Their active molecules can act on a wide range of causes that create discomfort.
- Aromatic oils can improve the blood circulation and ease the pain in the ear.
- Some of them can inhibit the neurotransmitters that send pain signals to the brain.
- Essential oils for fluid in ears can also decongest the nasal passages. That improves your breathing considerably.
- Some essential oils can also help dissolve earwax. Thus, they help with ear congestion or blocked ears.
The same essential oils for ear pressure and fluid can also help with the inflammation of the ear membranes. In other words, the oils can soothe earaches and congestion, and speed up ear drainage. What essential oils are good for clogged ears? They are Basil, Lemon Eucalyptus and Lavender, among others.
Let’s see which essential oils you should use for fluid in ears, pressure, congestion, etc.:
1) Basil Essential Oil
You will know this oil by its Latin name – Ocimum basilicum. Basil essential oil is an excellent remedy for all sorts of problems. It can deal with digestion issues and skin problems, but it can also relieve arthritic pain. How can this oil be used for fluid in ears?
- Basil essential oil is analgesic, meaning it can relieve pain. Thus, it’s a great anti-inflammatory remedy. It can relieve pain and inflammation in the affected ear.
- The oil can also stimulate the circulation. That speeds up the natural draining process of the ear.
- It also has mild sedating effects. They can help you sleep better and induce a calm, anti-anxiety state.
- You should never diffuse Basil oil alone. It needs to be mixed with other essential oils for fluid in ears.
- People with asthma, seizures, diabetes and other conditions must consult their doctor before using Basil.
Why I like it:
I like to use Basil oil in digestive blends mostly, but it can also give flavor to some dishes. As long as it’s not used for long periods of time, Basil can help with ear inflammation and pain. It can also help with sleep, which makes the ear condition easier to overcome. When your body gets enough rest, the immune system works more effectively.
2) Lavender Essential Oil
Lavandula angustifolia, also known as true lavender is a universal essential oil. It has many qualities and among them, there is also the effect on the fluid in the middle ear.
- Lavender is among the best essential oils for ear congestion and earache. It has strong pain relieving effects. Lavender is one of the oils that inhibit the pain neurotransmitters.
- Thus, the oil of Lavender is great for throbbing sensations inside the ear.
- It has calming and sedating properties. They can act on both the mental and the physical levels.
- Despite the pain, Lavender oil can help you sleep while recovering from otitis or fluid in ears.
- People with asthma should check with their doctor before using Lavender.
- It should never be used in high amounts. Otherwise, Lavender can have the opposite effect of calming and soothing.
- Choose your oil after its botanical (Latin) name. It should not be confused with Spike Lavender or Lavandin essential oils.
Why I like it:
There is no emergency the oil of Lavender can’t deal with! It can soothe insect bites and keep them away. Lavender can help with scars, acne, surgery recovery, and so on. For fluid in ears, it is especially useful as it’s very calming and relaxing. It can also improve the blood circulation in your ears, speeding up their healing.
3) Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus citriodora is another great essential oil for fluid in ears. Its citrusy fragrance is very pleasant and uplifting too. It makes the oil popular in many natural remedies.
- Lemon Eucalyptus is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It limits the inflammatory response of the body to infections such as otitis.
- The oil has calming and sedating effects on the nervous system.
- The citronellol it contains can dilate the blood vessels and improve circulation. This is useful in lowering blood pressure too.
- The oil may induce coughs or irritate the eyes and make you tear.
- You should not use more than 20% of Lemon Eucalyptus oil. Neither in diffusions, nor in topical blends.
Why I like it:
The lemony fragrance of this Eucalyptus variety makes the oil a favorite in Aromatherapy. Its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects can deal with the fluid in your ears. In time, it may also speed up natural draining.
Other great essential oils for fluid in ears:
- Roman Chamomile.
- Lemon Ironbark (eucalyptus staigeriana).
- Tea Tree.
If you want to use Peppermint oil for ear congestion, it’s mostly useful for pain and circulation. I would use it only if you don’t have any of the other oils, since they’re more efficient.
General safety note!
Essential oils must never be applied directly into the ear! When used, they must be diluted with a carrier oil (or other essential oils, in case of diffusion). You should avoid pouring them inside the ear canal. It’s best to massage around the ear, especially behind it.
You should also test each new bottle of oil for adverse skin reactions. Their chemical components may vary from batch to batch.
Do not use essential oils for fluid in ears on babies or elderly people without medical advice. You should also talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The oils should never be taken orally without medical supervision!
Best Ways to Use Essential Oils for Fluid in Ears (Otitis Media Effusion – OME)
When it comes to ear care, you must never pour pure essential oils into the ear canal! They can burn the protective membrane or damage the eardrum. Thus, they can open up the middle ear for infections.
Can you use Tea Tree oil in your ear, you might ask. No, you should never use any essential oil inside the ear. Not Tea Tree, not Oregano or Peppermint, none of them. The oils must always be used in the lowest amount and always diluted in a carrier oil.
Mix 1 – 2 drops of essential oil for OME/2 tablespoons (roughly 1 Oz.) of carrier. Massage the area around the ears and the neck with your blend.
You can also apply a drop or two of this blend on some cotton and place it in the external ear. Make sure you don’t push it inside the ear canal though!
You could also pour a drop or two of essential oil on a hot compress and lie with your affected ear on it. Steam baths or showers with essential oils can also promote ear drainage.
Another good way of inhaling a good amount of active molecules is through diffusion. You can use a good quality nebulizer and diffuse 2 – 3 times a day, for 30 minutes tops. Each session should last 20 – 30 minutes only. You can repeat every 2 hours or more.
I discourage the continuous diffusion of aroma oils because they can saturate the air. This build up of aromatic oils can cause nausea and headaches, among others. The room must be well-ventilated at all times.
Tips on How to Drain Your Ears
Do you want to know how to get rid of fluid behind the ear drum naturally? Or maybe how to relieve ear pressure easier? Check out these tips first:
- The Valsalva method is a good thing to try. You should breathe in and out only through your pinched nostrils. Do not push the air out or breathe in too forcefully. If you hear a pop, it means the method worked. The fluid should slowly start coming out of your ears.
- Try to create suction with your thumb. Because not all ears are the same, you should try until you feel the suction working.
- As silly as it may sound, you could also try what kids do to get rid of water in their ears. Jump on one foot with the affected side tilted and shake it a few times.
- Chew some gum with your head tilted. That should open up the Eustachian tubes and release the fluid. Continue applying an essential oil blend for any Eustachian tube dysfunction. Lemon Eucalyptus is one of the efficient essential oils for clogged Eustachian tubes.
- Try sleeping on the affected ear to encourage fluid drainage.
You can try one or more of these methods during the first 3 months. You never know which one’s going to work or when will they trigger the drainage. Relief should be felt once the tubes are open and the fluid is out.
If the discomfort continues or the pain gets worse after three months, go to a doctor immediately.
Practical Aroma Blend Recipes to Get Rid of Fluid in Ears
The inflammation can be relieved, the pain soothed. The blockage of the ears removed and the drainage stimulated. Even though for some nothing may seem to work, for others, essential oil blends might do the trick.
Let’s see some recipes that’ll help you stimulate the release of that fluid in your ears.
Ear Draining Massage Blend
- Basil essential oil: 5 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 5 drops
- Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil: 5 drops
- Olive oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Mix all the oils together and give the blend a good shake before each use. Apply a moderate amount on your fingers, and rub to warm the oils. Massage the area around the affected ear and down the throat. Repeat 4 times a day, for 3 continuous days.
Mild Ear Serum to Stimulate Fluid Drainage
- Lemon Eucalyptus: 3 drops
- Eucalyptus radiata: 3 drops
- Lavender: 3 drops
- Hazelnut oil: 2 tablespoons
Warm the amount of oil needed between your fingers. Apply with gentle massage movements 5 or 6 times a day, for 5 days. These are all good essential oils for fluid in ears. Yet they are also mild. These essential oils can also be used for ear congestion, earache, ear popping, inner ear fluid, etc.
This blend could also be poured onto a cotton piece and fitted in the external ear for a few hours.
What Causes Fluid in Ears? Symptoms plus More Natural Remedies
I was telling you in the beginning that the ear has three component parts. Obviously, each part of the ear has its own function. There are certain fluids inside the inner ear that maintain the chemical balance in our ears. They’re not interconnected, thus the liquids can’t travel and mix.
If you have fluid in your middle ear, it is not because of an infection. Rather it is caused by some dysfunction of the tubes that connect the ear with the nose and throat.
These tubes are also called the Eustachian tubes. There is no symptom or sign of ear infection when there’s fluid behind the eardrum.
The fluid can accumulate behind the eardrum because of negative atmospheric pressure. Allergies and residues of biofilm and bacterial antigens collect inside the middle ear too. This would totally make sense. That is also why some essential oils are useful for otitis media or water in ear.
During a bad flu or cold, your immune system has to produce a lot of antibodies to fight the virus/bacteria. The residue collects and remains trapped in your middle ear.
Besides a chronic dysfunction of the Eustachian tubes, fluid in ears may also be caused by AOM. AOM stands for Acute Otitis Media. Viral respiratory infections may also contribute to OME (Otitis Media Effusion).
Other contributing factors to an increased risk of getting fluid in ears:
- Allergies caused by the environment.
- Inhaling second-hand smoke.
The fluid in the middle ear can cause:
- A decreased function of the middle ear (muffled hearing or even temporary hearing loss).
- Decreased function of the eardrum as well.
- Pain when the air pressure changes.
- A sensation of fullness.
- Dizziness (vertigo).
These are all symptoms you may feel on a long term. The fluid in your ears may or may not drain on its own. If these symptoms don’t improve within 3 months, you should let a doctor consult you.
Learn more about essential oils for inner ear dizziness here. The ringing in your ears could be soothed with essential oils, though the cause may influence the results a lot.
If your sinuses are infected and you feel your inner ears clogged, you should first treat the sinus infection. The fluid in your ears may also be caused by untreated bacteria and viruses. Certain essential oils can help relieve sinus and ear pressure or congestion.
Left untreated, the fluid in the middle ear may cause complications such as:
- Serious, chronic pain.
- Red and swollen ears.
- Hearing muffled sounds or temporary loss of hearing.
- Bloody discharge.
More Natural Remedy Ideas for Fluid in Ears
Thankfully, there are natural ways in which you can soothe an earache or promote ear drainage. They can be simple ingredients you most definitely have in your kitchen. Some can even be used in combination with essential oils for ear congestion or fluid in ears.
- Salt – fill a compress with some warm salt and place on the affected area for 5 – 20 minutes. The heat can force the liquid out or speed up the drainage process.
- Garlic – you can infuse garlic in some Olive oil and pour a drop or two inside the affected area. Lie sideways to promote drainage. Or you can boil 2 – 3 garlic cloves for 5 minutes, then add a bit of salt and wait for the water to cool to room temperature. Use a clean cloth to soak in this mixture and keep it on the affected ear.
- Onion – place an onion in some water and simmer on the lowest heat possible. Let it simmer for 10 – 20 minutes, then take it out and let it cool a bit. Cut the onion in half and place one half in a thick cloth. Keep it on the affected ear for 5 minutes. Wait for 10 more minutes before repeating the process.
Fluid in ears is not only annoying, but it can also affect your hearing. Thus, some social problems may also occur. Fortunately, the fluid is often drained on its own. That’s why medics recommend a “wait-and-see” period of time.
Using certain essential oils for fluid in ears can help speed up the drainage process. Along with some mechanical methods you could use, this problem can be solved in a non-invasive way. However, essential oils or the other natural remedies don’t necessarily guarantee the success.
If the symptoms become worse in three months, you should visit a doctor. How do you deal with fluid in ears? Have you tried any of the remedies I talked about, and if so, did you feel better?