Disclaimer: Consult with a doctor before deciding on a treatment plan for any disease.
Introduction to At Home Treatments for Ear Infections
If only I had known then what I know now. My husband, an ex-professional musician got a fungal ear infection 5 years ago. He complained that his ear was hurting and before we had a chance to buy a scope to look inside his ear, the eardrum burst. I look back on this event with so much regret. There are so many things I would’ve done differently had I known then, what I know now.
First of all, I wish I would’ve had an otoscope to look directly at his eardrum early on when his infection first started. Walmart sells some cheap otoscopes, but there are SmartPhone-friendly otoscopes now that make it so that the patient themselves can examine and see the eardrum. My husband wanted to see his ear canal getting better, but there was no way to make that happen at the time when we were working with his fungal ear infection. Below is an otoscope that can work with your mobile phone to make it easier to examine the inside of the ear. It has spectacular reviews:
If you have an awesome doctor, good for you. We didn’t. My husband went to a doctor who put an antifungal powder in his ear which then had to be removed later through an excruciating process by another horrible and incompetent Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor. Needless to say, the powder didn’t work. He had to use other meds to kill the fungus and it took a long time. Below is a link to a product called DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) that could have been put in his ear to help dry it and treat the fungal infection as well as the pain and inflammation caused by it. A damaged eardrum could benefit greatly from DMSO, because this stuff spurs rapid healing (which is important with eardrum ruptures and injuries). DMSO could also be combined with Povidone-Iodine (e.g. Betadine) to increase it’s antifungal abilities. Povidone-Iodine mixed with DMSO is an excellent treatment for drug-resistant ear infections that are bacteria, fungal, or even viral!
Having an ear infection of any kind puts people into a compromising position in the United States. Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors joke around that the acronym E.N.T. actually stands for Early Nights, and Tennis (meaning that they don’t have to work very often like other doctors do).
About 3 years ago, I discovered something called DMSO that I would’ve used on my husband’s ear had I known then what I know now. Let me be clear in saying that I did NOT use DMSO on his ear, so I don’t know what would’ve worked for certain, but I can tell you what I would’ve tried based on the information I have about DMSO now. Here’s a link to an important article published by Iowa State University about DMSO.
First, I would’ve tried putting a small amount of DMSO inside the ear canal. I would’ve either dropped it in, but I would’ve been more comfortable using a Q-tip to put it around the outside of the canal. The DMSO would’ve helped dry out the ear, making the fungus less comfortable in there, and DMSO also has the amazing ability to go wherever it needs to go. Putting it close to the fungus would’ve made the fungus a prime target. DMSO has anti-fungal abilities. I’ve used it to cure warts as well as Candida albicans infections. Needless to say, I wish I would’ve known about DMSO back when my husband was suffering from fungal ear infections.
In this study, doctors used a mixture of Povidone-Iodine with DMSO to treat stubborn nail fungi. It’s hard to treat fingernail and toenail fungi because the fungus is protected by the nail. But again, DMSO has this ability to carry itself and other things into the body (thus, you should always be very cautious about what you use to clean your ears (or any area of skin) prior to applying it topically. Shampoos and soaps and even hairsprays and other cosmetics contain fragrances and other ingredients that are toxic and should NOT be combined with DMSO (because it will take it deep into the tissues). Below is a link to a soap product that does not contain toxic fragrances or other ingredients. You can use this product to clean areas of the skin that are going to be treated with DMSO:
DMSO could work to cure bacterial or even viral ear infections too. My husband, for example, had chronic ear infections as a child and he ended up getting tubes put in his ears. But I wonder if DMSO would work to dry out the ear, combat the infection, and even protect the eardrum or foster regrowth if the eardrum burst. Having used this product now for over 5 years successfully to treat everything from cancer to major injuries like cat bites and near loss of a finger, I believe very strongly that it would, in fact, work this way and I wouldn’t hesitate to use DMSO on ear infections in my children or grandchildren. DMSO has a nearly regenerative effect on nerves when it’s used to treat recent nerve trauma, so I can only imagine the impact that this stuff could have on children who have chronic ear infections who are at risk of losing their hearing. There are so many kids with chronic ear infections whose parents struggle for years fighting this problem. If I were a parent of a child with chronic ear infections, I’d want to know about DMSO!
But, keep in mind that DMSO increases the potency of medications! So, even if you apply DMSO to the skin and your child is taking antibiotics or any other medication, the DMSO can increase the potency or strength of that medicine. So, DMSO is not something to be taken lightly. The combination of DMSO and antibiotics is a good one. If you know what you’re doing (or if you contact a doctor who’s knowledgeable about the use of DMSO with antibiotics), the DMSO could actually get those antibiotics to go to the area of the ear where they’re needed and make the antiobiotics stronger than they otherwise would be. Again though, contact a DMSO doctor before you try anything like this! Below is a book that contains a list of doctors in the U.S. who use this medicine.
In theory, you could combine DMSO with other medicines like antibiotics, antifungals, and antivirals to increase their potency and to help those drugs hit the pathogens in their most vulnerable places. DMSO, after all, opens up cellular membranes rendering even cancer cells vulnerable (see DMSO Potentiation Therapy for Cancer for more information about this). So, if you or someone you love is suffering from a fungal ear infection or any other type of ear infection, DMSO might be worth consideration as a treatment.
FINAL NOTE: If you have otitis externa or swimmer’s ear, DMSO has been studied as an effective treatment!