To all you Pinterest life-hackers out there, I am sure you have come across this hack for beating colds and ear infections: administering a few drops of a 3% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide in your ears. The result is most satisfying and dramatic – a bubbling chemical reaction that creates a froth in your ear as a result of the bacteria actually being killed by this powerful solution.
It’s fantastic actually, and it can help stop a cold in its tracks when you try it. You feel so much better afterwards and it has also helped our kids when their ears have bothered them too.
However, it does not cure middle ear infections, obviously, because it cannot get into the middle ear. But it certainly helps to relieve the infection. This handy solution has been our favorite go-to medication and I swear by it, as well as many others on Pinterest.
Like I mentioned, using hydrogen peroxide in the ear canal will not cure a middle ear infection. Which was why I eventually did take my toddler to the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. I decided to cautiously ask about using hydrogen peroxide in ears for ear infections and colds.
With a lot of adamance, looking me in the eye, the doc replied, “Never again!”.
Oops! I thought, thinking back on all those times I so casually used the stuff.
So I asked, “Why not?”
He explained that we do not know at all if there is a perforation or a hole leading into the middle ear that would allow fluids to enter the middle ear. Sometimes a person may be completely oblivious to the fact. Because hydrogen peroxide is corrosive – it could potentially destroy the nerve-endings present in the middle ear and lead to some degree of deafness. The doc concluded that hydrogen peroxide should pretty much be left to sterilizing wounds.
Okay, you gotta listen to the doc, don’t you?
I thought I would be cured of colds for the rest of my life, using this awesome Pinterest hack. Although, I value my hearing too much to risk it all for a little cold-cure!
If not hydrogen peroxide, what else helps to fight infection happening in our sinuses and ears? I found a pretty cool hands-on technique that The Motivational Doc shows in a video that you can do to help drain your Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube is pretty much responsible for draining all the gunk from our ears into the nasopharynx (where we can swallow it, great!). It looks pretty ridiculous and I was laughing while I tried it, but it really works! Have a look at the video here.
What we can learn from this, is that you should exercise caution with the self-treatment ideas we get on the Internet. Perhaps you should also ask your ENT for their thoughts on using hydrogen peroxide and feel free to comment below!
You may also want to check out my other post, What To Do When You Are Sick (But Still Trying to Function), it has some great tips for trying to recover while keeping your life going, plus a cute Whatsapp profile picture.