For both adults and children, one of the most common illnesses is ear pain or ear infection. There are different types of ear infection, but acute otitis media or middle ear infection seems to be the most prevalent of all.
In some cases, some people are more at risk of getting an ear infection due to their actions or occupation.
Ear infections are commonly treated with medication, but an effective alternative therapy option is ozone ear insufflation.
Overview of Ear Infections
The human ear is composed of three chambers: inner, middle, and outer ear. Even though infections can strike any one of these chambers, they occur commonly in the middle and outer ear. They can be caused by either bacteria build-up in the ear’s chamber or because of virulent infection like colds or the flu2.
Just like many infections, the symptoms of ear infection may include pain, inflammation, nausea, fever, dizziness, persistent headache, hearing changes, and swelling of the ear. In more serious cases, there might even be some discharge or pus from the ear.
Middle Ear Infections
The middle ear chamber is found just behind the eardrum. It is characterized as the air-filled space containing tiny, vibrating bones. When bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae or Haemophilus influenzae get trapped in this chamber, an ear infection begins. The same goes for trapped viruses.
This infection can also cause some hearing troubles. If you have an ear infection, you would feel as if your ears are plugged. People with middle ear infection often describe the sensation as similar to being held underwater, as fluid or pus builds up behind the inflamed eardrum.
People with weak immune systems, like those with diabetes, chronic skin conditions, or upper respiratory problems, are prone to middle ear infections. At the same time, those who are sick with the common cold or flu can develop an ear infection as the pathogens make their way from the connected passageways into the eustachian tubes. Finally, the environment – cigarette smoke and the changing air pressures, altitudes, or climates — can also lead to middle ear infection.
Chronic Ear Infection
Ear infections usually go away on their own. However, if your symptoms do not go away or keep coming back, you might be suffering from chronic ear infection. If left unattended, it can lead to permanent hearing damage.
Chronic ear infection often happens when the eustachian tube fails to drain the fluid build-up in the middle ear chamber. At times, the symptoms of chronic ear infection are less severe than acute infection, making it less noticeable. As a result, it often goes untreated for a long while and may lead to irreversible damage, such as hearing loss or infection that travels to the brain. This is why it is so important to pay attention to your ears’ condition.
Normally, a trip to the doctor may reveal if you are suffering from chronic ear infection. A visual inspection of the ear using an otoscope may reveal perforation in the eardrum, the presence of air bubbles or thick fluid in the middle ear chamber, inflammation of the middle ear, or a collapsing ear drum.
Ozone Ear Insufflation
Acute and chronic ear infections may be treated with antibiotics or over-the-counter medicines, but for an innovative and alternative therapy, you can try ozone ear insufflation
Ozone ear insufflation is an effective method of treating your ear infection and sterilizing your ear chambers to prevent any more signs of infection.
In the simplest of terms, ear insufflation involves a mixture of ozone and oxygen gas slowly entering your ear canal through a modified stethoscope. It is easy, repeatable, and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Introduction Video About Ozone Ear Insufflation
Basic Equipment for Ear Insufflation
With the proper equipment, ear insufflation can be done at home. All you need4 are an ozone generator, an oxygen source with a low flow regulator, an earscope, a trap, and a mask.
There are many ozone generators in the market, so it is better to do some research before you purchase one.
You should consult an expert for the technical specifications. In addition, the technical specifications of your ozone generator wholly depend on your oxygen source, since ozone generators require oxygen gas to produce ozone gas.
The oxygen source must have at least 90% purity to ensure oxygen flows at a range of 5 to 50 mcg/mL through the ozone generator. It is also imperative to buy a low-flow regulator to achieve a flow between 1/16 to 1/4 LPM (Liter per minute) and produce small puffs of air to ensure proper ozone ear insufflation.
These are usually stethoscopes modified for ear insufflation. The diaphragm that is used to detect sounds is replaced by a nozzle where the ozone gas goes through.
Fortunately, there are specially made earscopes for ear insufflation in the market. An earscope is used to transport the ozone/oxygen gas mixture directly to your ear canal and kill pathogens along the way.
The trap prevents oil or water from entering the ozone generator during the therapy session. It can be placed anywhere you want the liquid to be trapped.
As an added precaution, you should buy a face mask with built-in air filters to keep you from inhaling any escaped ozone gas.
Ozone gas is a pollutant and may cause damage to your lungs when inhaled, so a mask is undeniably necessary. Just make sure the filter you use works with ozone.
How Ear Insufflation Works?
The procedure takes only a couple of minutes. It involves blowing small, controlled amounts of ozone/oxygen gas into the ear canal7. This stimulates the nerve receptors in your ears that reset the pain centers in your brain. The ozone gas has strong disinfecting properties, killing the pathogens that cause infection.
The entire procedure should last from 1 to 3 minutes. With regularity — at least three times a week — you should be able to feel immediate results. If there is no itching or scabbing, you can slowly increase the ear insufflation therapy time to 20 minutes maximum or until you reach a concentration of 50 mcg/mL.
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Is Ozone Ear Insufflation Safe?
When done correctly, ozone ear insufflation is considered effective and safe3 in treating ear infections. However, there is the inherent risk of breathing in the ozone gas. As such, it is recommended that you do this either in the presence of an expert or in a room with a proper ventilation system.
Initial studies1 on ear insufflation reveal that 67% of its participants reported complete pain relief within the following two hours after undergoing the procedure.
However, a strong dose of ozone gas can lead to irritation or ozone sensitivity. If this happens, you can either lower the dosage or discontinue ear insufflation therapy completely. The irritation6 often goes away on its own, so there is no need to worry when this happens to you.
Aside from treating ear infection, ear insufflation can also be used in treating sinus and throat infection as well as swollen glands and the common cold5. Some people who underwent ear insufflation reported immediate relief from their symptoms; thus, uplifting their mood.
Aside from rapid relief, ear insufflation is non-invasive and drug-free. However, it is not for everybody. If you are pregnant, allergic or sensitive to ozone, or have a punctured eardrum, you must not undergo ear insufflation therapy.
Side Effects of Ozone Ear Insufflation
Despite the benefits of ear insufflation, it can also cause negative side effects. Since ozone is very dry, it can lead to some itching, scabbing, and swelling of the ears. For this reason, many people often use a humidifier with the basic ear insufflation equipment when doing the procedure.
You can also try moistening your ear canal with ozone water — using a cotton swab — before doing the ozone ear insufflation therapy. These precautions can help combat the ozone’s drying effects.
Also, you should be aware that some existing infections might worsen before they heal. This is called the Herxheimer reaction8. This means that the ozone gas kills the bacteria, but it also produces a byproduct that can cause irritation and inflammation of the ear canal.
If you are one of those who constantly suffer from chronic ear infection and are looking for a drug-free treatment, then you should consider looking at ozone ear insufflation. Just make sure you take note of all the precautions and first consult with your doctor before undergoing the treatment.
- Broadview Spine & Health Centre. (n.d.). Ear insufflation. Retrieved from https://broadviewhealthcentre.com/treatments/ear-insufflation/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, August 27). Ear infection. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/ear-infection.html
- Dr. Ozone. (2020, October 27). Ozone ear insufflation: Uses, benefits, side effects, and how it’s done. Retrieved from https://drsozone.com/a/blog/ozone-ear-insufflation-uses-benefits-side-effects-and-how-it-s-done
- Dziwetzki, P. (2019, April 9). Ear insufflations. Retrieved from T https://thepowerofozone.com/protocols/ear-insufflations
- Greiner Health Solutions. (n.d.). Ozone insufflation therapy. Retrieved from https://greinerhealthsolutions.com/services/ozone-insufflation- therapy.html
- Hyperbaric Therapy. (n.d.). Ozone therapy. Retrieved from https://oxygenairtherapy.com/ozone-therapy/
- Natural Health Improvement Center P.C. (n.d.). Health through ozone therapy. Retrieved from https://www.nhicwestmi.com/ozone-therapy
- O3 Academy. (n.d.). Ear Insufflation with Ozone. Retrieved from https://o3academy.com/ear-insufflations-with-ozone/