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Traditional ear infection remedies dangerous, incorrect: Experts

12 Mar 2024 - 19:22
12 Mar 2024 - 19:22

KABUL (Pajhwok): Physicians have warned against the use of some homemade traditional ear infection treatment methods such as dripping oil or breast milk in the newborn baby’s ear and urged people to refer patients to the doctor for proper treatment.

Homemade remedies

Ear infection is more common in newborn babies compared to elder people and in some families, homemade methods of ear infection treatment such as dripping two drops of breast milk, onion juice, oil, smashed garlic mixed with oil and others are applied.

Feroza Mohammad, a resident of Kabul City’s Taimani locality and the mother of two children, told Pajhwok Afghan News in their family ear infection of a newborn baby is treated through homemade remedy.

She said: “When my baby complains about ear pain my mother-in-law says that I should drip two drops of breast milk in the baby’s ear, if I don’t do this they get angry with me.”

Palwasha, not a real name, is another mother from Nimroz province and she said: “My first baby suffered a lot from an ear infection, when the baby shook his head my mother-in-law said that it was due to ear pain, she said that breast milk is the treatment for thousands of infections and order me to pour my breast milk in the baby’s ear, I did this two time but had no benefit.”

She said that not only her mother-in-law but her mother used homemade remedies for the treatment of ear infections.

She said: “My mother says pour two drops of water on the opium, rub it and put two drops of the black water in the baby’s ear and rub the back sides of the ears and it will calm down, I applied this remedy two times but proved ineffective and finally we have go to the doctor.”

Kalsoum, a resident of Shiberghan, the capital city of Jawzjan province, said: “My first child had a lot of earaches, he trembled his head a lot and could not rest, my mother-in-law and grand-mother-in-law applied a homemade remedy, they first warmed oil and pour it in the baby’s ear, when it didn’t get better, they put two drops of my breast milk in his ear, but it didn’t help, and I had to take him to the doctor.”

Ayesha, the resident of Ferozkoh, the capital city of Ghor province, said not only in her house but in most houses in the province homemade remedies were used to treat ear infections.

She said besides dripping breast milk people also used onion juice or oil to treat ear infections of babies, sometimes it works but sometimes it has no benefit.

Some internet websites also published some traditional methods of ear infection treatment.

One of the internet pages published a topic titled ‘Homemade traditional treatment of ear infection’ which said: “Using a few drops of olive oil can help treat earache, just put two drops of olive oil in the child’s ear, make sure to warm the oil a little… then wipe off the excess oil with a cotton swab, olive oil drains the ear infection.”

It maintained: “The combination of garlic and sesame oil is also useful for ear infection, smash the garlic and mixed it with sesame oil and heat it, filter it and put 2 drops of oil in the ear.”

Fact Check:

Dr. Mohammad Sharif Sailani, an otolaryngologist at Andria Ghandi Children Hospital in Kabul, said that self-medication could cause eardrum perforation in children.

He said that ear infections are more common in children compared to elders.

Dr. Sailani said that whenever a child suffers from flu or sore throat the first affected organ is the child’s ears.

He said Cough, sore throat, green diarrhea, shaking the head, crying a lot, not taking breast milk, insomnia, mild and moderate fever are among the symptoms of ear infection.

Dr. Sailani said: “Never try some customs that are popular in the villages and towns of our country, for example, there are some families who put a few drops of milk in the child’s ear, onion juice, we even have cases where some poisonous substances such as mercury are put in the ear, these things do not help the child’s earache, on the contrary, they cause eardrum perforation.”

He advised the families that if they see the initial symptoms of an ear infection in a child, they should take him to the clinic for check-up by a specialist.

Dr. Mohammad Dawoud Yaqoubi, an otolaryngologist at the French Medical Institute for Children, said: “In our country, arbitrary treatments and traditional treatments are mostly used, such as pouring Naswar, oil, breast milk, garlic and onion juice into children’s ears, and even hanging garlic in children’s ears, which caused the development of secondary infections.”

He added: “We removed Naswar from the ears of some patients, and most of the patients who visited us had used butter oil and drops of oil, which did not give any relief to the child, on the contrary, it also caused the eardrum to tear.”

Verdict: Traditional ear infection remedies are dangerous, incorrect

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