Ear pain can be very painful, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or do anything. The only you can do is to think about the pain. They start with a tiny throbbing sensation then suddenly bust out with intense symptoms such as migraine and dizziness. Whether in adults or kids, earache is a common condition that many people encounter at least once in their lifetime.
Most of the time, they’re not anything to worry about. Except that you’ll want the pain to cease. But if left untreated can lead to more serious health problems. Due to this, it is important to address any changes in your hearing health as soon as possible.
People who are experiencing severe earache should always speak to a doctor, especially for the first time. However, there are remedies that you can use at home to relieve less severe earaches, or as a means of reducing pain.
What causes an ear pain?
The way an earache feels for one person may not be the same for someone else. This is because people experience ear pain in a variety of different ways. Similarly, the cause of an earache varies depending on a number of factors.
For instance, the pain someone experiences may be due to a problem that originates in one ear or both. In other cases, an earache is a result of other underlying health issues that affect the ears. Some common causes of earaches include:
1. Ear infection: Infections can happen either inside the ear (otitis interna) or outside the ear (otitis externa).
2. Blocked ear canal: A blocked ear canal could be a sign of earwax that has either hardened or gone too far into the canal.
3. A change in ear pressure: This can occur when flying on a plane, during the descent or ascent.
4. Strep throat
6. A foreign object trapped in the ear
7. Glue ear: This condition is also called otitis media with effusion (OME). Glue ear is characterized as built-up fluid that is deep inside the ear canal. A hearing loss may be present if a person has glue ear.
8. Ear injury: An injury to a person’s eardrum or ear canal can happen when a q-tip or any other object is used to remove ear wax or clean the canal. To avoid damaging the inner ear, one should avoid inserting any objects into the ear.
9. Pain in the jaw
Home remedies for ear pain
These ear infection treatments can soothe an earache at home. But it’s best to check with your doctor to see when medical treatment or a check-up may be necessary. Read on for the best earache home remedies.
1. Over-the-counter medicine
Many pain relievers that you can find in your drugstore provide effective earache relief. The best thing you can do is go to a pharmacy and pick up some ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But you’ll always want to check with your doctor to be sure.
2. A warm compress
What seems to work for many people with ear pain is a warm towel. Hold a washcloth under warm water and squeeze it to release the extra water. Then, lay it over the ear that’s infected for 20 minutes or so to lessen the pain. A warm water bottle held over the infected ear should also do the trick.
3. Sleep with the sore ear up
This is one of the easiest earache home remedies. Ear pain is caused by inflammation and fluid in the ear. Sleeping with the painful ear toward the sky can allow gravity to provide earache relief as the fluid drains away from the painful ear. Of course, rest is also essential, so allow your little one to spend some time relaxing on the couch to utilize this treatment during the day.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been linked to many health benefits, so it’s no surprise that it can be used as an ear infection treatment. Put a few drops in the ear at the first sign of trouble, and let it sit for about one minute. After that, allow it to drain out, and enjoy earache relief.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide helps to break down accumulated wax. It also softens it making it easier to remove. This, in turn, helps reduce earache. Instil a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear with the dropper. Keep your canal closed with an ear plug for a few minutes. Remove the plug and use ear swabs to clean the debris. Repeat this after a few hours, if required.
6. Steam it up
You can help stop an earache fast and relax the blocked feeling with warm, moist air. Taking a hot shower or long bath can have the effect of a steam. It may help ease the pressure and also pain in your ear. This make you feel a lot more comfortable.
Eating a clove of garlic a day may help prevent ear infections.
Garlic has long been used in folk medicine to relieve pain. Some research suggests it has antimicrobial properties that can fight infection. People should not use it as a substitute for antibiotics a doctor has recommended. Instead, consider adding garlic to an antibiotic regimen to speed up relief. To prevent ear infections, try eating a clove of garlic each day.
Garlic ear drops may also reduce pain and prevent an infection from getting worse. Cook two or three cloves in two tablespoons of mustard or sesame seed oil until brown, then strain the mix. Then, apply a drop or two to each ear.
8. Use onions
Several articles and YouTube videos claim that onions are the secret to curing an earache. This is an advice that supposedly dates back to the 1800s. Onions have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Therefore, they are a great home remedy for ear infections. Cut a fresh onion and cover it in a clean cloth. Holding it over the ear for five to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can also put two to three drops of juice from grated onions into the ear. Be careful to remove any pieces of onion.
9. Olive oil cotton pads
If your ear pain has been caused by an infection, olive oil can be a good natural way to make you feel balanced again. It acts as a lubricant and also stops the vibrating sensation in your ear. You can either apply drops directly or use a cotton pad soaked in the oil.
10. Ear drops
Ear drops for pain is a good treatment option. They provide ear pain relief and are in most local drug stores. However, if you decide to use ear drops, you should speak to your primary care physician first to see if it’s safe for you.
11. Avoid wearing headphones
This may seem obvious, but if you’re dealing with earcahe or infection, avoid using or sharing ear buds or headphones with anyone else. The transfer of bacteria can be harmful if you have an infection and can stall the healing process.
How do I prevent earaches?
There are several practical things you can do to prevent earaches or ear infections. The first is to never poke the inside of your ear with an object such as a q-tip. If an earache is a result of the flu, a flu shot could help with prevention. You can prevent pressure earaches by chewing gum before you board a plane and when the plane is about to descend.
The best preventative measure you can take is to see your doctor once a year for your annual check up. Make sure you mention to your doctor if your are experiencing any pain in your ears that does not go away. The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you will get the help you need.