If you’ve had the misfortune of earaching, you know it’s no laughing matter. Several seemingly unrelated causes can cause it, but natural home remedies can help relieve the pain. Let’s look at some common causes and what you can do at home to try and handle them.
How To Relieve Earache?
- Apply a hot or cold compress
- Use a solution of apple cider vinegar and isopropyl alcohol.
- Use a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water.
- Chew or suck on candy
- Try warm olive oil to soften earwax.
- Change your posture during rest hours.
- Apply homeopathic ear drops
- Resort to over-the-counter pain relievers.
Common Causes Of Earache
Earache (in all its forms) is one of the most common ailments doctors see and affects people of all ages, often spontaneously. It can manifest itself in different ways, from slight pain to intense stitches in one ear; in most cases, it goes away on its own in a week or two. It’s important to remember that earache isn’t always due to an infection. Sometimes the pain results from a related condition or what is called a “reflex” pain. The reflected pain is real but originates in a different place, such as a decayed or infected tooth. Below, we list some of the most frequent causes of earache:
- Ear infection (acute otitis media) – more common in children but also affects adults. People with chronic ear infections may have surgery using drainage tubes or grommets.
- Serous otitis media – a disease in which a sticky substance fills the central part of the ear canal. The problem usually resolves itself within a few weeks.
- Earwax buildup or plug
- Sore throat, sinusitis or cold
- Foreign bodies in the ear canal, such as cotton scraps
- Jaw pain is caused by a decayed or infected tooth or by bruxism.
- Cold climates can cause earaches for some people.
- Changes in atmospheric pressure (such as in an airplane, scuba diving, or high in the mountains)
- Water in the ear canal or “swimmer’s ear” (Otitis externa)
Natural And Do-It-Yourself Remedies That Help Relieve Earache
The good news for people who suffer from earache is that many helpful home remedies can help ease discomfort and lessen the pain. Many of these remedies have been around for years and are being recommended by doctors (and moms!) as a first line of defense to protect yourself.
- Apply a hot or cold compress. Some even recommend alternating between the two every 10 to 15 minutes. Remember not to fall asleep using a hot compress, and don’t let children use it without adult supervision. Also, do not apply a cold or ice pack directly to the skin. Always wrap it in a towel or similar. The compresses are applied under the ear.
- For more external infections or a drain, combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and isopropyl alcohol and apply a few drops directly into the ear, wait a few minutes, and then rinse. Apple cider vinegar (unfiltered) has been shown to have healing and antibacterial properties as it kills many harmful bacteria and restores the pH of the ear canal. It won’t relieve pain, but this method can be used alongside traditional ear infection treatments because of its antibacterial action.
- Long used in commercial ear drops, hydrogen peroxide diluted in equal parts with water can gently loosen earwax. Apply a few drops in the ear, let it act for a few minutes, let it flow out and rinse with clean water.
- To relieve the pressure causing the pain, try chewing or sucking on a piece of candy. This reduces the pressure built up in the auditory tubes between the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat. It is beneficial in the event of changes in altitude, such as when traveling by plane or in the mountains. In these cases, it also helps to swallow.
- To soften earwax, try olive oil warmed to a temperature close to body temperature to avoid burning the inside of the ear.
- Also, try changing your posture during rest hours by elevating your head and torso instead of lying completely flat on your back or side. This will help you sleep better until the earache passes.
- Homoeopathic ear drops are readily available in herbalists, specialist shops, and supermarket chains. These drops are usually made from cloves or lavender and often contain ginger, a natural antibacterial.
- Also, you can resort to nonprescription pain relievers, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to help you with the pain.
These treatments, used judiciously, can help reduce the pain associated with an earache. If your symptoms worsen, it is essential to seek medical attention or an ENT. More severe conditions may require medical attention, such as drops, drugs, antibiotic therapies or surgery to insert drainage tubes. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and consult an ENT. Progressively worsening hearing loss could indicate something is wrong and needs to be investigated promptly.
Also Read: How To Wash Your Hands: 5 Essential Tips