People who get earaches describe them as a dull or sharp pain in one ear. They are more common in children, but earaches can affect adults too. The symptoms of an earache are ear pain, impaired hearing, fluids accumulating in the ear, and a sense of fullness in one or both ears. At the source, earaches are frequently caused by infections. They might also originate from a sudden change in pressure, having too much earwax, or getting a foreign object stuck in the ear. According to one Black Hills ENT, “A healthy middle ear must contain air at the same atmospheric pressure as the outside of the ear, so all these structures can vibrate freely.” Inflammation and pressure can causes changes that can cause an earache.
Common Remedies for Earaches
An earache could be a side effect of some illnesses such as strep throat or a sinus infection. Other possible causes of ear pain are shampoo dropping into the ear, or the overuse of cotton swabs to clean the ears. Luckily, there are many remedies at home that you can use to treat earaches. But if the ear infection is severe, then a trip to the pharmacy can get you the medication you need.
Over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen will lessen the pain, but they should be taken in the correct dosage. You can also take non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory medication including but not limited to, Advil, Motrin, and Tylenol. Be sure to read the labels since there are side effects that could harm children.
Ear drops are available at your local pharmacy. Some brands you might recognize are Hyland’s Earache Drops or Walgreen’s Homeopathic EarAche Drops, able to relieve pain and soothe the inside of your ear. Depending on how serious the infection is, your doctor may prescribe ear drops containing antibiotics to stop discharge from the ear.
If an earache happens periodically, you can apply a hot pack onto the affected ear. The heat and moisture from the warm compress will help unclog your ear, allowing you to hear properly.
One home remedy that sometimes works, is to rub olive oil around the inflamed area of your outer ear. If mixed with other essential oils it will help soothe your ears while lowering the amount of swelling. Olive oil prevents the build-up of excessive ear wax.
If your earache becomes worse, please consult an ENT doctor who specializes in treating ear disorders. Middle and inner ear infections tend to cause hearing loss due to fluid build-up which could even burst an eardrum.