The pain of an earache can be sharp and piercing, or dull and aching. You may know the cause immediately, or you may struggle to determine what’s wrong when your child is tugging on their ear lobe and crying in pain.Earaches can be debilitating and uncomfortable, but they don’t always warrant a round of antibiotics. As a matter of fact, you could find all the relief you need in your medicine cabinet or even in your kitchen.
No Need for Antibiotics. The latest guidelines from the AAP suggest that doctors should focus on pain management, not antibiotics, for ear infections. This is because ear infections often go away on their own, and the overuse of antibiotics could lead to antibiotic-resistant infections.
There are many possible causes for an earache. Cavities, sinus infections, earwax, tonsillitis, and teeth grinding are all relatively common causes. But the most common ear infection is acute otitis media (AOM), or a middle ear infection. It’s characterized by swollen and infected portions of the middle ear. The pain associated with AOM is caused by fluid becoming trapped behind the eardrum. Symptoms may include a fever, pain inside the ear, slight hearing loss, and feeling sick in general. Babies and children may be restless and pull at their ears.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for earaches.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil can provide fast relief from an earache. It serves as a lubricant and helps get rid of an infection in the ear. Olive oil can also be helpful in stopping buzzing sensations inside the ears. Put 2-3 drops of lukewarm olive oil as ear drops into the ear canal.
The analgesic and antibiotic properties of garlic can help reduce earache caused by an ear infection. Heat one teaspoon of minced garlic in two tablespoons of oil (olive oil or sesame seed oil are most common). Cool and filter the oil. Put 2-3 drops of this garlic oil in the aching ear.
Some people simply cut an onion in half and place it over the affected ear. Others gently heat a small portion of the onion until warm but not soft, and tuck the heated onion into the ear. Some people wrap the onion in a warm, moist cloth, others use it directly on the ear.
Another option is to squeeze out some onion juice, heat gently, and put a few drops into the ear. Recommended compress time seems to be around 10-15 minutes, or until the onion cools.
Putting moist heat around an infected ear can work as a great pain reliever. There are various different ways you can create heat packs for your ears. To make a simple hotpack, place popcorn or rice into an old sock or small pouch. Seal end and heat in short bursts until warm. Hot water bottles are a great option if you don’t have a microwave – just make sure you don’t get the water too hot.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple Cider Vinegar also works great when getting an earache. Simply put some in the ear at the first sign of trouble, leaving it there for a minute then letting the ACV run out the ear. You can repeat this about 10 to 12 hours later.
Ginger is an excellent painkiller as well as it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Put fresh ginger juice into the affected ear. You can also heat 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root in ¼ cup of sesame oil and then, apply it externally around the aching ear.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
The easiest way to apply it is to soak a cotton ball and use it to squeeze a few drops into the ear. This will work to dislodge debris, so gently irrigating the area afterward with warm water to flush the debris clear may also be helpful.
Basil is not only has antibacterial properties, but anti-inflammatory properties. To use basil for your ear, crush some basil leaves and extract its juice. Put at least 2 drops of it into the infected ear to get relief from earache.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Pour few drops of tea tree oil into the aching ear. Tea tree oil works best for treating ear infections while eliminating the pain, caused due to it.
9. Bishop’s Weed
It is one of the most effective home remedies for earache relief. You just need to add 1 teaspoon of bishop’s weed oil in 3 teaspoons of sesame oil. Then, heat it a bit. Pour 4-5 drops of this oil into the aching ear.