Earaches can be a real pain in the neck. Well, not so much a pain in the neck as a pain in the head. Few if any people have ever died as a result of the cause of an earache, but an infection that isn’t treated can potentially lead to loss of hearing. A bad earache should always be followed by a trip to the doctor, but until it becomes that painful you may be able to reduce the pain or frequency of discomfort by engaging a few home remedies.
A few drops of warm oil dropped into the ear can do wonders for an earache caused by lack of drainage, which is a common enough cause of ear pain in young kids. You don’t want to heat up the oil, which can be anything from olive to vegetable in nature, too much. For instance, avoid cooking it inside the microwave.
Warm and Cold Compresses
Make yourself up both a warm and cold compress for one home treatment of earaches. Apply the warm compress directly over the ear for about two minutes and immediately follow this by removing the warm compress and replacing with the cold. Keep doing this up to about five times per hour until the pain subsides.
A minor type of earache can accompany changes in air pressure such as you experience when flying in an airplane. Two easy ways to attack this condition known as barotitis is yawning or swallowing. If you are one of those people who are particularly prone to ear problems caused by changes in air pressure, stick a piece of gum into the mouth and go to town. When this type of ear pain simply won’t go away, grab hold of your nose between your fingers, close your mouth and gently exhale.
Building up excess earwax can potentially cause an earache if the substance lodges inside the external canal. Your first sign of too much earwax is likely to be a muffled sound inside that ear that significantly reduces your hearing ability. This may also be accompanied by a ringing in the ear. In many cases you will be subject to fluctuations in your ability to hear out of that ear. If there is no change in the muffled quality, it is a sign of extreme buildup of wax. The best home remedy for an earache caused by excessive earwax is to try to break the wax up. Sometimes this can be accomplished using an over the counter ear drop. Another way is to melt the wax so that it can slide out of the ear canal and this can be accomplished by warming up a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Place about 10 drops into the ear and tilt your head so that drops remain inside the ear for a few minutes. Follow this up by placing a tissue over your ear and tilting your head in the opposite direction so that the melted wax can drip out of the ear.
One rather oddball approach to treating an earache on your own can wind up making you resemble Princess Leia with those buns on each side of her head. Cut an onion into two equal parts and place either one or both halves into a warm oven, depending on whether your earache is confined to just one ear or is giving you pain in both. Take a piece of cheesecloth and wrap the onion inside, then hold the onion or onions up to your ear or ears. This magical little approach to treating earaches involves some chemical properties found in onions that stimulate circulation. This circulation results in toxins being flushed away from the ear.