10 Home Remedies For Ear Pain

By jolene
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Ear pain, earache, or otalgia can be divided into primary and secondary ear pain. Primary ear pain occurs when the pain is from the ear itself, while secondary ear pain is referred from another location and involves or radiates to the ear. Although most causes of ear pain are not life-threatening, it can be debilitating and distressing, especially if it occurs in younger children.

Primary ear pain is most commonly due to ear infection or injury. Causes of secondary ear pain are broad and can be due to conditions such as inflammation of the throat or temporomandibular joint syndrome. Generally, the cause of ear pain can be determined through the patient’s history, symptoms, signs, examination, and if necessary, additional testing. Further tests are usually only required if there are symptoms such as dizziness, hearing loss, unexpected weight loss, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

The treatment and management of the ear pain will depend on the underlying cause and may involve medications or surgery. Ear pain is especially common among children, with 83 percent of children experiencing one episode of middle ear infection before the age of three. Below are 10 home remedies to try for reducing ear pain.

Home Remedy #1: Warm Compress

A warm compress is a method where heat is applied to one part of the body. Heating sources may include chemical pads, warm water, electrical pads, and microwavable pads. There are also methods that use uncooked rice, hard boiled eggs, or warmed potatoes. The commonest method is using a wet and warm washcloth. A warm compress is a noninvasive method often used in the treatment or management of conditions such as sports injuries and some ophthalmic conditions as it is thought to help increase oxygenation in tissues, improve blood flow, and manage inflammation.

To use a warm compress as a home remedy for ear pain, put a cup or two of rice into a sock or pouch. Seal it and heat it for a short duration until it reaches the desired temperature. Other options include hot water bottles or gel packs that can be heated.

Ear Pain

Home Remedy #2: Cold Pack

A cold pack or cold compression is used for the treatment to reduce pain and inflammation, especially after injuries. It can also be used for patients after surgical procedures. A cold pack or cold compress can be an effective home remedy for ear pain as it helps reduce the inflammation, swelling, and pain in the surrounding area.

To make a cold compress, use an ice pack or wrap some ice in a towel. Place this at the ear for about 20 minutes. It is important to note that a cold pack or compress should not cause any pain and ice should never be directly placed on the skin. Cold and hot compresses can be alternated for maximum relief.

Home Remedy #3: Steam/Humidifier

Steam or a humidifier can be very useful for families, especially those with small children. It is a great home remedy for coughs, sore throats, dry skin, and ear pain. The warm and moist air helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways.

For ear pain, it can help relax and open the airways, which may lead to reduced ear pain and pressure relief. To use steam as a home remedy for ear pain, heat up a pot of water or place the humidifier in areas where the patient most often spends time at.

Ear Pain

Home Remedy #4: Breast Milk

Breast milk is the main source of nutrition for newborn babies before they are able to consume other foods. There are many benefits for breast milk as shown by various research. Breast milk for babies decrease the likelihood of sudden infant death syndrome, middle ear infections, increases intelligence, and improves resistance to cold or flu. It is also often used as a home remedy for various conditions such as diaper rash and eczema.

It can also be used for ear pain due to its antimicrobial properties. To use it as a home remedy for ear pain, use a few drops of breast milk into the affected ear. The application can be repeated if needed.

Home Remedy #5: Onions

Onions or allium cepa often refers to the common or bulb onion. It is a widely cultivated vegetable that is available globally. It is a rich source of sulfur compounds and flavonoids. It is often used as a home remedy for colds, to stop a bloody nose, insomnia, as a mosquito repellent, elimination of age spots, splinter removal, sore throat relief, and to reduce menstrual cramps.

For ear pain, it can be used as a home remedy by heating it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes before straining the liquid. Several drops of this liquid can then be applied to the affected ear. Leave it for about 10 minutes before allowing the liquid to flow out of the ear. This process can be repeated as required.

Ear Pain

Home Remedy #6: Garlic

Garlic has been widely used for various purposes for several thousand years. It was used by the ancient Egyptians and in ancient Rome. It has been used as a home remedy for hair loss, acne, dandruff, colds, psoriasis, eczema, weight maintenance, splinter removal, and athlete’s foot. Some studies have suggested that it can help fight off infections. However, it should not be used as a substitute for medication.

Some individuals eat a clove of garlic to prevent ear infections. Garlic ear drops can be made and used to reduce ear pain. To do this, cook 2 to 3 cloves in some sesame oil until it browns and strain the mixture. Use 1 to 2 drops on the affected ear.

Home Remedy #7: Massage

Massage involves the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. It can be applied using the hands, elbows, knees, feet, or using a device. Massage is done to help reduce stress or pain. An individual who is professionally trained to give massages are usually known as a masseuse (female) or masseur (male). These individuals can also be known as massage therapists in the United States.

There are many types of massages. In various Eastern medicines such as traditional Chinese medicine, massages can serve a therapeutic or medical purpose. It can be an effective home remedy for ear pain as gentle massage can help reduce ear pain radiating from the jaw (such as in temporomandibular joint issues). In an ear infection, massages can also help the drainage of excess fluid, resulting in the reduction of pain.

Ear Pain

Home Remedy #8: Olive Oil

Olive oil is oil extracted from olives. It is commonly used in cooking and salad dressing. Other common uses include it being added into soaps, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and as fuel for oil lamps. It is also commonly used as a home remedy for dandruff, stretch marks, and as a moisturizer.

In folk medicine, it can be used as a home remedy for ear pain. Although there is no concrete scientific evidence that shows olive oil can be beneficial for ear pain, the American Academy of Pediatrics have reported that several drops of warmed olive oil into the ear canal may help soothe ear pain. Ensure that the olive oil is not warmer that the body temperature to avoid burning the eardrum.

Home Remedy #9: Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca tree, which is native to Australia. It is commonly used as a home remedy for acne, dandruff, skin infections, fungal infections, lice, and insect bites.

It may also be effective as a home remedy for ear pain as it has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. It is believed to help decrease the pain and discomfort in the ear when used as ear drops. Those worried about sensitivity should try mixing a few drops of tea tree oil with olive oil before using it.

Home Remedy #10: Ginger

Ginger is commonly used as a spice in cooking and also in folk medicine. In folk medicine, it is often used for the treatment of indigestion, cough, sore throat, cold, flu, and ear pain. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is readily available fresh, dried, in tinctures, capsules, as an extract, or oil.

To use it as a home remedy for ear pain, add ginger to oil and warm it. Strain the mixture and apply it around the ear canal. It should not be applied directly to the ear.

Ear Pain

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