Earache can lead to serious complications ranging from meningitis to complete deafness. You can try the following home remedies, for intermittent relief from pain. If you experience persistent pain in ear, consult your ENT doctor for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Do not lie down: Earache is known to aggravate in when one lies down. Sitting position allows drainage of accumulated pus, water or blood in head. Sitting also relieves congestion in the Eustachian tubes. If you suspect trapping of water or some foreign body, turn your ear down and vibrate vigorously outside the ear, so as to allow water/ clogged waste to slowly flow out.
External Examination: Use a directed source of light to examine the ear canal for possible foreign bodies like large dust particles, hair, moths or large chunks of solidified wax. Light is very effective in attracting and driving out moths that could have possibly got stuck in the canal. If other obstructions are noticed, use ear buds soaked in olive oil to push out the irritant.
Chew, Swallow and Yawn: Strange as it may seem, the act of chewing, swallowing and yawning are very effective in relief from Infection of inner ear. These acts help in clearing congestions in the eustachian tubes. Keep swallowing your saliva or drink some juice or water. This is very effective in earache caused due to congestions of the respiratory tract and changes in ear pressure during flight. For better results, make the process of swallowing, chewing or yawning as comical as possible.
Heat therapy: Trapping of excess water in ear canal (swimmers ear) is the most common cause of earache. Applying heat externally around ears is effective in relieving earache caused due to swimmers ear. Place a heating pad (set to medium heat) or a heated water bottle around the sore areas. You can also use hair dryer (set to minimum). Hold the hair dryer round 20cm away from the ear and direct hot air into the ear canal. This often provides temporary relief from pain. Do not use hair dryer for more than 2-3 minutes. Applying sunlight to the ear canal for 15 minutes is an even better option.
Clear Nasal Congestion: If earache is accompanied by nasal congestion, put your nasal spray to use. Nasal Congestion is known to adversely affect the functioning of Eustachian tubes. Nasal spray or vasoconstrictors alleviate swelling of respiratory tract. Nasal sprays also contain phenylephrine, which is helpful in clearing congestions at the orifice of Eustachian tubes. Use nasal sprays only for temporary relief. They are not a long term solution for earaches. Abuse of nasal sprays over a period of time can even aggravate infections.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are especially effective in treatment of earache caused due to bacterial infection. Antibiotic ear drops are very effective in arresting ear infection and relieving earache. Consult a doctor before taking antibiotic medicines. Basil leaves; garlic, cloudberry, marigold, bishop’s weed and margosa leaves are some of the most potent, no side-effect natural anti bacterial antibiotics. These natural alternatives may be used to treat bacterial infection for relief from earache. Painkillers (analgesics) may additionally be taken for temporary relief for earache
General Precautions: Do not clean ear wax regularly. Wax serves an important purpose of protecting and lubricating vital parts of the ear. Regular cleaning makes the ear canal more prone to bacterial attack. Milled rice, sugar and lentils promote production of phlegm in the body. Avoid them.