Earaches can be one of the most disturbing discomforts you can feel because aside from the pain, your sense of hearing may also be affected. Earache commonly affects children and adults with various causes.
Causes of earache may include an on-going ear infection, impacted cerumen or ear wax, trauma, previous visit to a place with high altitude, toothache, sore throat, sinusitis, and TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. No matter what the reasons are, earache can be managed by simple home remedies. However, along with employing these, make sure to visit your physician to rule out any possible serious reasons. Dealing with earache may involve the following managements:
• Chew gum
If you have been on a place with high altitude and suddenly moved to sea level, travelled through plane or have an ear infection, you may feel pressure and some pain in your ears. Chewing gum may help release this pressure to relieve earache.
• Use of Warm Castor Oil
Castor oil has been used for many years as a remedy for earache. Use this by heating a few teaspoons of castor oil and place to two three drops of warm oil in the affected ear. Castor oil helps soften ear wax, which in turn releases pressure inside the ear canal. Warming the oil prevents possible dizziness because cold temperature inside the ear may lead to transient balance problem. You can also use olive oil as an alternative. If you have ear infection, garlic drops can also be mixed with castor oil because garlic has antimicrobial properties.
• Warm and moist packs
Placing warm moist towel over the painful ear can help relieve pain in no time. The warmth helps relax the soft structures in your ear canal while the moisture helps soften ear wax.
• Cold packs
As much as warm packs help relieve pain, cold compress over the ear also helps reduce the pain. In this line, you may place alternate cold and warm compress throughout the day.
• Use over the counter eardrops
There are OTC drops available to help ease pain. However, if you suspect a perforated eardrum as evidenced by severe pain and partial loss of hearing, make sure to consult a physician before instilling any ear drops.
• Avoid lying down on your affected side
Side lying position may just aggravate the pressure inside your ears. During the day, you may sit erect most often to help relieve pressure inside your ears.
• Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
If any of the above remedies did not take effect, you may use OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve pain especially if it has been too disturbing. NSAIDs relieve pain by inhibiting pain chemicals in the body.
• Visit a physician
If you feel sudden pain in your ears, observed a fluid coming out of your ears, dizziness or fever, better consult an otorhinolaryngologist, a physician specialized to manage ear, nose and throat infections. The cause of the earache could be something that you cannot manage on your own such as a perforated eardrum, middle ear infection, or inner ear problems.
Dealing with earaches can be easy, but when serious underlying causes are present, you may need more aggressive treatments.