From the guest author
A doctor should examine infants and very young children before attempting home treatments for ear pain relief. With an infection, children can get sick very quickly. For children who show no signs of infection (and you know there’s nothing in their ears), here are home remedies for earache relief that you can try:
● Ice packs (wrapped in a cloth or towel) or warm compresses on the outer ear can relieve pain. Keep it in place for about 20 minutes and repeat every few hours throughout the day.
● Keep your child upright when you are not sleeping. Lying down can increase the pressure in the ear and make the pain worse.
● OTC ear drops (over-the-counter). These can help relieve the pain. Make sure there are no signs of a perforated (broken) ear drum, which include discharge from the ear, sudden and sharp pain, and hearing loss.
● A few drops of warm olive oil (if no perforation can be seen).
● Keep your child hydrated with extra water or other fluids.
If your child has an ear infection, your doctor may not prescribe antibiotics right away. The latest guidelines encourage a wait-and-see approach in many cases.
If your child has an ear infection but you are waiting for it to improve on its own, you can still use home remedies to relieve the pain and pressure in the ear.
Treatment of earache in adults
In adults, unlike children, earache is not usually associated with infection. (Children have shorter Eustachian tubes, making them prone to infection. These tubes lengthen as they grow, making infections less common in teenagers and adults.) The home treatment of earache in adults is the same as in children.
If you are concerned about an earache, call your doctor or the on-call doctor or nurse if this happens outside of business hours. If you have repeated ear pain, ask your doctor if additional testing is needed to determine the underlying problem and possible treatment options.