Ears are more than just the organs which allow us to listen, they are what provide an internal balance to the body as well. So, it is important that you take care of them, and should they be in any pain, it is essential that you look for a way to ease the same. In order to overcome earaches, it is important that you firstly identify the cause of the pain.
What are the main causes for earaches?
There could be multiple reasons that could lead to an earache, but the main ones include:
While popping painkillers might seem the easiest way out of earaches, there are actually several home remedies that will work just as effectively, but with minimal side effects. It is best to visit an ENT specialist. But in case you cannot, then there are some remedies which people have tried at home. We do not endorse these but are being written after compiling information from internet.
Here are some of the most easy to use home remedies:
Hot compresses – For most aches and pains, hot compresses tend to work, which is why the same will work for earaches too. As a matter of fact, heat works better than cold. A small throw pillow can be heated in the oven for a few minutes and then you can lie on the pillow, with the ear that is aching, resting on the warm pillow. Another simple method of creating a hot pack at home is by tying up some popcorn or rice in a cloth. Heat this little bag in the microwave and use this on the ear. Alternately, you could also use a regular hot water bottle too, but you need to make sure that the water is not too hot. What you could do is wrap the hot water bottle in a towel and then apply it to the ear.
Hair dryer – As weird as it might sound, your regular hair dryer could actually help ease the earache. After you have taken a shower or washed your hair, instead of using a towel to dry your ears, you can use your hair dryer. Just make sure that you use the lowest setting and keep the dryer at a reasonable distance from the ear. Also, do not use the dryer for too long a time – keep switching it off every few seconds.
Onions – The easiest way to use an onion to cure an earache is to cut into half and then place it over the ear that is aching. Alternately, you could warm a small piece of an onion and the place the same inside the ear. Yet another method of using an onion is to warm it and then wrap it in a moist towel. The heat and the moisture together tend to soothe the earache. Finally, the juice of an onion can be heated gently and the same can be poured into the ear. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of the onion will heal your ear quickly and effectively.
Xylitol – A research in Finland showed that when sweetened Xylitol gum was given to children in a day care, the pain in the ear reduced drastically. The gum had to be given two pieces at a time, and five times a day. If the dosage was changed, the effect was not so profound. While this might not seem as conventional as other home remedies, it is certainly an effective one.
Steam – Steam works quite effectively when there is a cold or headache, and surprisingly, it works really well with earaches too. If you have a humidifier at home, switch it on in a closed room and rest in that room. Alternately, you could switch on the hot shower and sit in the sauna like atmosphere. The warm moist air might help relieve the pressure that causes the pain. You could also prepare an herbal steam, with herbs such as lemon balm, German chamomile, elderberry flowers or eucalyptus. Ensure that the water you are using is really hot and then simply lean over the bowl, and cover your head with a large towel, ascertaining that no steam is getting lost.
Herbal tea – While warmth from the outside could help soothe the pain, you could try a little warmth for the inside too. Herbs such as holy basil, German chamomile, Echinacea and lemon grass are known to accentuate healing and also help relax the body.
Apple cider vinegar – Having a bottle of apple cider vinegar in the house is like having a one stop remedy for several things, including resolving earaches. The same can be ingested in small quantities at regular intervals.
Hydrogen peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a disinfectant and it can actually help treat earaches too. What is wonderful about this medication is that it can be used quite comfortably for children too. Soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and squeeze four to five drops into the ear. The liquid will help dislodge the dirt that might have accumulated in the ear and then use warm water to cleanse off the ear. However, it would be wise to talk to your child’s ENT Surgeon first, just to ensure that your child is not allergic to hydrogen peroxide.
In the next article, we will continue to look at several other home remedies that can help treat earaches and are safe for children as well.