We all get earaches every now and then and we all know how distressing this can sometimes be. While some forms of earache will be the result of a serious infection or another ailment that is not easily remedied, others will be the result of a cold or a sore throat and will be the result of the eustachian tubes between your nose and middle ear becoming blocked by fluid that builds up. This fluid then becomes infected and puts pressure on it which causes your discomfort. This will often happen in the middle of the night and can leave you getting an insufficient amount of sleep and so feeling tired and irritable throughout the day. At the same time it can also cause headaches and other complaints and hurt your neck or jaw. If you visit the doctor they will be able to prescribe you antibiotics and these will help you to fight the infection, however in the meantime you may wish to try some helpful home remedies to reduce the pain until the infection has been beaten. Here we will look at a few possible remedies.
Try taking a hair dryer and then put this on warm (rather than cold). Now blow the hair dryer inside your ear while holding it away from your ear at a distance. This can get right inside the eustachian tubes and help to shift the fluids while also soothing the ear with heat. Do not use this for more than five minutes.
Alternatively use a heating pad, put it on its warm setting and then lay it over your painful ear. This will help to sooth the pain again. Alternatively you can create a rice sock and use this as a warm compress – simply take a sock and fill it with rice, tie a not in the end, then lay it over a warm radiator until it heats up. The rice will absorb the heat from the radiator and will be soft enough to cushion the bad ear. Finally you could use a hot water bottle and wrap this is a towel in order to create a similar effect.
Olive oil can make for a great makeshift ear drop. Simply take a small amount and gently warm it up by running the bottle under warm water (test the temperature before using it) and then use an ear or eye dropper to drip in just a small amount. The soothing nature of the oil and the warm temperature will help to soothe the inner ear.
Swallowing, yawning and sucking can all help to flex the ear cavities and so release pressure and clear the eustachian tubes. As such then you can try doing these things, or encouragings the same effect by chewing gum, sucking on a hard sweet or drinking lots of water. Drinking lots of water is always a good idea as it helps you to fight infection too.
Finally you should use a painkiller such as ibuprofen or paracetamol which won’t address the problem directly but will help the pain to become more manageable. You will often find that after the medication has finished working the pain does not return.
When you have an earache it is a good idea to sit up rather than lie down as this encourages the eustachian tubes to drain (just as you would elevate a swollen ankle or wrist above heart level). Thus you should mimic this effect by propping yourself up in bed while you rest and sleeping that way too. Make a small back rest with some pillows and use this to sit more upright. Wind can also aggravate your cold so to avoid this causing you discomfort try wrapping a scarf around your head when you go outside.
You should avoid using any oil drip in your ear if you suspect you may have a ruptured ear drum or if you see any form of pus or blood discharge coming from your ear. In either case visit a doctor before trying your own home remedies.