Earache: Prevention Tips and Home Remedies
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Published by TOP4 Team
Heat and medicinal plants are the traditional favourites for treating earwax and earache. Home medicine also offers useful advice to combat annoying tinnitus and to alleviate discomfort.
While often the bane of childhood, earache can strike anyone at any time. It often originates in the middle ear, which is the tiny space located behind the eardrum. A thin tunnel called the Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat, allows fluid to drain. It is also a passage where the pressure inside your ear adjusts to meet external air pressure. A buildup of fluid caused by a cold can accumulate in the Eustachian tube, causing significant pain.
If you’re susceptible to earache, don’t leave home in cold weather without a hat or scarf over your head. Wear a bathing cap, or use wax or silicon earplugs when swimming to avoid getting water in your ears.
Note: Don’t insert any substance into your ear if there’s a discharge or a risk of a perforated eardrum.
- Press a warmed wheat bag gently against a painful ear, treat the ear with infrared light or rest your ear against a covered hot-water bottle overnight.
- Pour clove oil onto a cotton ball and insert it into the entrance to your ear canal to relieve pain.
- Make a paste with 3 tablespoons of mustard powder and a little warm water, spread it onto a handkerchief and place it behind a sore ear for 15 minutes.
- Try homemade eardrops. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tablespoon of olive or almond oil and warm the mixture in a bain-marie to body temperature. Tip your head to the side and use an eyedropper or pipette to drip the drops into the affected ear.
- Place slices of raw onion behind your ear and hold them in place with a headband. It has long been known that onions have formidable anti-inflammatory properties. This is a quick (if smelly) traditional home remedy.
- Even more effective, but a bit more work, is a chopped onion warp (see below). The heat plays an additional role in soothing the pain. Hold the wrap in place with a woolen scarf or cap and leave it on the ear for 30 minutes. Apply three times a day.
1. Cut two onions into thin rings and put them into a cloth bag.
2. Place the bag over boiling water and warm it in the stream.
3. Crush the onions with a rolling pin until the bag is soaked with juice.
4. Place the bag over an aching ear and secure.
When to consult a doctor
See a doctor immediately if your child has earache, if there’s discharge from the ear or if an adult’s earache doesn’t respond to home treatment within a short time.
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