How to Treat an Earache
Believe it or not, you can treat an earache with household items. From garlic to baby oil, here are easy home remedies to tackle any ear pain.
Garlic is nature’s antibacterial fighter, so it can be very useful in helping with swimmer’s ear. Make a homemade ear drop solution to take advantage of its medicinal properties. Start by grating a few cloves of garlic. Next, pour olive oil over the bits of garlic until they are completely immersed. Leave your eardrop solution on the counter overnight so that the oil has time to absorb the garlic’s bacteria fighting ingredients. In the morning, use a strainer to remove the garlic pieces. Now you can simply extract the olive oil with a medicine dropper and put a few drops into the infected ear. (Keep leftover oil in the refrigerator for no more than a day or two.)
Here’s a home remedy that even the CDC endorses. To dry out the ear and start the healing process, make a solution of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent white vinegar. Fill a dropper with this antiseptic solution and place your head on a bed or table with the healthy ear down. Squeeze five to six drops into the infected ear and move your ear around so that the liquid reaches the base of the ear canal. Now it’s time to drain. Tip your head so that the infected ear is down and catch the drips with a dry washcloth.
Lavender is great for soothing that itchy, infected outer ear. All you have to do to harness its powers is create a mixture using two to three drops of lavender oil and one teaspoon of olive oil. Allow a cotton ball to absorb the healing oil and use the cotton to gently apply it inside the rim of your ear opening. A little of this can go a long way!
Before you take the plunge, grab that bottle of baby oil for protection against swimmer’s ear. Oil and water don’t mix, so use that to your advantage. Just drip a few in each ear and you can keep bacteria and water out of places it shouldn’t go. Now you can swim worry free!
When the pain of swimmer’s ear just won’t quit, use heat to ease the discomfort. Whether it’s a warm towel, a heating pad, or a hot shower (protect the ear with a cotton ball dipped in petroleum jelly or an earplug first), warming things up can help dial the pain down a notch.
Onion Ear Muffs
Oil found in raw onion is antimicrobial, which makes onions great cures for upper respiratory ailments. If you have a minor earache, onion may help. Slice a fresh onion and heat it in the microwave on high for one minute. Wrap it in cheesecloth or another thin cloth so that it doesn’t burn your skin, and then hold it against the ailing ear for 20-30 minutes. See a doctor if the pain gets worse or continues for longer than 24 hours.
Warm up a little mineral oil or olive oil just to body temperature, then put a few drops in the affected ear. For an extra benefit, you can cover the ear with a hot pad or hot water bottle for 15-20 minutes. You’re sure to experience relief!
Hydrogen peroxide will help kill germs and reduce inflammation, making you much more comfortable. Three to four drops in the affected ear several times a day should do the trick.
Ginger’s antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and painkilling properties make it a perfect choice for treating a mild ear infection or earache. First, cut some fresh ginger into slices and place it into boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Then allow the mixture to cool slightly. Soak a washcloth in the ginger-scented water and squeeze out the excess. Place this warm towel over the affected ear for at least 15-20 minutes. The combination of the warm, damp towel and the powerful ginger compounds will help your ear feel better.
Turn Up the Spice
If your earache is due to a cold or congestion, don’t underestimate the power of the pepper. Turn up the heat on your dishes by adding some chopped jalapeño, red pepper flakes, or sriracha sauce. All that spice will help relieve congestion in your ears and sinuses, giving you much needed relief.