Ear pain can be sharp and piercing. There are many possible cause of ear pain. Cavities, sinus infections, earwax and tonsillitis are some common ones. The most common ear infection is acute otitis media or a middle ear infection. In this case, your middle ear may be swollen or inflamed due to the infection and the pain is caused by the fluid being trapped behind the eardrum. Ear pain may be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, slight hearing loss or flu. Ear infections are quite common amongst children. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that in case of ear infections, pain management should be the focus and not the use of antibiotics. This is because overuse of antibiotics may often lead to antibiotic-resistant infections. The good news is that you can find most of the things that can give you relief at home or in your kitchen pantry. There are plenty of home remedies for ear pain that are safe to try.
The most effective home remedy to ease that pain depends on the cause. In case of cavity, it's best to consult a doctor, but if the pain is caused due to an infection you can resort to some natural ways to tame the pain while your body fights off the infection.
5 home remedies for ear pain that really work.
Ayurveda Expert, Dr. B.N. Sinha suggests a simple concoction to deal with ear pain. Crush two cloves of garlic and mix it with 2 teaspoons of mustard oil. Heat this mixture till the garlic turns slightly black. Allow it to cool down and then apply few drops inside the infected ear. The analgesic properties of garlic help relieve pain. You can also make garlic oil at home by crushing and boiling the cloves into sesame oil. This tends to give instant relief.
2. Juice of Basil Leaves
Another natural cure for ear pain, suggested by Dr. Sinha, is to crush few basil leaves and use the juice to treat the infected ear. Strain the juice before using. You can add coconut oil in the juice to make it more effective. Make sure you use it regularly under supervision. Basil has long been used in medicines in Ayurveda and has been touted as one of the best medicines for minor ear infections and pain.
Home remedies for ear pain: You can add coconut oil in the juice to make it more effective
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath, mustard oil acts as a wax emulsifier. "Add 2-3 drops on one side and turn on the other side. Stay in this position for 10-15 minutes but be careful that the oil shouldn't go into the ear. Repeat with the other ear," he says. He cautions that ear buds tend to push the wax inside while oil brings it out.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
It has been found that apple cider vinegar changes the pH of the ear canal and creates an environment where bacteria and viruses cannot survive. Warm some vinegar and apply on the infected ear with a cotton bud. Let the vinegar penetrate into the ear. It's best to use organic apple cider vinegar to avoid chemicals or adulterants. You can also dilute it a bit with water and then soak the cotton bud in this liquid. Plug the bud inside the ear and let it remain for about 5 minutes. Apple cider vinegar is known for its antibacterial and antifungal characteristics.
Believe it or not, salt can do wonders. Heat some on low flame and then dip a cotton bud to coat it with warm salt. Place this in your ear for about 10 minutes. Salt tend to draw out the fluid from the ear and reduces swelling. Sea salt also helps reduce inflammation and pain within your ear canal. Never pour salt water into your ears. You can spray it into your nose too. Make sure you follow this process under supervision as it may cause a severe problem.
While there is no scientific evidence regarding the use of home remedies, our mothers and grandmothers always seem to reach out to these desi cures before deciding to pop pills. You must consult your doctor if you are unaware of what's causing the pain. Dr. Sanjay Sachdev, ENT Specialist at Max Hospital in New Delhi, suggests the following tips to tackle such a situation before you head to your doctor.
- If the ear pain is due to cold and cough, use a pain killer or nasal drops
- If you experience pressure and pain while flying, use anti-decongestant pills
- You can use ear drops to dissolve the wax
- If you experience pain when you pull or press the ear from outside, you might have developed a boil or infection so use antibiotic ear drops
- People who swim often may develop fungal infections. In that case, use anti-fungal ear drops
- If kids experience pain in the middle ear, they should be immediately given a pain killer