Earache Relief

In need of earache relief? These tips will help you minimize discomfort so you can function and provide insight into how to prevent future recurrences.

Quick Remedies for Earache Relief

  • Use painkillers liberally: Take the recommended dose of acetaminophen. Before the acetaminophen wears off, take a dose of ibuprofen. Alternate these two medications, overlapping the doses such that you stay on top of the pain.
  • Apply warm compresses: There are several ways to use warm compresses to relieve earache pain. Warm a wet facecloth in ether a bowl of hot water or in the microwave, then wring it out and press it against the affected ear. Wrap a hot water bottle with a towel and press it against the ear. For comfortable sleeping relief, use a warm gel pack wrapped in a towel for a pillow.
  • Dry out the ear canal: Use drops of rubbing alcohol to dry out the ear canal.
  • Sleep sitting up: This takes pressure off the eardrum and allows the Eustachian tubes to drain.

Ways to Prevent Earaches
If you prevent earaches, you'll spare yourself the trouble of dealing with the pain and inconvenience later.

  • Take measures to equalize pressure: When traveling or scuba diving, take time to equalize pressure by chewing gum, swallowing or plugging your nose and gently blowing as if blowing your nose until your ears pop.
  • Keep ears dry: Drop a couple drops of rubbing alcohol after swimming, showering or bathing.
  • Don't put things in your ears: Irrigate with an alcohol solution instead of cleaning your ears with Q-tips.
  • Deal with congestion aggressively: Take over-the-counter decongestants, use nettie pots and avoid catching colds, when possible.

Clearing Up a Common Misconception About Ear Infections
Many people think ear infections automatically warrant a trip to the doctor, but most middle ear infections-the painful type of ear infection that hurts deep inside your ear and worsens upon lying down horizontally-usually resolve themselves without antibiotics if you can manage the reduce the congestion. It is suggested that you wait 72 hours before seeing the doctor for a middle ear infection in hopes that the infection will resolve itself and you can spare your body an unnecessary dose of antibiotics, which can build up an unhealthy tolerance to these useful drugs.

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