"How do I get rid of an earache?" If you've got an earache, you probably feel desperate to find immediate relief. Earaches can be caused by multiple irritations. To effectively deal with an earache, you'll have to determine what caused the earache and then apply the appropriate remedy.
An Earache While Flying or Driving in the Mountains
If you've got an earache while experiencing changes in air pressure, you'll need to find a way to equalize the pressure inside your inner ear with the pressure outside. This can sometimes be easy and sometimes takes a lot of time. Try chewing gum and swallowing hard, drinking fluids, eating or making exaggerated chewing motions with your jaw. If this does not work, place a warm, wet piece of paper towel inside a Dixie cup and hold it to your ear. Believe it or not, the moist, warm air will help your ears equalize. Will you look silly? Sure, but your ears will pop and you won't be in pain any longer.
An Earache Due to a Trapped Insect in the Ear
If you get a bug caught in your ear, do not fish around with a Q-tip. Irrigate the ear canal with a solution of three parts rubbing alcohol and one part water until the bug comes out. Use a gentle stream of the solution and resist the urge to wipe your ear canal dry with cotton afterwards; this solution contains enough alcohol to dry itself.
An Earache Due to Skin Irritation
If you've got an earache due to a scratch or skin irritation, ask your doctor for a prescription of ear drops containing an antibiotic to fight infection and a soothing steroid to reduce swelling.
An Earache Accompanied by a Cold or Congestion
If you've got an earache deep inside your ear that is related to congestion, you've got a middle ear infection. Take over-the-counter decongestant medications, clear your sinuses using a nettie pot, take long hot showers to clear your sinuses further and sleep sitting up in an easy chair to help your Eustachian tubes to drain.
An Earache Related to Swimming or Water in the Ear Canal
Dry out the ear canal using drops of rubbing alcohol or an over-the-counter solution such as Auro-Dry. Keep the ear canal dry. See your doctor if the ear does not heal on its own; you may need otic drops with antibiotics and steroids to heal the inflamed and infected skin lining the ear canal.
An Earache After Scuba DivingWhile scuba diving, equalize ear pressure often by plugging your nose and blowing gently to make your ears pop. If your ears ache after diving, try the same methods described above for dealing with air pressure changes. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to deal with the pain and use a warm compress for immediate 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.