How To Get Rid Of Ear Aches

Ear aches are incredibly common and one or both ears can be affected. The pain associated with ear aches can range from a slight ache to more severe pain.  This is more likely to affect children, a large percentage of whom will suffer from this condition as babies or before the reach the age of three.  However a majority of people will suffer during the lifetime whether as a child or an adult.  Having an ache in your ear can affect the ability to carry out the daily activities of life and may cause difficulty in sleeping if it is severe, resulting in an overall feeling of being ill.

Ear swelling and ear inflammation will result in ear pain whether it is an infection in the inner ear and eardrum or an infection of the skin of the outer ear.


 

Symptoms of Ear Aches

The most common symptoms of ear aches are a degree of irritation or pain in the ear but there may be other symptoms which could include all or some of the following: slight dizziness with which there may also be a headache; a degree of hearing loss; a buzzing or ringing noise in the ear (also known as tinnitus) or fever, which may be caused by the ear infection or another ailment.

If the person suffering from the ear ache is a baby or child the symptoms could include: pulling or rubbing of the the ear; lack of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea if the stomach has also been affected; difficulty in swallowing liquid or chewing food;  a bad smell or a discharge coming from the ear and difficulty in sleeping because of the soreness in the ear. Read more about baby ear infection here.

Causes Of Ear Aches

  • Another infection, perhaps in the throat or chest or another ailment such as the common cold which can cause ear congestion.
  • A build up of fluid in the inner ear which becomes infected by bacteria.
  • If the ear drum is ruptured.
  • Damaged skin on the outside of the ear which could be caused by a skin disease such as eczema.
  • Impacted ear wax usually caused by pushing wax too hard with a cotton bud.
  • Babies or young children sucking on a pacifier.  These must be washed and renewed regularly.
  • It may be caused by glue ear in children when there is a build up of fluid behind the ear drum.

Occasionally what at first seems to be ear aches is not actually connected to the ears but is caused by teeth or jaw problems. There may be a tooth abscess of an impacted wisdom tooth.  Of course, if there is a possibility this is the case you should book an appointment to visit your dentist and have this examined.

Treatment

Many ear aches will get better own their own but in some other cases treatment will depend on the cause of the condition and the severity of it. If the person experiencing the ear ache pain is a baby or young child give careful and considerable thought before using home remedies or trying to diagnose the problem yourself

For a mild ear aches or slight soreness the following could be tried:

If the cause of the ache is a build up of ear wax do not try to remove this with a cotton bud but try placing a warm towel over the affected ear, dripping a few drops of warm (never hot) olive or similar pure oil into the affected ear or try taking painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

If there is more severe pain and you think the condition could be due to another ailment such as a cold or allergy you could try over the counter products:

  • Following a cold a decongestant medication might reduce any blockage in the ears caused by a build up of mucus.
  • If due to an allergy, antihistamine tables might reduce the blockage in the ear.
  • Antiseptic ear-drops might help to give some pain relief.
  • If there is fever and more severe pain it would be best to consult your doctor for diagnoses and treatment of whatever underlying ailment is causing the condition. It may be necessary for the doctor to prescribe antibiotics.

If it is a baby or child who is suffering from ear aches consult your pharmacist or doctor.  The problem may be caused by glue ear or another condition which only a doctor can diagnose and recommend treatment.

Prevention

At the first signs of an ache or ear pain in the ears you could try the home remedies or the over the counter remedies if you think the condition is caused by another ailment.  If these remedies have not worked after two or three days you should consult your medical practitioner.

Complications

Seek medical advice if the conditions does not clear up. A doctor should be asked for a consultation. If there is a discharge from the painful ear seek medical advice immediately – it is possible the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. It may be necessary to see an ear specialist if the cause of the ear aches are not clear.