Earaches are often the result of infections that lead to the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. This type of ache is quite uncomfortable, and in extreme cases, may lead to permanent ear damage. In addition to ear infections, other causes of the ache in the ears include the common cold, excessive wax accumulation, blocked nose, changes in air pressure as well as trauma to the outer ear.
If the cause of the earache is identified, it is easy for individuals to determine whether natural remedies will be sufficient. In cases where it is unknown, it is important to monitor the progress even with the use of natural remedies. This is important so that if the ear aches extend for a long period of time, it is possible for a medical practitioner to take charge of the condition. More importantly, ear aches tend to occur more frequently in small kids that in adults.
NOTE: Most of the remedies below involve using drops of the choice home remedy in the ear. For this reason, if you have a perforated eardrum, you MUST NEVER use such remedies. The potential risk of introducing the different remedies to a perforated eardrum is particularly grave. Additionally, your selection of home remedies must be guided by your doctor.
1. Heat Compress:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A clean washcloth and a bowl of hot water.
Treating ear aches can easily be achieved using a heat compress. This helps to relieve the pain while soothing the surrounding area. It also works well since it enhances blood circulation to the affected ear. The greatest advantage this home remedy has over conventional treatments is that it is safe for kids too, so you need not worry about their safety. Additionally, the method used is pretty simple, and can be done in a few minutes.
- Damp the clean washcloth using the hot water just enough so that it is not dripping wet.
- Place the hot washcloth on the ear and continue to do so until it looses its warmth. Repeat this procedure as often as may be required to provide relief for the aching ear.
2. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 4 Drops of olive oil, a warm bath, and a dropper.
Olive oil is one of the best natural remedies for the home treatment of ear aches. This is because it helps to eliminate any potential infections in the ear thus addressing the likely causative agent of the ache. Olive oil is also preferred due to its anti-inflammatory properties that help get rid of the inflammation. To improve the efficiency of this remedy, it helps to warm the oil before using it in the ear.
- Place 4 drops of olive oil in a bowl, and transfer the bowl to a warm bath.
- Let the oil heat for a few minutes before removing it from the warm bath.
- Suck the oil using a dropper and pour 4 drops of the oil into the affected ear.
- Tilt your head to the opposite side to prevent the external flow of the oil and to allow it to take effect in the ear.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh ginger, juice extractor (whose function may be replaced by a grater and clean piece of cloth), and dropper. Olive oil is optional.
Ginger is an ideal home remedy for the treatment of ear aches, largely because of its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, when its juice is placed in the aching ear, it helps to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with aching ears. Olive oil may be added to deliver a double punch and provide relief from the pain.
- Peel the fresh ginger and wash it well to get rid of dirt that may introduce germs to the ear.
- If you have a juice extractor, simply place the ginger and extract the juice from it. Alternatively, grate the ginger to get small-sized gratings. You will then place the gratings in the clean piece of cloth and twist the ends in opposite directions to get the juice. Collect the juice in the bowl.
- If using olive oil, simply add it to the fresh ginger juice and stir to mix well.
- Using the dropper, place 4 drops of the ginger juice-olive oil mixture in the aching ear.
- Tilt your head to the opposite side and let the effects set in. Repeat this procedure twice daily until the ache subsides.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Medium-sized onion, a grater, piece of cloth, dropper, and cotton wool.
Onions are a simple effective and easily available home remedy for a myriad of conditions, including aching ears. The reason why it is an ideal home remedy is because it has both antiseptic and antibacterial properties that get rid of any potential infections within the ear. Onions also work well for ear aches resulting from the common cold. The next time you have a dull ache in your ears, simply visit your kitchen cabinet and enjoy the benefits of onions.
- Peel the onions by removing the papery layer and cleaning the fleshy part of the onion bulb.
- Grate the onion to get small gratings in a bowl.
- Place the gratings on a clean piece of cloth and squeeze as hard as you can in order to extract the juice from the onion.
- Using a dropper, place 4 drops of the onion juice in the affected ear. Use the cotton wool to absorb any excess juice. Repeat this procedure twice daily until the aches end.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh neem leaves, pestle and mortar. Alternatively, purchase neem oil and use in place of the neem leaves.
Neem has long been considered a perfect home remedy for an array of health conditions. This is because it is very potent in terms of its anti fungal and antibacterial properties. As such, the extract from neem leaves and neem oil are ideal for the management of ear aches. Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is an excellent anti-inflammatory that helps reduce the inflammation that results from ear aches.
If using fresh neem leaves:
- Sort the neem leaves and pound them using a pestle and mortar.
- Do this until you are able to extract neem juice.
- Sieve the juice and use a dropper to place 3 drops in the aching ear. Repeat this procedure twice daily for best results.
If using neem oil:
- Place the neem oil in a bowl and soak the cotton wool in it.
- Squeeze the excess oil and leave just enough to ensure that the cotton wool is not dripping.
- Place the cotton wool on your ear, making sure you do not push it in further to prevent blocking the ear canal.
- Let the cotton wool stay on the ear for a few minutes before discarding.
Repeat either of the procedures twice daily until your ears stop aching.
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: Fresh garlic cloves, sesame oil, dropper, and filter.
Garlic, just like onion, is loved for its antibiotic properties. This makes garlic perfect for the clearing of any infections likely to cause the ear aches. Its analgesic properties are also an added benefit for anyone looking to get relief from ear aches. The addition of sesame oil is to create a base/ carrier for the minced garlic.
- Peel the garlic and use a pestle and mortar to get the minced garlic. This is done to enable extraction of garlic’s medicinal benefits.
- Place a teaspoon of the minced garlic in a small bowl and add two tablespoons of the sesame oil before mixing well.
- Heat the mixture for some 5 minutes and allow to cool.
- Filter the mixture to get the garlic oil.
- Using a dropper, place 3 drops of the oil into the affected ear. Tilt your head in the opposite direction and allow the garlic oil to act. Repeat this procedure until you get relief from the ear aches.
7. Eucalyptus Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Eucalyptus oil, boiling water, a teaspoon of Vicks Rub, and a clean towel.
Eucalyptus oil is a preferred home remedy used in the management of ear aches. This is because it works by decreasing the pressure in the ears, thus helping drain any accumulated fluids in the ear. This provides much-needed relief from the aching ears, and helps speed up the healing process of the infected ear. Vicks is added because it compliments the function of the eucalyptus oil. It also combines the benefits of heat therapy through the incorporation of steam inhalation.
- Place 3 drops of the eucalyptus oil in the boiling water and stir gently to mix well.
- Scoop a teaspoon of Vicks rub and add to the hot mixture. Stir once more to get the three ingredients to mix well.
- Lower your head over the boiling water in order to inhale the resulting steam.
- Cover your head with the towel to contain the steam and allow inhalation. Do this carefully to eliminate the risk of scalding.
- Once the water cools down, you may opt to repeat the procedure once more for effective results.
8. White Vinegar + Rubbing Alcohol:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: White vinegar, rubbing alcohol, cotton wool, and dropper.
White vinegar is commonly used in the management of ear aches as it has anti-inflammatory properties that speed up the healing process. The alcohol on the other hand, soothes the affected ear and offers relief from the pain. The dual benefits of the two ingredients make them an ideal natural remedy.
- Take half a cup of the white vinegar and add a few drops of the rubbing alcohol before mixing well.
- Place a few drops of the mixture in your ear and allow for the effects to set in.
- Use the cotton wool to soak any excessive mixtures.
Other natural home remedies that you can use in the treatment of ear aches include peppermint leaves which help reduce the pain, tea tree oil which is loved for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as radish in mustard oil. If the ear ache results from significant changes in air pressure, it helps to chew gum in order to relieve the ear ache. In order to reduce the risk of ear aches, it helps to take preventive measures. These include using mineral oil prior to swimming, and drying ears well afterwards. For small children, supervising adults must be keen to be able to spot any accidents arising from the possible insertion of foreign objects in the ear. Lastly, it is important to take note of any potential allergens which may result in ear aches.