The causes of ear infections are many, and home treatments can soothe symptoms and hasten healing. Most earaches are painful with sensations that may extend into the head and sinuses. The causes of ear infections range from a foreign object or insect becoming lodged in the ear, wax buildup or bacteria contagion. If ear pain remains, a doctor should be consulted. Never place liquids in an ear with a broken eardrum.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Eardrops made from apple cider vinegar are helpful for treating ear infections and ear pain. Apple cider vinegar changes the pH of the ear canal, creating an environment where bacteria and viruses cannot thrive, according to the Dr Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young, in their book, "The pH Miracle."
Heat the vinegar and test on the inside of the wrist for the temperature. Place a few drops in the painful ear and cover with a piece of cotton. The patient should remain lying with the painful ear facing up to allow the vinegar to penetrate. It is best to use only organic apple cider vinegar, available from health food stores, which is free of pesticides and impurities.
Some ear infections are the result of earwax buildup, according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Use hydrogen peroxide to remove the wax and soothe the ear. In some cases, this is the only treatment needed to relieve an ear infection.
Place few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the painful ear. Remain lying with that side of the head facing upward for a minute or two, allowing the liquid to penetrate the ear canal. Then turn the head to allow the liquid to run out of the ear bringing with it the wax plug and any dirt that may be trapped. This method of wax removal may be repeated. Place a cotton ball in the ear after the wax runs out to keep the ear clean. Do not dig at the ear to try to remove the wax. If treatment with hydrogen peroxide is not successful, see a doctor.
Eucalyptus oil has many medicinal properties and is antimicrobial and antifungal, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The oil is effective for use in earaches for both children and adults. Because of the strong odor, it should be mixed with pharmaceutical grade olive oil, also known as sweet oil, for use in earaches. Sweet oil is an old-time remedy for earaches available in pharmacies; and mixed with eucalyptus oil, provides soothing relief for pain.
Mix the oils together and heat until warm. Use 15 to 30 drops of eucalyptus oil to 1/2 cup of olive oil for topical applications, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center. Always test the temperature on the inner wrist. Place a few drops in the painful ear and cover with a cotton ball. The patient should lie with the painful ear facing upwards. Treatment can be repeated. Eucalyptus oil may produce side effects or interfere with other medicines, so always consult with a health care practitioner before using this remedy.
- Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: Got an ear full? Here’s some advice.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Eucalyptus
- “The pH Miracle”; Robert O. Young, Ph.D. and Shelley Redford Young, 2003