What Are Some Good Ear Drops for Earache?

Human ear closeup
Many homemade and commercial ear drops are available. (Image: Paffy69/iStock/Getty Images)

Earache may occur on its own or as a common side effect of ear infection (otitis media). While the treatments for ear infection are varied, the pain may be easily remedied with ear drops. There are many brands of ear drops on the market, both over-the-counter and prescription. As always, a visit with a doctor or alternative practitioner is necessary in order to determine the best course of treatment for each earache sufferer.

Garlic Mullein

Several commercial varieties of garlic mullein drops are available. Herb Pharm and Eclectic Kids are a few of the more popular brands. Garlic mullein drops can also be made at home. First infuse oil (olive or almond are good options) with mullein, which comes from the flower of the same name in an extract. This may take up to two weeks. Then crush a clove of garlic into a few tablespoons of warm oil. Combine the two oils, strain the mixture and apply it directly to the ear canal.

St. John’s Wort and Lavender

St. John’s wort and lavender both have antiviral and antibacterial properties, making them excellent options for the treatment of earache. Ear drops may either be purchased or made at home. Simply add a few drops of these oils to a carrier oil such as olive or almond, add a small amount of heat and apply directly to the ear canal.

Homeopathic

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that uses remedies prepared by serial dilution. Typically a visit with a trained homeopath is necessary in order to choose the most appropriate course of treatment, as different remedies exist for different kinds of earaches. However there are commercial and readily available varieties of homeopathic ear drops on the market. Hyland’s Homeopathic ear drops are a popular choice.

Prescription

Prescription ear drops are a bit stronger than garlic mullein or homeopathic ear drops. They contain an analgesic to help numb the pain. Commonly prescribed brands include Ciprodex, Otocalm and Auralgan. There are several weaker versions of prescription ear drops available over the counter. Similasan, Murine and Debrox are popular brands. Patients will likely be advised to combine treatment with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

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