Ear infections are no laughing matter; they can come on suddenly and cause excruciating pain. Often this flare up will occur late at night or on a weekend when your physician is out of the office. This leaves you with two options, an expensive emergency room visit or trying ear infection home remedies. The latter is usually the most desirable but many people simply do not know what is safe to use in a painful ear.
Determine the Cause
The first step to knowing what kind of ear infection home remedy to use is to know the cause of your pain. Ear infections and earaches occur for many different reasons and must be addressed accordingly.
For instance during the summer months many people like to while away the warm days in the pool, which can result in swimmers ear. Constant moisture in the ear results in an angry ear canal that is not protected by wax from harmful bacteria.
Common home remedies for this type of condition include:
- Drying- Moisture is the main cause of your problem, but drying the inside of the ear can pose a challenge. You do not want to insert a cotton swab as this can remove a protective layer of skin. Instead, use a hair dryer on low heat to dry the inside of your ear canal. Hold the dryer about 12 inches from your ear and let the air gently flow over the effected ear for about 30 seconds.
- White Vinegar- Bacteria is also a culprit in swimmers ear and to treat it effectively you can drop a small amount of white vinegar or alcohol/vinegar mix in the ear. These substances act as an anti bacterial and drying agent at the same time.
- Oils- You may have heard that a drop or two of oil, olive, sweet or baby is a good ear infection home remedy. When it comes to swimmers ear it is actually a better preventative measure. The oil acts as a barrier to the water and bacteria that cause this painful problem.
If you have ever had a tooth ache you, know they are as painful as an earache. What you may not know is that one can often cause the other. Inflammation from an infected tooth in the back of the jaw can lead to a painful earache. The roots of certain teeth are close in proximity to the ear canal, so when one or the other is inflamed it can create pain in both.
- Pain Relief- Many times over the counter remedies will simply not kick the pain in your ear and teeth. A great ear infection home remedy for pain is to make a heat pack. You can make your own pack easily with a sock and a cup or so of rice. Take an odd sock and pour in the rice then tie a knot in the top of the sock. Place the sock and rice in the microwave for a few moments. Make sure the pack does not come into contact with water in your microwave, as you will have a huge mess on your hands. Place the heat pack below the ear and along the jaw line for pain relief.
There are many substances you can use as an ear infection home remedy. Garlic, onion, olive oil, vinegar and various other natural substances are great remedies for ear infection and the pain associated with the condition.