Home Remedies for Ear Infections and Ear Aches
There are several things that you can do to relieve the pain of an ear ache. Keep in mind that if the ear ache is caused by an infection, you will need antibiotics to treat and clear it. Home remedies for ear infections will only help with the pain, not the cause.
- Apply heat to the ear to relieve the pain. Use a warm washcloth or a heating pad set on low. (Do not leave a child alone with a heating pad.)
- Prop up your head when you sleep.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. (Do not give aspirin to anyone under 18.)
- Try an over-the-counter oralnasal decongestant (not an antihistamine) to dry up the fluid in the ear.
When it comes to treating ear aches due to water in the ear, there are a few things that you can try to safely dry it out.
- Gently shake your head to expel water trapped in your ear after swimming or showering.
- Use a hair dryer set on low to dry out the ear canal. Hold the dryer 10 to 12 inches away from the ear and aim the warm air into the ear canal.
- Put 1 to 2 drops of rubbing alcohol into the ear to help the water evaporate.
If the ear ache is due to altitude changes, you might try one of these remedies:
- Chew gum or simply swallow to relieve the pressure.
- Keeping your mouth closed, pinch your nostrils shut and gently blow your nose.
- Feed a bottle to an infant or a toddler during takeoff and descent to help prevent his or her ears from becoming clogged and painful.
If the pain persists even after trying our home remedies for ear infections, please see your physician.