Ear pain or ache in the ear is not something we commonly suffer from but when it strikes, it will make you forget everything else. Ear infection is more common amongst the children, compared to the elderly and there can be many causes behind an ear ache. While, infection of the ear is one of the most common causes of earache, a cavity can also lead to ear pain. So, it is important that when you are having ear pain, you point out the exact reason.
When ear pain is caused due to infection in the ear it needs to be treated immediately. There are different parts of the ear and the infection in the innermost part is certainly most serious. However, inner ear infections are not very common and if you are having an ear ache suddenly, it is most probably a middle ear infection that can be cured even without an antibiotic.
If you are having ear pain, it is best to try out some effective home treatments, which are expected to soothe the pain within 2-3 days. If the ear ache seems to continue or increase in intensity even after using the home treatments for 2-3 days, consult a doctor immediately.
Common causes of ear ache
One of the most common causes of ear ache is blocking of the Eustachian tube with ear wax. If there is excess wax in the ear, it might block the passage of the inner fluids to come out, causing an inflammation and pain. Infection of virus or bacteria in the ear is the other common cause of ear ache. Often, the bacteria or virus gets into the ear with air and proliferates on the ear wax, causing an infection.
Bacteria and virus can also reach your ear through your dirty hands or unhygienic cotton swabs that you might be using for cleaning the ear. So, before you put anything in your ear make sure that it is sterilized and clean. Ear infection can also occur due to water getting into the ear which then infects the ear wax. Ear infections often go away on their own in a day or two if your body immunity is good and hence treatments for reducing the pain itself can be effective.
Here are some of the most common home treatments for ear infection and ear pain,
Hot rock salt compress for reducing ear ache
Hot rock salt compress can be most effective to reduce the ear ache immediately. It is an easy and age old home treatment that seems to work every time unless you have a major infection in the ear that needs medicines for treatment. Wrap a piece of rock salt in a clean cotton cloth and heat it on a pan. Apply the warm rock salt covered in the cloth onto the base of the ear. Continue compressing for 10 minutes or until the pain eases, but make sure that the temperature of the compress is within the comfortable range and is not very hot that can burn the skin. You can repeat this treatment many times in a day.
Warm mustard oil for treating ear pain
Mustard oil is believed to have some antibacterial properties and warm mustard oil has been used in India as a great treatment for ear ache for centuries. Heat some mustard oil in an iron pan and take it in a smaller container. First ensure the temperature of the oil is in the comfortable range and then put in 2-3 drops of this warm oil in your ear with a dropper. Make sure that you do not put a lot of it or do not do it quickly. The warm oil comforts the pain and also loosens up the wax which then can be removed easily with a cotton swab. You can take this treatment 2 times a day for 2-3 days for results.
Tea tree oil for reliving ear pain
Tea tree oil is known for its potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, so if your ear ache is caused due to infection, tea tree oil can be an effective treatment for it. Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in 5-8 drops of olive oil. Mix the two well. Soak a fresh cotton swab in this oil mixture and apply the oil to the middle ear section with the swab in a slow and steady hand. Do not put the swab to the extreme which can hurt the eardrum. You can repeat this treatment once daily for 2 days but if it does not ease the pain, consult a doctor.
Garlic oil for earache treatment
Garlic oil can be the other effective home remedy for treating earache quickly. If your ear ache has been caused due to infection or accumulation of more wax, in both the cases this remedy can be effective. You can prepare garlic oil in home by boiling 2 smashed cloves of garlic with 1 spoon of olive oil. Finally squeeze out the remaining garlic cloves and pour 2-3 drops of the oil in the ear with a dropper once the temperature of the oil is still hot but comfortable.
Basil leaf extract for ear ache
Basil leaf extract can also be very effective to treat mild ear infections naturally. To use the basil leaf extract, collect some fresh basil leaves, smash them and collect the extract. Soak a fresh ear bud in this leaf extract and use the swab to clean the inner walls of the ear. Make sure that you do not put the swab much deeper that can harm the eardrum.
Mango leaf extract for treating ear pain
This is another age old Indian remedy for ear ache that can give you quick relief for ear pain and will also help in curing the infection. Collect 3-4 soft, fresh and green mango leaves that have just come off. Smash the leaves and extract the juice. Heat up this extract in a pan for 1 minute and when the extract is still warm but not hot put three to four drops of the extract in the infected ear with a dropper. You can repeat this treatment 2-3 times in a day and it will ease the pain quickly.