Depending on the severity of symptoms, an earache can disrupt the sufferer’s quality of life for as long as it lasts. While an ear pain is usually no reason for concern, dragging yourself through the day with throbbing soreness is unpleasant.
When the aching begins—especially during winter with colds and flu on the rage—our first reflex is to run to the nearest Walgreens and grab NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Advil, and the like). Not a bad idea if we’re in pain. Still, it’s better to understand the root cause of the pain to treat it accordingly.
Should you consider antibiotics? Maybe, but hold on. In this article, we’ll list a few natural ways to relieve that annoying ear pain of yours.
First: Find Out What’s Causing the Ear Pain
Interesting fact: infections aren’t the only reasons for ear pain. Sometimes, the pain may be the result of tense neck muscles, for instance. That might sound unlikely, but we’ll explain it in-depth shortly.
When the pain is the result of an acute infection (otitis media), don’t consider antibiotics right away as you might not need them. People often forget that the misuse of antibiotics favors bacterial resistance, so the fewer antibiotics you take, the better.
A few common signs of infection include:
- A fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty hearing
- Pus drainage (or pus that’s visible inside the ear)
If you don’t have any of these symptoms and the pain is still there, the cause is probably not an infection, but rather a musculoskeletal issue.
Before you try common methods, try these at-home solutions:
Garlic is known as a natural antibiotic thanks to allicin, one of its sulfur compounds. In fact, it’s so potent that it fights food-poisoning bacteria better than some popular antibiotics. For earaches, garlic is as effective as over-the-counter eardrops.
To make your garlic earache remedy, it’s recommended that you peel the garlic and put a clove with the tip cut off in your ear. When you crush or cut the garlic, it releases natural oils, which in this case will go inside your ear canal.
Avoid pushing the garlic deep inside your ear. Also, avoid using garlic or eardrops if you have a ruptured eardrum.
Prefer Certain Sleeping Positions
Another natural way to relieve ear pain is to watch the way you’re sleeping. Some positions won’t make you feel any better and might even worsen the pain.
We know it sounds uncomfortable, but WebMD suggests that sleeping in an upright (sitting) position relieves pressure in the ear. You can even recline a bit—just make sure you’re not lying on the side of the pain and your head isn’t lower than your shoulders. This sounds far less uncomfortable than sleeping with throbbing pain.
See a Physical Therapist or a Chiropractor
Ever heard of trigger points? These tender spots tend to flare up when a muscle is contracted due to overexertion or trauma. They might feel sore and sometimes piercingly painful in their exact location, or the pain may radiate towards other areas—something we call “referred pain.”
If your earache
doesn’t bring you a fever or any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, your
best bet is to visit either a chiropractor or a physical therapist for
an examination. Your pain could be nothing but inflamed trigger points
on your jaw or neck muscles, which tend to radiate pain towards the ear.
Don’t go putting CBD oil in your ear just yet because there’s not enough evidence to support the product’s efficacy if administered this way. Instead, take it orally. Its potential anti-inflammatory effects may not only be good for ear pain but overall health.
If you’re unsure about which brand of CBD oil to choose, compare CBD products and prices at The CBD Insider.
(Before trying any new herbal remedies, consult a doctor!)
Visit a Health Care Practitioner
If you feel more comfortable talking to your trusted primary care doc, do so. It’s even better if you visit a specialist, such as an audiologist with a professional experience that compares to theaudiologists in Highlands Ranch, at the Sound Relief Hearing Center. It’s also important to perform hearing tests at any sign of hearing loss, even if it results from an infection. At any sign of hearing disturbances (like tinnitus, for example), visit your ENT.