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What are the Best Natural Remedies for Earache?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a number of natural remedies for earache, most of which are typically aimed at relieving the associated pain. Some of the best ways to deal with earache pain include heat from hot water bottles or hair dryers, homemade ear drops, and opening up the Eustachian tubes so that the ears can drain properly. In certain cases, using some of the natural remedies for earache can allow an ear infection to clear up, though if the condition worsens or lingers, it may be necessary to contact a doctor.

One of the best natural remedies for earache is the application of heat to the ear. This can be achieved in a number of ways including hot water bottles, heating pads, and hair dryers. Regardless of the heating method, it is important to moderate the temperature to avoid burns. If a hair dryer is used, it should typically only be applied for a couple minutes at a time. A heating pad or water bottle can be rested on in bed, provided the temperature is watched closely.

Homemade ear drops are another of the popular natural remedies for earache. These can be as simply as a little bit of warmed olive oil, or be more complicated solutions including mineral oil, garlic, and various herbs. Ear drops should typically be no warmer than body temperature, and only a few drops should be applied at a time. The head should be tilted to keep the oil from escaping, and a small cotton ball may be placed gently in the ear. This may help relieve pain, or even alleviate itching symptoms that are often associated with earache.

Opening the Eustachian tubes may also provide relief. This can typically be achieved by propping the head up in bed, though drinking or chewing may also help. Drinking plenty of fluids is usually a good idea regardless of the illness, and in the case of an earache the swallowing motion can actually help open up the Eustachian tubes. Chewing gum may also serve to equalize the pressure within the ear and provide relief.

If using the various natural remedies for earache does not work, it may become necessary to visit a health care professional. The presence of pus or blood in the ear can indicate a serious infection that may not be easily treated with natural remedies. Another potentially serious issue is ruptured ear drums, which is a situation that can worsen if oil or other types of ear drops are used.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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