10 Simple and Effective Ways to Treat Ear Infections and Earaches

One of the most common reasons people visit the doctor’s office are to be treated for ear infections and earaches. An ear infection occurs when fluid and debris gets trapped inside your ear canal, causing pain and symptoms like an itchy or painful sensation in your ear, difficulty hearing, dizziness, and more.

Some people experience only mild discomfort from an ear infection while others experience severe symptoms, but there are many ways to treat an ear infection, some that require and doctors visit and some that do not.

Read on to learn just how to treat an ear infection!

Gargle Salt Water

Sometimes, bacteria from a strep throat infection can travel upward and affect the eustachian tube, causing an ear infection. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends gargling warm salt water to remedy both conditions. Simply mix a teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and swish!

Our next treatment option addresses pain directly…

Use Ear Drops

Mature man with hearing problem on grey background, closeup

Looks for drops that contain either Benzocaine which numbs pain, or Antipyrine which decreases pain and inflammation. Either of these combined with glycerin is ideal. (Buy from Amazon.) Use only as the package describes and remember that these simply mask the symptoms, not treating an underlying condition.

Our next treatment works more directly at the cause…

Take an Antibiotic

Unlike ordinary painkillers, antibiotics destroy infection-causing bacteria without killing the body’s healthy cells. Amoxicillin and Augmentin are often prescribed to treat ear infections caused by bacteria.

Nothing brings more comfort than a soft, warm touch, just like this next method proves…

Take a Pain Reliever

Over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, and antipyrine and benzocaine otic are often used to soothe ear infections. As far as how to cure an ear infection in kids, doctors discourage aspirin, as it can trigger Reye’s syndrome.

Doctors have these painkillers paired with other medications for a much stronger kick, as the next treatment option shows…

Apply a Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress is a great home remedy for ear aches. To prepare a compress, soak a clean washcloth in warm water, wring it out, fold it, and apply it to your ear. This method relieves pain and loosens fluid buildup inside your ear, and it will have you feeling better in no time.

The next remedy can kill two birds with one stone…

Inhale Steam

Inhaling steam is a popular home remedy to relieve congestion, as it helps open the airways and ease ear pain. The best way to practice this treatment option? Take a hot shower or inhale the steam from a bowl of hot water.

Sometimes, the littlest things can create a huge difference…

Feed Your Infant Properly

Because the pressure from bottle-feeding while lying down can trigger an ear infection in a baby, standing up during feeding can save your baby from developing an ear infection.

Proper posture can go a long way, too…

Stand Still

Having good posture can truly help fight ear infections. For example, standing in an upright position can help drain out the built-up fluid inside the middle ear, a common side effect of a serious ear infection.

The same can be applied for when we snooze…

8. Sleep Upright 

As uncomfortable as it might sound, sleeping in an upright position can mitigate ear pain caused by infection. Sleeping upright also helps unclog the middle ear of its fluid buildup.

Simple kitchen ingredients can come in handy in many ways, too…

9. Eat Garlic 

Eating garlic can strengthen the immune system, and its antibacterial properties prove to be excellent guards against bacteria. Note that babies under six months should not eat garlic, and those six months or older should be introduced with caution. 

And when all else fails…

10. Ask Your Physician About Surgery

If ear fluid buildup continues, a surgical procedure called myringotomy might be necessary. If you think you might need surgery or have experienced ear pain long-term, talk to your physician immmediately.

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