Earache is one of those pesky pains that are not taken too seriously, but that does not make them any less of a nuisance. These make it nearly impossible to carry on with normal routine, as they make sleep, work, in short, life, hard.
There are numerous reasons why your ear may be aching. Some people use a Q-tip pretty rigorously, whereas in others, the pain stems from fluid buildup in the ear. Infection in ears is also a very common condition that leads to debilitating pain.
Whereas the precise treatment of the earache rests with an ENT specialist in Lahore, still, you can use home remedies to get some semblance of ease from the perpetual pain. Helpful tips include:
Cool and warm compression
You can use cold pack or heat pad to help with the pain. If you are using ice, make sure it is wrapped properly to avoid injury to the skin. The coolness from the pack should be adequate and comforting, not harsh.
Rather than using ice, you can also use a DIY compress by dipping washcloth in cold water. Wring it out to get the excess liquid out, and then apply the cloth to the ear which hurts.
Similarly, with hot pad, make sure it’s not scalding; the temperature should be soothing, not burning.
Not only does massage help with easing the tension in the muscle, it is also is also helpful in draining the excess fluid, the build-up of which is behind the ache. Massages are particularly effective in cases where tension headache, or pain in the jaw is behind the earache. They also help ease the pain that stems from ear infection.
One helpful cycle includes first applying downward motion to the ear behind ear, running down to the neck. Then, apply the same downward pressure, now to the area at the front of the ear.
Painkillers can also be effective in easing the earache. Ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, all are helpful in giving reprieve from the ache. However, you should consult a doctor about which is most suitable for you.
Painkillers are also beneficial in cases where ear infection is the cause of the pain. As some also help at reducing fever, their impact is two-fold.
Warm oil can also help in easing the pain. Vegetable, olive, tea tree, garlic oils are some that have been known to be helpful. However, they work in cases there is no hole in the ear. Simply, trickle some warm oil down the ear cavity and use cotton ball to hold the oil in.
However, the scientific research corroborating the efficacy of oils is split in opinion.
Often, during flight or high-speed travel especially at altitude, the change in the air pressure results in pressure building in the ears. This state of pain and discomfort can be treated by chewing. The motion and changing pressure in head then helps in improving the symptoms of the condition.
Stay and sleeping upright
It is the simple matter of gravity doing its job. When you stay upright, even when sleeping, you encourage the fluid from your ear to drain out. Not only this helps in reducing the pain, but also eases the pressure in the ear.
You can either sleep in the chair, but if you have got a recliner, that could improve your comfort levels. Since some people cannot sleep in place other than bed, they can also prop against the pillows in bed.
If being vertical is too much, at least aim for resting your head higher than your body. If you are sleeping on your side, be sure to not rest on the ear that aches, as more pressure you put on it, more your ear will ache.
OTC ear drops:
Over-the-counter ear drops can also be effective in providing momentary relief from the earache. However, they do not treat the underlying problem. They are also not recommended for patients with hole in their eardrum or any tear therein. At times, it can also cause stinging in the ear, further discomforting the patient.
Therefore, prior to using these drops, it is best to get the approval from your ENT specialist in Karachi.