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Woke up with an earache: The request could not be satisfied


Earaches: Everything You Should Know

Not all earaches require serious medical attention. In most cases, earaches, though uncomfortable and inconvenient, can go away on their own without the need for any special care or medicine. Nonetheless, when you understand the causes and symptoms, you will be better equipped to handle ear pain and choose the right treatment. Thankfully, there are several earache remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms. These remedies include:


Over-the-counter medicine

Many pain relievers that you can find in your local grocery store or drugstore provide effective earache relief. Before spending money on seeing a doctor and buying expensive antibiotics, the best thing you can do is go to a pharmacy and pick up some ibuprofen or aspirin.


A warm towel or ice pack

What seems to work for many people with ear pain is a warm towel or ice pack. Place either the towel or ice pack on the affected ear. After 10 minutes, move it to the other ear if pain is present in both.


Ear drops

Ear drops for pain is a good treatment option. Antipyrine and benzocaine otic provide ear pain relief and can be found in most local drugstores. There are ear drops made from herbal extracts that may be more suitable for certain people. However, if you decide to use ear drops, you should speak to your primary care physician first to see if it’s safe for you.


How to sleep with an ear infection

Certain sleeping positions can either make earache symptoms worse or better. If you are experiencing an ear pain, you should not sleep on the side where you have the pain. Instead, try to sleep with the affected ear raised or elevated – these two positions should reduce the pain and not aggravate your ear infection any further.


Chewing gum

This is probably the most practical solution, especially if the ear pain is related to pressure caused by being on a plane.


What about a home remedy for ear pain relief?
Home remedies are quick and convenient but should not replace the advice from your own doctor. When something seems to feel different in your physical health – whether it’s your ears or any other part of your body – it’s important you make sure there is nothing seriously wrong. If you don’t see any improvements after trying certain home remedies for an earache, you should speak to your doctor about your symptoms. In most cases, an earache is a temporary issue that can go away with a little bit of care. However, if the symptoms get worse or you don’t see improvements after several days, you should definitely reach out to a healthcare professional.

Earache | Ministry of Health NZ

Common causes of earache

  • An ear infection
  • A throat, nose or mouth infection
  • A build-up of ear wax
  • Changes in altitude or air pressure (eg, when an aeroplane lands)
  • An object, growth, or insect in the ear
  • A disease of the gland in front of the ear (eg, mumps).

See your doctor for earache

The ear canal is very delicate. It’s never a good idea to put anything in your ear that hasn’t been prescribed.

See your doctor if you or a family member – especially a child – has earache.

Your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat the cause of the earache. Sometimes a medical procedure or surgery may be needed.

Get back to your doctor quickly if you have:

  • new discharge from your ear canal
  • dizziness, nausea, vomiting or vertigo
  • a severe headache, stiff neck or really bad pain in the ear.

Call Healthline 0800 611 116 if you’re unsure what you should do.

Earache in children

Earaches are common in children.

If your child has an earache, they may:

  • tug or rub on the painful ear
  • have fever, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.


The usual cause of earache in children is middle ear infection (or otitis media). The infection often begins as a cold, sinus infection or throat infection. Bacteria enter the child’s nose or throat then travel up the tubes to their ear. The child begins to feel pain as their eardrum becomes swollen and red, and fluid builds up in the air space behind the eardrum.

Earache in adults

Adults also get ear infections, but not as commonly as children.

Middle ear infections in adults may cause earaches, hearing loss and a feeling of blockage in the ear.

Self care

As well as seeing your doctor, try the following:

  • A warm face cloth, wheat bag or covered hot water bottle held against your affected ear may help relieve the discomfort.
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain or fever. (Follow the directions given by your doctor or pharmacist.)
  • Lie with the affected ear away from your pillow, propped up on 1-2 pillows
  • If your ear is discharging, gently wash the outer ear with soap and a face cloth. See your doctor.
  • Don’t use eardrops unless your doctor tells you to.

Ear Infections (Otitis Media): Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Otitis media (oh TIE tis ME dee uh) means the middle ear is infected or inflamed.
It is the most common reason for young children to visit their primary care provider.
Ear infections are usually seen in children younger than three years of age, but anyone
of any age can get an ear infection. There are 2 main types of otitis media: acute otitis
media with effusion, and chronic otitis media with effusion. Effusion (ef FYOO zhun) means fluid in the middle ear space. Acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear
that starts suddenly with fever, pain and irritability. Chronic otitis media with effusion is
not an infection, but is inflammation where there is fluid in the middle ear space for 3 months or more.

Acute otitis media with effusion is caused by germs or viruses in the middle ear space. As they grow, they cause pus to form behind the eardrum which causes pressure, pain, and sometimes fever. This infection is usually very painful.

Chronic otitis media is less painful than acute otitis media with effusion. This is inflammation that occurs when the eustachian (yoo STAY shun) tube, the
tube leading from the middle ear to the throat, is not ventilating the ear correctly. Fluid cannot drain, so it builds up behind the eardrum. This type of otitis media should not be treated with antibiotics, which are medicines that treat infection but will not resolve the fluid in the middle ear.

While there is fluid in the middle ear, there can be temporary hearing loss. Very rarely, an untreated acute otitis media can lead to permanent hearing loss. If your child shows signs of ear infection, he or she should be
seen by a doctor as soon as possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Otitis Media (Many Other Conditions Can Also Cause These Symptoms)

When otitis media comes on suddenly, you may notice:

  • Pulling or rubbing the ears or rolling the head from side to side
  • Fussiness
  • Crying that does not stop when the child is comforted, especially at night
  • Waking up at night crying
  • Fever over 101°F axillary (under the arm)
  • Loss of appetite (refusing to eat)
  • Infants will not suck because it causes pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Otitis Media With Effusion

If your child is old enough to tell you, he may complain of:

  • A feeling of fullness in the ears
  • A popping feeling when swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • A feeling of motion in the ears
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Your child may turn up the volume on the TV or radio or sit very close to it.
  • Teachers may be concerned about your child’s hearing or inattention in the classroom.


In many cases, acute otitis media will resolve without antibiotics, so they are not always needed for treatment. For these children Tylenol® or Motrin® may be given for the fever, pain, and irritability.

For some children with severe acute otitis media, antibiotics will be prescribed. If
your doctor orders antibiotics, make sure you give all the medicine, even if your
child feels better.

How to Help Prevent Ear Infections

While most children get ear infections, there are a few things parents can do to try to prevent them:

  • Breast feeding infants until at least age 6 months may help to lessen the number of ear infections.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke. Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home or car.
  • Always hold your baby with his head up during feeding time (Picture 2). Babies should not be fed by propping the bottle or while lying flat.The formula can get into the middle ear and cause an infection.
  • Do not leave a bottle in the crib for the baby to drink at bedtime.
  • Make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date.
  • If your child is diagnosed with acute otitis media, avoid giving him a pacifier.Dress your child properly in cold and rainy weather.

Follow-up Appointments

After your child has taken the prescribed medicine, the doctor will want to check the ears again. Make an appointment with your child’s doctor in 2 weeks for him to be checked again.

Some children may need to have a hearing test as part of their follow-up exam. Your doctor may do this in the office or he may have an audiologist do the test.

If your child continues to have lots of ear infections, you might be referred to an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) doctor to discuss surgery.

If you need a doctor for your child, call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Referral and Information Line at (614) 722-KIDS.

Ear Infections (Otitis Media) (PDF)

HH-I-54 1/80, Revised 2/18 Copyright 1980, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Earaches in Adults: What You Need to Know

Been a while since you woke up with a sharp, stabbing earache? Such a distant memory you don’t even know where to find a heating pad like the one your mom used to carefully apply to the side of your face?

Consider yourself lucky — but not necessarily off the hook. Although ear infections are more common among children, some 20% occur in adults. Bad news for those of us who thought we had outgrown that phase for good. But the good news is, for the most part, there are easy ways to fix the problem, and even easier ways to avoid the common mistakes that can land even the most responsible adults in the reclining chair of an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT).

Luckily, Dr. Brian Wang, an ENT doctor at Houston Methodist, is here to answer all of our burning questions about the types of ear problems that most frequently occur in adults.

What is the most frequent type of ear infection in adults?

Dr. Wang: An outer ear infection, or otitis externa, is the type we most frequently encounter in adults. These can strike anyone at any age, with or without a history of ear infections. Outer ear infections are also known as swimmer’s ear, because they are typically caused by the introduction of moisture from outside the body. The ear canal is a warm, moist area of the body, the perfect breeding ground for bacterial or fungal growth and an easy entry point for moisture to enter. Adults who are more predisposed to getting otitis externa include those with eczema of the ear canal and those who frequently insert cotton swabs into their ear canal.

How do cotton swabs cause outer ear infections?

Dr. Wang: Earwax is a natural way for your body to trap and slow the growth of bacteria that may have entered your ear. When you apply cotton swabs, you often wind up pushing earwax further into the ear canal. This impacted wax can then trap water or moisture deep in the canal, setting you up for an infection.

So … we should NOT insert cotton swabs into our ears to try to clean them or remove earwax, right?

Dr. Wang: Correct. Use of Q-Tips can cause not only outer ear infections, but also trauma of the ear canal or eardrum, which can affect hearing and cause other types of infection and ear pain. Also, part of the swab can break off, leaving a foreign body in your ear that needs to be removed. It’s a common reason for ER visits, actually. If you feel you have a buildup of ear wax, I recommend applying a tissue or soft thin cloth to your finger and wiping gently around the entrance to the ear. There are also over-the-counter ear wax removal kits from Debrox® that are safe to use, when used as directed.

Can you get an outer ear infection from sweating a lot when you work out?

Dr. Wang: It’s not common, but yes. It’s called swimmer’s ear because that is what usually causes it. But moisture can also be introduced into the ear from showering, taking a bath, rain or sweat dripping into your ear — even high humidity. Outer ear infections are mostly caused by bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungus, such as the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.

What do you suggest for people who feel like there might be moisture in their ears?

Dr. Wang: You can usually feel it if there’s some water in your ear, right? If you notice that, turn your head to the side and try to shake the water out or let it drain out. You can also place a tissue paper or thin dry cloth around your finger and wipe outside the opening of your ear with your head turned sideways. If you still feel it, or have a history of getting a lot of outer ear infections, use drops to dry out your ears. You can buy Swim-EAR® or other brands over the counter, or you can look up how to make your own by mixing together rubbing alcohol and vinegar. A cool or warm hair dryer may also be effective.

How are outer ear infections treated?

Dr. Wang: Most ENT doctors and primary care physicians will prescribe antibiotic ear drops only. Typically, oral antibiotics are not necessary, and we like to avoid overprescribing them so they continue to work when we actually need them. Occasionally, the opening of the ear may be too inflamed or sticky to get the drops in, so we have to stick a little wick in there to get the drops where they need to go. The provider may prescribe oral antibiotics if the outer ear infection is really severe.

What other types of ear infections affect adults?

Dr. Wang: A middle ear infection, or otitis media, is most frequently associated with children, but adults get them as well. This type of ear infection happens when viruses or bacteria get into the middle ear — the space behind the eardrum. The middle ear fills with pus or infected fluid. The pus pushes on the eardrum, which can be very painful. Middle ear infections are caused by swelling in one or both of the Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the throat and act as release valves to equalize pressure within the middle ear. When that process is interfered with, that’s when infections can develop.

What’s the difference between the middle ear infections we get as children versus the middle ear infections we get as adults?

Dr. Wang: The underlying causes are usually different. They are more frequent in children because their shorter, more horizontal Eustachian tubes are more likely to get blocked. Also, their adenoids are larger compared to the rest of the throat and can interfere with the opening of the Eustachian tubes. And finally, children’s immune systems are immature and colds and viruses are often passed around day care and school.

So what causes middle ear infections as adults?

Dr. Wang: In adults, they are usually associated with inflammation in the nasal cavity or the throat, such as a sinus infection, strep throat, cold or flu — or if the patient has acid reflux, bad seasonal allergies, is a smoker or is exposed to second-hand smoke. The nasopharyngeal inflammation leads to Eustachian tube dysfunction, which then leads to fluid developing in the middle ear that then becomes infected. Sometimes patients who had middle ear infections a lot as kids continue to get them frequently as adults. Something about the anatomy or physiology of their tubes was never really resolved.

How are middle ear infections treated?

Dr. Wang: Frontline treatment for middle ear infections is a course of oral antibiotics. Sometimes steroids can be added if the pain is severe, which doesn’t help resolve the infection any faster but can reduce the inflammation and pressure causing the pain. If you’ve been on standard treatments for several days but your ear still aches or feels full, you should be referred to an ENT, who may recommend different medications or elect to lance the eardrum to remove the fluid. If you keep getting middle ear infections, you may have to have ear tubes placed in your ears, just like we do with children.

Are there any differences in getting ear tubes as an adult versus as a child? Do you still have to avoid swimming?

Dr. Wang: They function pretty much the same for kids as adults. You still have to have relative water precautions. You can swim but it may be safest to use ear plugs or a swim band to keep water out. The main difference is adults typically do fine with ear tube placement in the office. There’s no need for an OR or general anesthesia like there traditionally has been for kids. Actually, there’s a new procedure for placing ear tubes in kids that allows us to do it super quickly with local anesthesia only. So now we can do that in clinic as well.

Any other recent innovations in the treatment of ear infections?

Dr. Wang: There’s a procedure I’ve been doing for a few years called Eustachian tube dilation. Using endoscopic guidance through the nose, you insert a balloon in the Eustachian tube, blow it up and leave it there for up to two minutes. This can address the Eustachian tube dysfunction that leads to middle ear infections. I’ve found it works in about 50% of patients, so it doesn’t work for everyone. But it’s so noninvasive, it’s a good place to start with certain patients who are good candidates for it. There’s also a new drug that is almost like a gel that you can squirt into the ear canal. It slowly dissolves and may be easier to get into those really clogged areas than traditional drops.

Are there other types of ear infections that can affect adults?

Dr. Wang: There is something called an inner ear infection. Inner ear infections are pretty different from outer and middle ear infections, and much rarer overall. We see them primarily in adults. Inner ear infections typically present with hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, you should rest, avoid driving, sudden movements and alcohol. Inner ear infections will usually clear up in several days on their own, but if symptoms don’t go away, you should call your primary care provider or ENT doctor. Note: If you have sudden hearing loss in one ear, get in to see your doctor immediately or call 911, because tests need to be performed immediately.

Any other words of advice for adults regarding ear infections?

Dr. Wang: Do not stick anything in your ears! Also, if you have diabetes, be very careful with ear infections. They might be much more persistent, painful and treatment resistant. If this happens to you, really prioritize getting your blood sugar under control, because that can greatly affect your body’s ability to shake the infection.

Earache – causes, treatment | Southern Cross NZ

Earache is a term used to describe various kinds of pain felt in one or both ears. Other symptoms may be muffled hearing or a feeling of pressure or blockage. Earache, especially in an infant or child, should be checked by a doctor.


Earache (also known as otalgia) is a common condition that mainly affects infants and children but can also occur in adults.  It can have many causes, including:

  • Ear infection  (e.g. middle ear infection, outer ear infection)
  • Throat infection (e.g. tonsillitis, strep throat)
  • Nose infection or sinusitis
  • Mouth infection (e.g. dental abscess)
  • Teething in children
  • Flu or common cold
  • Measles
  • A build-up of ear wax
  • Injury to the ear from air pressure changes (e.g. changes in altitude)
  • An abscess or growth in the ear
  • A foreign object (e. g. an insect) stuck in the ear
  • Injury or trauma from inserting objects (e.g. fingernails, cotton buds) in the ear 
  • A disease (e.g. mumps) affecting the parotid gland, which is close to the ear.

An ear infection is a common cause of earache in children but is less likely to be a cause of earache in adults.

As shown in the list above, earache is not always caused by a problem with the ear itself. Ear pain or discomfort may be due to a problem in another place, such as infections or disorders of the throat, mouth, or the joint in the jaw. This is known as referred pain.

Ears generally clean themselves and rarely if ever require cleaning. Ear wax build-up and blockage often happens when people use items like a cotton bud to try to clean their ears but end up pushing the ear wax farther into the ears and possibly causing injury to the ear.



An important part of the proper functioning of the ear is the eustachian tube, which links the middle part of each ear to the back of the throat. The eustachian tube drains fluid that is produced in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up and cause glue ear. This may lead to increased pressure behind the eardrum or an ear infection, which may be felt as pain or a blockage.

Another function of the eustachian tube is to allow the equalisation of air pressure in the middle ear with the outside (i.e. atmospheric) pressure. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked the ear may not be able to equalise leading to increased pressure in the middle ear, which can cause pain or discomfort and possibly injury.

Signs and symptoms

Earache can be pain that is sharp, burning, dull, or throbbing. It can affect one or both ears. The pain may be constant, or come and go. Other signs and symptoms may be a feeling of pressure or blockage in the ear and muffled hearing.

In infants and very young children, signs and symptoms indicating that they might have earache include:

  • Rubbing or pulling their ear
  • Fever (temperature of 38°c or higher)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Fluid coming out of the ear
  • Not reacting to certain sounds
  • Difficulty sleeping or irritability and restlessness
  • Crying more than usual
  • Lack of interest in food.


While many cases of earache will improve on their own within a few days, it’s recommended you see your GP if you or a family member has earache. If the family member with earache is an infant or child, contact your GP or practice nurse immediately.  If you are uncertain, call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

If the earache is caused by a bacterial ear infection your GP will most likely prescribe a course of antibiotics. The antibiotics should be used exactly as instructed by your GP or a pharmacist.

New fluid discharge from the ear, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, a severe headache, stiff neck or extreme ear pain are reasons to return to your GP immediately.

In addition to seeing a doctor, the following self-treatment suggestions may help to lessen the symptoms of earache:

  • Using over-the-counter pain medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (note, children aged under 16 years shouldn’t take aspirin)
  • Placing a cold or warm pack or wet flannel on the affected ear to help relieve the pain
  • Chewing may help to relieve the pain and pressure of an ear infection
  • Sitting upright instead of lying down may reduce the pressure in the ear
  • Sucking on a lolly or chewing gum or allowing infants to breastfeed or suck on a bottle or may help to relieve pain caused by a change of altitude (e.g. when an airplane is landing).


The following recommendations can help to prevent earache:

  • Don’t stick objects in your ears (e.g. fingers, cotton buds)
  • Try to avoid water getting inside your ears
  • Dry your ears thoroughly but gently after bathing or swimming
  • Don’t smoke around children (second-hand smoke is a cause of ear infection in children)
  • Only use eardrops if told to by your GP.

Further information and support

Freephone: 0800 611 116
Website: www.healthline.govt.nz

Royal New Zealand Plunket Society 
Freephone: PlunketLine 0800 933 922 
Website: www.plunket.org.nz


Cleveland Clinic (2017). Ear wax build-up and blockage (Web Page). Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14428-ear-wax-buildup–blockage [Accessed: 24/01/19]
Ministry of Health (2018). Earache (Web Page). Wellington: New Zealand Government Ministry of Health. https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/earache [Accessed: 23/01/19]
MedlinePlus (2018). Earache (Web Page). Bethesda, MD: US National Library of Medicine (NIH). https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003046.htm [Accessed: 23/01/19]
NHS (2017). Earache (Web Page). Redditch: National Health Service (NHS) 
England. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/earache/ [Accessed: 24/01/19]
NHS inform (2018). Earache (Web Page). Glasgow: National Health Information Service, National Health Service (NHS) Scotland. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/earache [24/01/19]
O’Toole, M.T. (Ed.) (2013). Earache. Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions (9th ed.). St Louis, MI: Elsevier Mosby.

Created: February 2019

Is an earache a new COVID-19 symptom?

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Doctors say they’re seeing a new COVID-19 symptom in some patients.

According to experts, an earache is now being reported more and more by those testing positive for the coronavirus. Earaches can cause pain, a feeling of blockage and sometimes muffled hearing.

With new emerging COVID variants, doctors are reporting that symptoms are indeed changing.

In fact, this past weekend, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, specifically cited an earache as one of his symptoms during a news conference on Zoom, where he announced his positive diagnosis.

“This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a little bit of an earache, so I went and got tested,” he said Sunday.

The announcement came less than 24 hours after the team was in Tampa over the weekend for a Buccaneers preseason game.

‘I’ve never seen someone so sick’: Wife urges vaccination after husband’s COVID experience

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste of smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

The CDC notes, however, that this list doesn’t cover all possible symptoms.

Dr. Nicole Frommann, the medical director for Tampa General Hospital, told WFLA that an earache is usually not “an isolated symptom.”

“The reason we are seeing earaches more often is because sore throat is so prominent, and the earache is coming from sore throat,” she said. “We sometimes see earaches, but usually associated with other symptoms, especially sore throat.”

According to Prevention magazine, tinnitus, which causes a ringing, roaring, clicking or buzzing in the ears, has also been linked to COVID-19.

What’s the difference between a booster and a 3rd dose of the COVID vaccine?

As virus variants and their symptoms emerge, COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly. Fueled by the now-dominant delta variant, new reported cases in the U.S. have topped 150,000 a day, the highest level since late January. Nationally, the rate of increase has slowed, but the variant threatens to overwhelm emergency rooms in parts of the country.

“COVID patient after COVID patient, we are overwhelmed with the patients with COVID. I would say it’s worse than last year,” Frommann said.

The CDC says most variants cause similar COVID-19 symptoms, but some, such as the alpha and delta variants, may cause more sickness and deaths.

Frommann warned that the pandemic shows no signs of slowing. The CDC encourages people to take proper precautions to avoid the virus, including wearing a mask, social distancing, handwashing and getting vaccinated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

12 Home Remedies for Earaches

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Waiting patiently will usually get rid of an earache, but they aren’t pleasant. I’ve put together a list of 12 home remedies for earaches for children and adults to help quickly relieve pain. We also have tips to avoid ear infections in the future.

Why is my ear in pain?

Ear pain is most commonly associated with fluid buildup behind the ear drum linked to a middle ear infection. This is also known as acute otitis media (AOM).

Thankfully, you don’t need antibiotics to treat most ear infections. They are viral infections, not bacterial infections. In fact, using antibiotics may cause adverse reactions.

In “Antibiotics for acute otitis media in children“, which reviewed earache treatments for several thousand children, they noted that, “Adverse events (such as vomiting, diarrhea or rash) occurred more often in children taking antibiotics.” Those children treated with antibiotics did not get better faster than those who simply waited for the infection to pass.

Sometimes ear pain is caused by injury, or water or other fluid trapped in the ear. (This includes swimmers ear.)

Safety Tips for Treating an Ear Infection at Home

For very young children, warm compresses and steam are the safest earache remedies. You may also use plain, warm drops of olive oil or coconut oil. Never use ear drops or oils inside the ear if a child has ear tubes or there is a chance of eardrum perforation.

Older children and adults may use any of the treatments. Do not stick anything deep into your ears, which may cause hearing loss. Please see your healthcare practitioner if pain is extreme, or if your child has a fever over 100.4°F or discharge coming from the ears.

#1 – My Favorite Home Remedy for Ear Pain – Warm Compresses

When I was a little girl, I remember having an ear infection accompanied by one very sore ear. To help me feel better, my mom took a small throw pillow and warmed it up in the oven. She left it in a bit too long, though, and it started to singe. She put the fire out, and I rested my head on one slightly charred pillow – and the pain went away.

Nowadays most houses have microwaves, which make it easier to heat up a warm compress for earache treatment. You can buy or make a compress.

We recommend hot packs from Core Products, a small business located in western Wisconsin. They make soft covered hot/cold packs that we use as foot warmers at night and for treating headaches and earaches.

To make a simple warm compress for ear pain relief, place popcorn or rice into an old sock or small pouch. Seal the end and heat in short bursts until warm. Hot water bottles are a great option if you don’t have a microwave – just make sure you don’t get the water too hot.

#2 – Steam

If you can’t keep a warm compress on your little one’s sore ear, try plugging in a humidifier or taking a warm shower. (This works for adults, too.) Colds and sore throats lead to swelling and inflammation in the airways. Opening and relaxing airways with warm, moist air can relieve pressure and ease ear pain.

#3 – Garlic Oil

There are dozens of variations of garlic in olive oil for earaches. One of the ones I like best is the “Children’s Ear Oil” from Herbal Antibiotics, which combines garlic and eucalyptus for a double anti-bacterial, anti-viral punch. Clear the ear infection and you get rid of the earache.

This should be stored in a tinted bottle in a cool dark location, or in the refrigerator, and used within two weeks.

Children’s Ear Oil

Adapted from Herbal Antibiotics


  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) good quality olive oil
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil


Place garlic and olive oil in a small sauce pan on low heat. Cook overnight or for eight hours.

Strain, squeezing well to get as much oil as possible out of the garlic. Add eucalyptus essential oil and mix well. Store in a tinted bottle.

To use: Place glass eyedropper in a stream of hot water for 1 minutes (to warm dropper). Dry quickly (to retain heat) and suction up ear oil from bottle. Place 2 drops in both ears every half hour or as often as needed for 2 to 7 days. Never place fluid into the ear if there is any chance of a ruptured eardrum. 

#4 – Mullein Oil

Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is used for treating respiratory ailments and many other illnesses. (See Weekly Weeder #13 – Common Mullein for more info.) As an earache treatment, infuse the flowers and buds in olive oil, and then apply them to the ear in the same manner as the garlic oil above.

To infuse the flowers in oil, gather enough blooms to partially fill a small jar. Cover with olive oil and let sit for a week or two. Strain and place in a tinted bottle.

I like to let my blossoms set in a shallow bowl or on a plate for an hour or so before putting them in a jar with oil to give any buggies hiding in them a chance to escape. You can also add a clove of chopped garlic to your oil for extra germ fighting.

If you don’t have fresh mullein blossoms available, you can buy mullein oil already made, such as the Ear Oil (with mullein and garlic) and mullein oil from Herb Pharm.

Order Herb Pharm Ear Oil for kids here.

They also carry St. John’s Wort oil, which is recommended for earaches in the book Prescription for Herbal Healing.

#5 – Essential Oil Ear Ache Treatment Rub

This recipe is adapted from the book “Be Your Own Doctor” by Rachel Weaver, M.H.. Remember, do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin – always use a carrier oil. I don’t recommend this as an earache remedy for small children, who may rub their ears and then rub the oil into their eyes.

Essential Oil Earache Rub


Mix all ingredients and apply gently around the ears at the first sign of infection. Reduces infection and relieves inflammation.

#6 – Herbal Steam Inhalations

Herbal steam inhalations help reduce nasal swelling caused by cold, dry winter air and increase airflow to the eustachian tubes.

To prepare an herbal steam inhalation, simply heat up a pot of water and pour it into a bowl or basin. Add a handful of fresh or dry herbs such as German chamomile, elderberry flowers and/or lemon balm. Lean over the basin and inhale the steam. To get the most out of the treatment, use a large towel to create a tent over your head and trap the steam.

#7 – Apple Cider Vinegar

As I researched home remedies, I’ve found that people use apple cider vinegar (ACV) to cure just about everything. Earaches/ear infections are no exception. Dee from San Diego, California writes on Earth Clinic:

“Apple cider vinegar also works great when getting an earache. My ENT told me to put some in the ear at the first sign of trouble, leaving it there for a minute then letting the ACV run out the ear… Repeat one more time 12 hours later.”

#8 – Hydrogen Peroxide

Is hydrogen peroxide good for earaches?

My friend, Julie, told me her mom used hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy for earaches for all 12 of her children.

The easiest way to use hydrogen peroxide for earaches is to soak a cotton ball and use it to squeeze a few drops into the ear canal. Gently irrigate the area afterward with warm water to clear any debris.

#9 – Hot Herbal Tea

While you’re applying warmth from the outside, you can also apply warmth from the inside. Echinacea, German chamomile, and holy basil are herbs that promote healing and relaxation.

Echinacea boosts the immune system, and fights infections that affect the ear, nose and throat area.

#10 – Onions

Onions are a preferred earache remedy in the book Be Your Own Doctor. Some people simply cut an onion in half and place it over the affected ear. Others gently heat a small portion of the onion until warm but not soft, and tuck the heated onion into the ear as an earache cure. Some people wrap the onion in a warm, moist cloth; others use it directly on the ear.

Another option is to squeeze out some onion juice, heat gently, and put a few drops into the ear. Recommended onion ear compress time is around 10-15 minutes, or until the onion cools. Rest quietly while treating, and gently clean out the ear with warm water after the onion treatment.

#11 – Homeopathic Earache Relief Ear Drops

Homeopathic earache relief drops with herbal extracts, such as Similasan, are popular for earache treatment and have been in use for decades. Similasan earache relief drops active ingredients include:

  • Chamomilla 10X – for sensitivity to drafts, soothing
  • Mercurius solubilis 15X – relieves fullness, sensitivity to cold
  • Sulphur 12X – reduces itchiness, sensitivity to water

#12 – Over the Counter Pain Relievers

Ear pain is linked to inflammation, so nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve, Motrin) can help bring relief.

Pain relievers don’t heal the infection, so these aren’t my first choice, but they can help alleviate the pain enough so you can rest and heal.

Preventing Ear Pain Before it Starts

If chronic ear infections are a problem, look for environmental factors. Households with smokers have more ear issues, and infants who are breast fed have less issues than their formula fed counterparts.

Food allergies may be linked to ear pain

Food allergies can contribute to chronic ear infections. If you deal with chronic ear infections or other chronic health problems, try adjusting your diet.

Common allergens include dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts. Work with your health care provider to see if you can identify any problem foods. Keeping ears clean and dry can also help prevent ear issues.

Xylitol Helps Prevent Ear Infections

Finnish researchers gave daycare children five servings of two pieces of xylitol sweetened gum per day. These children had roughly half as many ear infections.

Another study using larger doses three times per day was not as effective. Please see “Ear Infections and Xylitol” for more information.

Try Lymph Drainage Massage for Chronic Ear Pain

If you have persistent ear pain issues, check out this video from MassagebyHeather.com to help improve lymph drainage for the ears.


American Academy of Pediatrics, “The Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis Media”

Study: Ear infections less likely in breastfed babies

Study of Effect of Household Parental Smoking on Development of Acute Otitis Media in Children Under 12 Years

The Role of Food Allergy in Otitis Media with Effusion

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. See a trained healthcare provider if pain is severe or persistent.

More Home Remedies

I hope you found this post helpful. Don’t forget to check out the Full List of Home Remedies , including:

Originally published in 2013, last updated in 2019.

If the ear hurts … – ZOKB

Many people, regardless of age, suffer from various diseases of the ears. But rarely, in this case, someone immediately runs to the doctor, more often they diagnose themselves and begin treatment: they warm up, rinse, drink pills … But the insidiousness of this symptom is that it is characteristic of different diseases that require a different approach. So it turns out that the reason is one, and the person heals another. As a result, the disease progresses and leads to complications that are difficult even for a doctor to cure.Therefore, in order not to waste precious time and immediately start treatment, it is important to find out what it is: inflammation or another reason, and take action. Doctor of the Department of ENT Microsurgery of the ZOKB Igor Arkadievich Raskin helped us to understand this.

“In general, there are many types of middle ear pathology. Diseases of the middle ear are divided into chronic and acute. Chronic diseases of the middle ear are those that last for a long time (3 months or more), and patients, as a rule, are overwhelmingly aware of them.Such diseases cannot be treated on their own. It is imperative to consult a doctor at regular intervals. The frequency depends on the nature of the course of the disease. For prevention, a special medical examination of the population is being introduced. This is done so that patients who, for one reason or another, cannot go to a doctor on their own, have the opportunity to do an examination and get professional advice from a doctor.

The vast majority of patients who suffer from chronic or acute otitis media can get absolutely socially adequate hearing as a result of timely treatment.And with pathology of the inner ear, as a result of which the nervous receptor apparatus, which perceives sound and sends it to the center of the brain, is affected, here the clinic is sometimes very blurred and is expressed in hearing loss. The clinic of the regional hospital has the only specialist in Zaporozhye and the region who is called upon to deal directly with this particular pathology. This is an audiologist. Due to the relevance of ear diseases, this specialty is separated from otolaryngology.

If we talk about the general symptoms of ear disease, then they include: hearing loss, pain, discharge.

An exacerbation of chronic otitis media is in many ways similar to the onset of an acute illness. This, as a rule, is also an acutely emerging pathology – increased discharge from the ear, pain in the ear, the appearance of noise in the ear. The same occurs in acute otitis media. The prevailing opinion that you can catch an ear is wrong. It is impossible to overcool the ear due to its deep enough location in the skull. The middle ear always gets sick against the background of a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract (ARVI, flu).In such cases, it is not necessary to immediately go to the hospital – you can provide first aid at home. First of all, the ear, like the rest of the ENT organs, does not warm up with such a disease. Because warming procedures are aimed at enhancing blood circulation in this area, and all the organs of the upper respiratory tract in our country do not like edema, which is formed as a result of intensive blood circulation. Therefore, such a procedure can only worsen the situation. In the catarrhal (initial) stage, in which the mucous membrane is affected, there is no discharge.And if we start to warm the ear, then the exudative stage begins, i.e. excretion begins, which contributes to the development of the purulent stage of acute otitis media.

Sometimes there are fulminant forms, when literally in two to three hours intense discharge from the ear begins. This usually occurs in children. It should be noted here that if there is discharge from the ear, then alcohol drops cannot be dripped. And if there is no discharge, but there is only ear pain, noise and hum, then in such cases, on the contrary, you need to drip alcohol drops.This means that if we have an acute onset of acute otitis media, and the person is sure that he has not had otitis media before, he also does not have chronic otitis media, and there is no discharge, then, as a rule, 70% boric alcohol is dripped (if not, you can use vodka) … But, in no case should you drip pure alcohol at its concentration of 96%, so it must be diluted with water into 2 parts of alcohol – 1 part of boiled water. The solution should be dripped into the ear, tightly closed in the ear canal, and vasoconstrictor drops should be dripped into the nose immediately.Then you need to see a doctor.

In chronic otitis media, alcohol drops are never dripped.

What is the danger of a disease of the inner ear? – This is a pathology that requires immediate medical attention. Even if a person woke up at night from sudden hearing loss, you should immediately call an ambulance and go to the regional clinical hospital, where he will receive emergency inpatient care at any time of the day .. Although not always ear pains, noise, ringing indicate an ear disease.These symptoms can be a manifestation of other diseases, for example, a hypertensive or hypotonic crisis and a lot of concomitant pathologies of the brain and viral infections, intoxications of any nature – poisoning.

For the prevention of ear disease, you need to take care of every day:

– observe the rules of personal hygiene

– do not clean the ears with sharp objects, do not try to get into the ear as deep as possible, since there is a danger of damage to the eardrum.

– after taking a bath or shower, you need to dry the skin of the external auditory canals

– pay attention to the ears in case of inflammatory processes of the nasopharynx.

– less listening to music through headphones, observe safety precautions at work if it touches your hearing (with vibration, noise). Since sound exceeding 80 decibels (very loud screaming) is harmful to the auditory organ. Therefore, in young people who abuse listening to music in loud mode (especially with headphones), we observe irreversible hearing loss.

So, compliance with all these rules and timely referral to a specialist is a guarantee of the health of your hearing organs.

Blood from a child’s ear

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  • Causes of bleeding from the ear

    • Mechanical reasons:

    • Ear diseases:

  • First aid for the appearance of blood from the ear in a child

  • What will the doctor do?

The appearance of blood from the ear in a child usually scares the parents, because, unlike nosebleeds, it seems rare.If you find spotting, it is better to see a doctor right away. The only situation when you can not rush to the otolaryngologist is a slight mechanical damage to the skin of the auricle. In other cases, only an otolaryngologist can correctly determine the cause by examining the ear cavity, prescribing laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures.

Causes of bleeding from the ear

There are 2 main groups of sources of blood from the ear: mechanical causes and ear diseases.

Mechanical causes:

  • Damage to the skin on the auricle or in the external auditory canal (scratch, abrasion). This is the only non-serious type of bleeding that does not pose a threat to the child’s health and does not require urgent medical attention. Minor bleeding stops on its own. Please note that in this case, the place of damage should be visible, or it is no longer possible to talk about injury to the skin. Sometimes babies also scratch their ears.It could be teething, which causes severe itching. In this case, it is best to consult a doctor to make sure that the teeth are scratching.
  • Damage to the tympanic membrane. They arise due to the careless use of cotton swabs, objects that the child can put into the external auditory canal by himself, as well as injury during games. For example, a hard blow to the head with a ball can rupture the eardrum.In addition to blood, symptoms in such cases include ear pain and hearing loss.
  • Foreign body in the ear. The most important thing is not to try to remove the item yourself, even if it seems simple. This threatens to push the object deeper and more serious damage. Only an otolaryngologist can safely remove a foreign body and assess the extent of the damage it has caused.
  • Traumatic brain injury. With a fracture of the base of the skull in the area of ​​the temporal bone, blood from the ears often appears.

Ear diseases:

  • Otitis. Inflammation in the ear also causes fever, severe ear pain, weakness and dizziness. Most often, with otitis media, blood leaves with pus when the abscess is opened. The doctor should control the course of the disease.
  • Boils. Blood comes out with pus when the boil is opened. The temperature also rises, redness and swelling appear in the ear area.
  • Myringitis (an infectious disease of the tympanic membrane).It is characterized by severe pain in the ear and a rise in temperature.
  • Ear candidiasis. Often occurs after taking a course of antibiotics, because weakened immunity and the absence of microflora form a beneficial environment for the growth of fungi. This causes the fragility of blood vessels and, as a result, the appearance of bleeding from the ear.
  • Neoplasms (benign or malignant). Ear tumors, in addition to the appearance of blood, manifest themselves as pain and tinnitus, dizziness, headache, hearing loss.

First aid for the appearance of blood from the ear in a child

First of all, it is necessary to clean all possible contamination of the auricle with warm boiled water. If the wound on the skin is superficial, after treatment with an antiseptic preparation (chlorhexidine solution, hydrogen peroxide), it can also be anointed with iodine and closed with a plaster so that the tissue section covers the wound. If the bleeding is severe and the place of its occurrence is not visible, you need to close the external auditory canal with a swab of sterile cotton wool or bandage, then apply a bandage.After that, you need to take the child to the hospital.

If you suspect a traumatic brain injury, do not touch the ear and wash it. The child should be laid on a flat surface and an ambulance should be called.

What will the doctor do?

After an external examination of the organ of hearing, if the cause of the bleeding could not be established immediately, the doctor may prescribe laboratory tests of blood, urine and ear swabs. In some cases, hardware diagnostics can be performed.Further doctor’s prescriptions will depend on the cause of the formation of blood from the ear:

  • in case of skin damage – the doctor will treat the site of injury with a disinfectant;
  • with a foreign body in the ear – the doctor will remove it;
  • for ear diseases, the child will be prescribed medications: antibiotics, pain relievers, antibacterial and antifungal drugs;
  • In case of a ruptured tympanic membrane, the tactics of treatment will depend on the severity of the injury; in some cases, surgical intervention is necessary;
  • If a neoplasm is detected, the child will be redirected to an oncologist.

Our ENT doctors are always ready to help!

If blood is found from a child’s ear, please contact our “Ear, Throat and Nose Clinic” – experienced otolaryngologists are always happy to provide their patients with prompt and professional assistance.

90,000 The ear hurts – perhaps it is otitis media! – Alexandro-Mariinsky

Patients with complaints of acute pain in the ear are increasingly turning to the emergency department of the AMOKB for emergency help. The diagnosis of otitis externa or inflammation of the external auditory canal is made in 80% of cases.Otorhinolaryngologists call this influx of patients seasonal: in the summer, the so-called “otitis media” progresses. And it’s not even about diving itself, but about a person’s attempts to clean the ear canal from the water that has fallen on their own. This often leads to micro-trauma, which, in turn, causes inflammation. Damage to the eardrum is also not uncommon, and this can cause serious consequences, up to surgery.

The second of the causes of otitis media is “ear plugs”.When you bathe, the earwax swells up and blocks the channel that travels sound to your inner ear. Attempts to remove “congestion” also often lead to complications. Normally, earwax is self-removed from the ear canal during chewing, otherwise a specialist must solve the problem. The third reason is hypothermia. Not necessarily in the river: for otitis media, it is enough to be under the conditioner with a wet body – an ear pain is guaranteed!

Otitis media is manifested by pain in the ear, itching. The pain can spread to the eyes, teeth, neck and get worse when chewing.Hearing loss is rare. An increase in body temperature (not typical, although possible, but not higher than 38.5 ° C), general weakness, a feeling of fullness, edema, redness may also disturb.

As experts explain, a disease such as otitis media leads to hospitalization in cases where the patient is self-medicating. Meanwhile, the purulent process is developing very rapidly. In severe cases, pus can escape through the eardrum and perforate it. If it is small, then it will heal by itself, but if the hole is large, then in the future it will be necessary to do the plastic of the eardrum.Otherwise, the patient is provided with a persistent hearing loss, up to deafness, plus this constant can lead to infection of the middle ear and the development of a chronic disease.

Doctors advise, in case of symptoms of otitis media, to contact a local clinic in order to start treatment in a timely manner. Patients with acute pain do not need an appointment, and in the absence of an ENT doctor, primary care will always be provided by a general practitioner.

90,000 Causes of deafness in one ear

Hearing loss always gives a person a shock, especially if it occurs suddenly.Immediately there is a feeling of severe discomfort, fear that it will always be so now. Indeed, hearing loss can cause such emotions, and it can even lead to depression, since a person involuntarily withdraws into himself, begins to leave his own home less, and therefore communicate with others. Hearing can be lost suddenly, or you can lose it gradually and for a long time. Hearing loss can be in one ear, this loss is called unilateral (left-sided, right-sided), and in both ears, it is called bilateral, respectively.

There are two types of hearing impairment:

is a disorder of the outer or middle ear, which is usually caused by a decrease in the mobility of the tympanic membrane or ossicles. Such violations are also called violations of the sound-conducting apparatus.

Causes of conductive hearing impairments:

– infectious diseases of the middle ear

– perforation of the tympanic membrane

– sulfur plugs in the ears

– otosclerosis

– dysfunction of the auditory tube

– head adenoiditis –

  • Sensorineural
  • problems that are concentrated in the inner ear, namely, a violation of the auditory nerve.In other words, a violation of the sound-perceiving apparatus. Their main feature is irreversibility. If conductive hearing impairment is amenable to medical or surgical treatment, sensorineural impairment is not. Hearing loss in this case cannot be returned to normal.

    Causes of sensorineural hearing impairment:

    – heredity

    – infectious diseases of the mother during pregnancy

    – complications during childbirth

    – side effects of certain antibacterial drugs

    – aging of the body

    – influence of loud and prolonged noise

    Typically, sensorineural abnormalities affect both ears.Conductive disturbances can occur in one ear or in both.

    When a man or woman has a feeling that she has become deaf in one ear, if something rings in her ear, the first and most urgent thing to do is see a doctor. Only a specialist can determine the causes of deafness in one ear and its type and degree, as well as the methods and duration of treatment or rehabilitation means. But often people neglect a visit to the doctor and think that ear congestion will go away somehow on its own.Another reason that aggravates the problem is the appeal to traditional medicine and traditional healers. All sorts of recommendations of Internet “doctors” or a neighbor to shove an onion into the ear, or warm it up, or make some other gadgets, not only do not solve the problem, but can lead to irreparable consequences. Don’t endanger your hearing. You only need to see a doctor.

    Diagnostic methods when the ear is hard of hearing and makes noise

    This method is used during the initial examination of the patient.If the reason for the hearing loss lies in inflammatory processes, then the doctor will notice this immediately.

    • Tympanometry.

    An examination that shows the condition of the middle ear, the functioning of all auditory ossicles. This diagnostic method is quite informative.

    • Tonal audiometry.

    Diagnoses whether the thresholds of sound perception are violated in a person.

    • Otoacoustic emission.

    Method for measuring the function of hair cells in the inner ear.

    If these diagnostic methods are not enough, the specialist can prescribe other additional examinations, such as: ABR, CT, MRI.

    What to do when you have hearing loss in one ear?

    – Eliminate panic. So, the problem is not pleasant, but it has a solution and the specialist must present all possible solutions, starting from the causes of its occurrence.

    – Never use traditional medicine for treatment.In the 21st century, it is not only meaningless, but also harmful. In addition, it is fraught with aggravation of the disease and complications.

    – If the hearing loss is of a conductive nature, then it is necessary to follow all the prescriptions and recommendations of the doctor in the treatment.

    – If the hearing loss is sensorineural (hearing loss), then it is necessary to choose a device for rehabilitation – a hearing aid. When choosing a hearing aid, remember that it must be individually matched to your hearing loss.It is also important that it is fine-tuned.

    The Hearing Specialists of Everything for the Ear provide quality services for the selection and adjustment of hearing devices. An individual approach to each client, taking into account all his wishes, hearing characteristics and the structure of the hearing organ, guarantee the best result from hearing aids.

    Preventive Techniques

    There are some rules to follow so that you don’t have a moment in your life when you say, “I can’t hear in one ear.”

    • Timely and complete treatment of infectious diseases of the hearing organs.

    It is important not only to see a doctor on time, but also to complete the treatment process. It so often happens that the patient stops treatment at the first signs of improvement, which leads to an even greater development of the disease and leads to an inevitable increase in resources to overcome it.

    Diseases such as influenza, measles, rubella, meningitis can negatively affect a person’s hearing. Therefore, the best way to avoid this is to vaccinate.

    • Avoid noisy situations.

    Prolonged occupational and household noise can lead to hearing loss. It is worth using earplugs to protect yourself from the negative effects of noise on your hearing.

    • Hearing hygiene

    Regular and correct cleaning of your ears is the key to preventing the formation of sulfur plugs. It is important not to use cotton swabs to clean your hearing – this is dangerous.

    • Regular visits to otolaryngologist and periodic hearing tests.

    These are the best preventive methods in preserving your hearing. The network of hearing care centers All for the ear offers hearing testing services in 15 cities of Ukraine. Choose the one closest to you and make sure everything is ok with your hearing.

    Deafness in one ear is not a sentence. Timely referral to specialists will help you eliminate the discomfort from this diagnosis faster.

    If you have a sensorineural hearing impairment, we invite you to visit our hearing aid center.