An earache is often (though not always) preceded by a cold and can be a problem for children and adults alike. Children seem to get them more often, but an earache can strike anyone, regardless of their age. What typically happens is that fluid accumulates in the Eustachian tubes, which puts pressure on the eardrum, and it's this pressure that causes the pain. If you have an earache and can't get to a doctor right away, then you may want to try some of these earache home remedies.
Before trying any home remedy it is important to note that you should never stick an object in your ear. Doing so could puncture your eardrum, and that will result in even more pain as well as permanent hearing loss. The following remedies are not meant to be medical advice, so always check with your doctor before trying any of them.
1. A hair dryer set on the lowest temperature setting can gently warm the ear and bring relief in a few minutes. Do not hold too close to your ear, and be sure the fan is set to its minimum speed. You want to warm the ear, but you also want to do it as gently as possible.
2. A heating pad can also be used to warm your ear. Wrap a towel around it first, as you don't want it to have direct contact with your skin, and then place it on the outside of the ear that is giving you the problem. You can use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel if you don't have a heating pad.
3. Place a few drops of fresh garlic juice (squeezed directly from a clove of garlic) in the problematic ear will serve as a mild antibiotic and often brings relief. Placing a piece of gauze on the outside of the ear will help to trap the juice so it can do a more thorough job. Gently rinse the ear with clean, warm water after five to ten minutes.
4. While everybody is different, some people find they are more susceptible to earaches after eating a lot of dairy products. You can try eliminating all dairy from your diet for a few days to see if that does the trick.
5. A couple drops of warmed olive or mineral oil put in the ear can bring relief. However, be very careful that you don't overheat the oil. It should never be warmer than body temperature; otherwise you run the risk of burning your ear which will only add insult to injury.
If the pain doesn't go away after trying these earache home remedies, then you should visit your doctor. It's possible that you have an ear infection which may require a course of prescription antibiotics. An earache isn't any fun, and if left untreated can lead to more serious problems. In other words, it's not something you should ignore (if that's even possible).