Severe ear pain: Commonly used care measures

Ear pain is considered disruptive and annoying particularly at night or when trying to sleep. Various medical conditions can trigger an earache. The usual causes include sinus infections, swimmer’s ear, impacted ear wax and a sore throat.

Even alterations in the altitude experienced while flying or driving in high areas can trigger ear pain. Luckily, there are over-the-counter medications and simple home measures that can alleviate the pain.

Pain relief for ear pain

ear-pain

Provide an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate the ear pain.

Provide an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate the ear pain. These medications can also lower fever if the child or adult has an ear infection with fever.

Ear drops

Apply an over-the-counter ear drop in the affected ear. If ear drops are not available, you can apply a few drops of olive oil in the affected ear instead.

Other measures to manage ear discomfort

  • Apply a warm compress by immersing a washcloth in warm water. After wringing out the excess, apply the compress over the ear opening to alleviate the discomfort.
  • Elevate the child on several cushions or pillows while sleeping. The ear pain might intensify when lying down but sleeping upright can also lessen some of the discomfort.
  • Chewing on gum can also help especially in cases of pain triggered by altitude changes, but might also be beneficial for other forms of ear pain. Avoid giving gum to young children though.

A doctor should be consulted if the pain lasts for a day or longer. In such instances, there might be an infection that necessitates antibiotics or another condition might be responsible for triggering the pain.

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