One of the most common causes of earache is an infection that occurs after getting a cold or flu. It can affect one ear or both, at the same time. The pain increases during the night, because once the body is in a flat position, it is much more difficult for Eustachian tubes to expel the fluid.
Sometimes ears may hurt because of teeth problems and not because of an infection, although this phenomenon is less common.
Ruptured eardrums symptoms: dizziness, ringing in the ears, bleeding from the ears, a sudden pain or a sudden pain relief, and / or hearing loss in one or both ears.
Outer or middle ear infection causes pressure on the nerve endings and that is how the pain occurs. But if you do not feel any pain, there might be no sign of a serious disorder.
The outer ear infection
The eardrum located along the Eustachian tube swells and becomes inflamed. At first a mild fever appears, a mild ear discharge, pain (ear becomes sensitive to touch and the pain gets stronger) and temporary hearing loss.
Middle ear infection
This type of infection is especially characteristic for babies and children. The infection covers the area behind the eardrum, where the small ear bones are placed. A person feels pain, pressure in the ears, and the body temperature goes up to 39 degrees or even more.
Ear test No.1:
If you can slightly move the external part of the ears (earlobe) with your hands without feeling any pain, this means that it is a middle ear infection, but if you feel pain, the infection is certainly present in the Eustachian tubes.
Ear test No.2:
If you feel pain in the ears, pull the lower part of the earlobe and if the pain becomes stronger, it means that you probably have an ear infection. If the pain does not get stronger, then it is more likely that you have some problem with your teeth.
Higher altitude can push the Eustachian tubes fluid to the middle ear. Keep in mind not to sleep on your ear if you have a cold, and always go by car when traveling to the high altitudes!
Chronic middle ear diseases have increased when antibiotics became popular. Those antibiotics actually create very favorable conditions for the development of such infection.
You can easily get an ear infection when you go swimming in public pools. If you decide to go there, do not let water enter your ears and do not dive because that is the easiest way for bacteria to enter the Eustachian tubes.
Chronically enlarged tonsils can block the Eustachian tubes, causing congestion and accumulation of fluid in the middle ear.
The middle ear infection is more common in formula-fed babies than in breastfed babies. There are two reasons: cow’s milk causes inflammation and blockage of the Eustachian tubes, leading to infection from the outside. Immunoglobulin A in, which is found in breast milk, strengthens the immune system of babies. The problem occurs when you feed your baby while lying down.
The infection of the inner ear is usually caused by meningitis or it can happen when a middle ear infection spreads further. Symptoms include hearing loss, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and fever.
Earache is very common in children. Most children, in fact 90% of children have at least 1 ear infection by the age of six. Causes include: disease in children, allergies, colds and respiratory infections.
Tips for a fast recovery
- Keep your ears warm and your head slightly raised (this body position will help fluid escape).
- Keep your feet warm, this will increase the blood flow and speed up the circulation.
- Sit whenever possible, this will reduce the swelling.
- Swallowing relieves the pain, while yawning helps to open Eustachian tubes.
- Warm air from a blow dryer can help relieve the pain (hold it about 20-25 inches, or 40-60 cm away from your head)
- Put 1 teaspoon of Echinacea, buttercup and licorice root in one cup of boiled water, and drink it 2-3 times a day.
- Take vitamin C (500 mg 3 times a day), vitamin A (2,500 IU), zinc (15 mg), vitamin E (200-400 mg) and B vitamin complex.
Things to avoid
- People tend to have ear problems if they have too much ear wax. To reduce the amount of ear wax, eat less saturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids can be consumed.
- In 1991 one pediatric study, with more than 100 children with middle ear infection, has found that 78% of children were sensitive to foods such as corn, milk, peanut and wheat. Eliminate these foods from your child’s diet and the chances of a quick recovery will increase significantly.
- Do not eat sugar, dairy products, meat and heavy food. Herbal teas help with the healing process: mint, coneflower, buttercup, taheebo and elm.
- Excessive amounts of sweets and starch reduce the resistance of the body and can make ear problems worse.
- People who are prone to ear infections should stop consumption of all dairy products (it has been proven that a milk allergy can cause ear pain, and it may even cause an eardrum rupture)
- Avoid cigarette smoke, because it irritates the eardrum.
Natural remedies for earache
Olive oil and cinnamon
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add to it one tablespoon of cinnamon.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool until just warm.
- Take a cotton swab, dip it in olive oil and gently wipe the earlobe with it.
- Put a few drops in your ear, it will significantly reduce the pain.
Olive oil and garlic
Garlic successfully destroys bacteria, therefore in the case of a bacterial infection it is recommended to use the following recipe.
- Heat up 3 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and add two garlic cloves.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes. It should be warm, but not hot.
- Put a few drops in your ear, you can use a dropper.
- Wait 5 to 10 minutes then turn your head the other way so the oil can escape. Use a cloth so you don’t make a mess.
You can repeat the procedure several times a day. Do not put raw garlic in your ear because it can cause skin irritation and a burning sensation.
Sesame oil and garlic
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and add 1 crushed garlic clove.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, then strain the oil using a cloth.
- Put a few drops of warm oil in the ear, it will relieve the pressure on the eardrums.
Oil can be stored in the refrigerator in a glass bottle. Heat it up before every use.
Houseleek has been used as a natural remedy for centuries, because it has very strong anti-inflammatory, astringent and diuretic properties.
- Take 2-3 houseleek leaves and cut them in half.
- Squeeze the juice into the ear and wait for a few minutes, the pain will gradually decrease.
- You can warm up the juice, to make it more comfortable.
Weakened immune system is usually the main cause of earache. It is important to emphasize that any form of earache should not be treated for a longer period. If pain persists for more than a few days consult your doctor immediately.