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Treat Your Ear Pain at Home

By Paul Rothbart

Of all the pains you can suffer, an earache is one of the worst. It's painful and distracting. It may throb or you could be hearing high-pitched sounds. Any actual noise may make it worse. Unlike your eyes, you can close your ears. There are two basic types of ear pain, primary and secondary. Primary is usually caused by an infection or an injury to the ear. The secondary kind radiates from another source and can have many causes including inflammation of the throat. Any kind of pain that lasts should receive medical attention but there are home remedies you can try to ease the pain of an earache.

Cold Compress

A cold compress can be an ice pack or you can wrap ice cubes in a towel. By applying the compress to the ear for 20 minutes, you can reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. Never let ice touch the skin directly and remove the compress immediately if the pain gets worse. Don't leave the compress on for more than 20 minutes. If you need to reapply it, wait at least 10 minutes before doing so. 

Warm Compress

Sometimes, applying heat may be the way to go. Heating pads, warm washcloths, and microwavable pads are all examples of a warm compress. The heat increases blood flow to the injured area as well as oxygenation. This heals the injury to heal. For an earache, place one or two cups of rice in a sock. Tie the end and warm it up to the desired temperature. Place it on your ear for 20-30 minutes. A hot water bottle also works well.


It may sound strange but you can use onions to treat ear pain. They contain flavonoids and sulfur compounds that have healing properties. Onions are used as a home remedy for colds, sore throats, bloody noses, and removing splinters. Place an onion in a bowl in the microwave and heat it on high for two minutes. Strain the liquid from the bowl and let it cool. Put a few drops of it into the ear that hurts. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then drain it out. This procedure can be repeated if needed.


Using a humidifier or steam machine can be helpful for treating a number of issues. Dry air can cause problems in the ears, nose, throat, and skin. Damp, warm air eases inflammation and can open up clogged passage in the nose and ears. Sit in a room with a humidifier or a pot of steaming water for as long as it takes to feel better. 

Earaches are terrible. When they happen, you want fast relief. Try some of these home remedies to ease your pain. For pain that is extreme or doesn't go away, see a doctor.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Valencia, Calif.

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