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Home Remedies for Ear Pain

Earaches can cause debilitating pain, making it difficult to sleep, eat, and drink. The most common cause of ear pain is ear infections. When the ear becomes infected, inflammation and pressure can cause intense pain. However, earaches are not always caused by an ear infection. Other common conditions that cause earaches include:

  • Air pressure
  • Earwax buildup 
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Skin infections
  • Allergic reactions

When symptoms of an ear problem are present and do not resolve on their own within a few days, you should speak to a doctor. If an earache is not severe, you may wish to try home remedies to relieve pain. Here are some effective remedies to treat your earache:

Over-the-counter medication

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help temporarily reduce the pain of an earache. Common NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin, may control pain associated with a painful type of ear infection called acute otitis media (AOM).  

Ear drops

Non-prescription ear drops may help treat mild cases of swimmer’s ear. These can be purchased over the counter or can be made at home. As long as you know that you do not have a punctured eardrum, you can use homemade ear drops. According to ear specialists, a simple at-home blend can be made by mixing 1 part white vinegar to 1 part rubbing alcohol. This at-home blend may help promote drying and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause swimmer’s ear. 

Cold or warm compresses

You can use ice packs or warm compresses, like a heating pad or warm washcloth, to relieve pain. Simply place the ice pack or warm compress over the ear and alternate between warm and cold after 10 minutes. A cold compress can help numb pain and reduce inflammation, whereas a heating pad may relax the muscles and help improve blood flow.


A gentle massage in the tender area, as well as any surrounding muscles, can help with ear pain that radiates from the jaw or teeth. Try using a downward motion, applying pressure beginning just behind the ears and down the neck. This massage may help drain excess fluid from the ears.


Ginger contains gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties. Ginger’s antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties make it the perfect choice for treating mild earaches. To make ginger juice, you want to cut some fresh ginger into slices and place it into boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Soak a washcloth in the ginger-infused water and squeeze out the excess. Place this warm towel over the affected ear for 15-20 minutes.

Contact us

If an earache persists for more than 24-48 hours, it is important to seek medical advice. A doctor’s guidance can help someone relieve their symptoms and treat the infection. If you’re experiencing chronic ear pressure or congestion, make an appointment with Dr. Marc Dean at the Ear and Sinus Institute today!

Make an Appointment
Call Us to Schedule an Appointment: (817) 332-4060
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