Ear ache remedies fall into a few different categories. There are homemade remedies and medically-prescribed remedies. Some remedies are designed to help suppress symptoms and others are intended as cures. Many ear ache remedies rely on various kinds of ear drops, some of which are based on herbal therapy methods. Doctors generally prescribe antibiotics to get rid of ear infections, and many people use heat packs or cold packs to deal with the pain of an ear ache.
Some of the most common ingredients for homemade ear drops are olive oil and garlic. Many people who practice herbal medicine believe that garlic can work as an antibiotic, and they think applying it to the ears can clear up any infections. Olive oil is often combined with the garlic because it is believed to be soothing for the ear canal. There are also commercial products sold in stores that use some of these ingredients for ear drops. In some cases, doctors may prescribe various prescription ear drops as well.
In order to deal with ear pain, one of the more common ear ache remedies is to use over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen. These can potentially be helpful in reducing inflammation and general discomfort. Some people also like to use heat or cold as ear ache remedies, and both can potentially be soothing for different reasons. Heat can help stimulate drainage inside the ear, which can reduce pressure, and cold can decrease inflammation, which generally lessens pain.
When ear infections are a constant problem, doctors may decide to surgically install tubes that aid in drainage. This is usually done for children who constantly suffer ear infections. The tubes are considered a preventative measure that can help the children avoid hearing loss, which is a possible long-term consequence of frequent ear infection problems.
Children are particularly vulnerable to ear infections because of their anatomy. The tube in their ears that allows for drainage is not positioned for optimal fluid flow. This generally changes as they grow older, and ear infection problems will normally dissipate.
Most ear infections are caused by blockages in the drainage tube, which lead to stagnation of mucus and other fluids. Eventually, bacteria build up and begin attacking the area, leading to inflammation and pain. Over time, these bacteria pose a threat to important parts of the inner ear such as the eardrum. For this reason, a visit to the doctor is often recommended for even mild ear ache problems, and home ear ache remedies are normally used as a temporary stop-gap.