Most cases of middle earache are caused by inflammation or infection in the middle ear. Even though ear infections are prevalent among children, adults can also develop middle ear infections.
The buildup of fluid within the ear can obstruct the Eustachian tubes and result to pressures changes, inflammation and ear pain. Individuals with acute ear infections can recover without requiring treatment. Due to this, many doctors advise the wait-and-see approach or suggest home treatment during the initial 72 hours after the symptoms manifest.
Measures in managing a middle earache
- Place a warm compress on the affected area and leave in place for around 15-20 minutes. The warmth helps lessen any inflammation in the middle ear and relieve the discomfort.
- The individual should sleep in a semi-upright position, usually on a chair or on several piled-up cushions. This works by lowering the pressure in the ear due to the buildup of fluid.
- Yawning or chewing gum can help relieve the earache triggered by the pressure imbalance amidst the outer and inner ear. The changes in altitude are the usual cause for this type of ear pain. By yawning or chewing, they promote the opening of the valves responsible for stabilizing the ear pressure, thus lowering the pressure and pain.
- A few drops of heated olive oil or mineral oil can be applied on the affected ear with an eyedropper. This remedy for earache is considered safe and effective if the eardrum has not ruptured.
- An over-the-counter pain medication can be given to lessen the swelling and pain.
- Diluted tea tree oil along with mineral or vegetable oil can be administered into the affected ear. It is important to note that tea tree oil possesses antiseptic properties that can help deal with ear infections. Just make sure that the oil is warmed to body temperature before administration.
- In case the earache is due to sinus pressure from common cold or other respiratory ailments, a decongestant can be given.
Middle ear infections are quite common among children where most develop the infection at least once before reaching their 3rd birthday.
If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to language and speech delays, lasting hearing loss or serious infections. Due to this, any form of earache that lasts after a few days of home remedies necessitates medical care.