An ear infection is generally caused by a virus that affects the middle ear. It is common among children but adults can end up with the infection as well. Antibiotics are given if an infection is suspected, but will not help in relieving the pain as the infection heals. There are measures that can help soothe an ear infection.
Place a warm compress or hot water bottle on the affected ear. Prepare a warm compress by immersing a wash cloth in warm water and wring out the excess before applying on the ear. The heat helps soothe the pain from the ear infection as it heals.
Heat a teaspoon of vegetable, coconut or olive oil in a microwave for around 10-20 seconds. You should test the oil on the interior of the arm before it is applied in the ear to ensure that it is not too hot.
Place the oil in a medicine dropper and instruct the individual to tilt the head so that the unaffected ear is facing the floor. The warmth of the oil helps relieve the discomfort.
Pain medications for ear infection
An over-the-counter pain medication can be given such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen the pain and swelling in the ear.
Make sure that the instructions are carefully followed and do not use more than 8 medications in a day.
For young children, drops should be used. The proper dosage is based on the weight of the child and age.
When to consult a doctor
A doctor should be consulted if worried about the ear infection. It is important to note that an ear infection can be treated with antibiotics, but if the treatment is delayed, the ear pain will linger.
In case the child suffers from frequent ear infections, the doctor might recommend surgery to allow drainage of the middle ear more effectively. It is vital to carefully follow the instructions of the doctor regarding antibiotic dosage and proper ear care.