What is an Earache?
An earache can be defined as a feeling of discomfort within the ear. An earache is usually associated with inflammation and enlargement of the structures located inside the ear. This medical condition is common in both adults and children. If it is left untreated it may eventually cause hearing loss or even Meningitis.
An earache can be in the Otitis Externa (OE) or Otitis Media (OM). OE refers to the infection of skin located on the outside of the ear canal, this is where wax is formed. Usually infection occurs when, moisture becomes entrapped in the ear canal, or when the skin of the ear canal has experienced a minor injury such as a scrape. This infection usually occurs after swimming or showering and during moist weather.
OM refers to the infection of the middle ear as well as the eardrum. It is most common in young children as opposed to adults. It is either caused by a pathological or a bacteriological infection of the middle ear, in most cases OM is triggered by an inflammation of the Eustachian tube. Myringitis refers to the inflammation of the ear drum due to bacterial infection or trauma; for example, when a paper clip or other object is used to remove wax from the ear drum and ruptures it.
If an earache persists for more than three hours medical assistance should be sought. Infants who have developed a fever due to an earache should be taken to a doctor without delay. Diabetic persons who are immunocompromised and have developed an earache should also visit a doctor immediately. Today the treatment of an ear infection can be as simple as prescribing an over-the-counter drug or as complicated as performing surgery on the ear.
- Heat: It is believed that the steam from heat will bring relief to an infected ear.The heat can be applied by taking a hot water bath or by resting a warm towel against the infected ear.
- Hydrogen peroxide: A common earache remedy is to insert several drops of three percent hydrogen peroxide in each ear for ten minutes and then allowing it to drain out. This is believed to help to cure the infection.
- Onion: This is an earache remedy due to its bactericidal properties. The insertion of three drops of warmed onion juice in each ear should prove to be very effective.
- Olive oil: This is a traditional earache remedy. Two drops of warm olive oil in both ears will cure the infection.
- Garlic and Mustard oil: It is believed that if you heat two cloves of garlic in two teaspoons of mustard oil until it is black, and leave it to cool, then pour it in each ear, the infection will disappear. Warm mustard oil by itself is also a good earache remedy.
How avoid an Earache
- Consume lots of vitamin C as this is needed to fight infection
- Avoid inserting foreign objects in your ear as they may cause damage to the ear.
- Insert a drop of warm mustard oil in both ears from time to time, this will aid in the prevention of any infection in the ear.