The best earache cures depend largely on the root cause of the earache. There are a number of different reasons that an individual develops an earache, and in some cases the best treatment can be as simple as the administration of over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In other cases, the application of a warm cloth over the ear can help alleviate pain, while more severe earaches may require the administration of prescription ear drops.
For children, the most common cause of an earache is fluid in the ear that causes pressure on the structures in the middle ear. In these cases, a warm compress can be applied to the ear in order to relieve pain from the pressure, and the administration of a few drops of olive oil into the ear canal can also help. Putting the olive oil into the ear in which there is pain and getting the child to remain still with that side elevated for several minutes will allow the oil to work into the ear. In older children and even adults with earaches caused by a buildup of fluid, this can also be one of the painless earache cures.
Swimmer's ear occurs when the outer ear can becomes inflamed and painful or infected; the condition gets its name because it commonly occurs when water gets into the ear. This can present symptoms such as changes in hearing and itching inside the ear. Swimmer's ear earache cures can include the administration of antibiotics if an infection has traveled past the outer ear as well as the application of ear drops. Vinegar ear drops or those that include antibiotics are typically available over-the-counter.
Several over-the-counter medications can also help in relieving the pain of an earache. Pain relievers that include the generic pseudoephedrine can help with earaches that are caused by pressure inside the ear. When there has been damage to the ear, such as scratching of the ear canal, or there is a buildup of fluid, medications including ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen can help relieve inflammation of the ear and reduce pain.
Sometimes, the best earache cures come from a medical professional. When the earache is accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, discharge or discoloration of the ear, a medical professional should be consulted. An at-home treatment may not be the best choice of earache cures in these situations, and prescription medication may be required.