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Quite An Earful!

Monday, September 11, 2017

It’s true that your risk of suffering from an infection is greater during the monsoons. However, the same doesn’t apply to earaches, which happen due to a variety of reasons. Khevna Pandit tells you how to deal with them

An earache might not happen often enough for it to make headlines, like more serious health conditions, but it is painful and causes discomfort, and it needs to be dealt with promptly or it could lead to more serious issues. Earaches are seen more often in children than in adults and they may affect one or both ears. The causes for an earache are many, and you can either experience a constant ache or the pain may come and go during the course of the day. Here we’re telling you about the symptoms of earache and bringing you simple home remedies that you can use to ease the pain.

WHAT CAUSES EARACHES?

The term ‘earache’ is vague and can be used for anything from irritation to injury. However, this is often classified with a distinct pain on the site of injury. This type of pain can originate from your ear and make its way to your jaw or even your teeth. Here are a few reasons for an earache.

Blockage due to earwax

Perhaps the most common reason for your ears to be aching is accumulated earwax. If you don’t get rid of the excess gunk blocking your ear canal from time to time, it can become hard. This impacted wax (hardened earwax) can cause pain. Use a self medicating kit prescribed by your doctor instead of opting for an ear bud or an instrument to scrape away the wax.

Changes in air pressure

Your ear does a great job at keeping the pressure equal on both the sides of your eardrum. However, sometimes the imbalance, when you’re in an airplane or when you travel to higher altitudes can cause ear pain. Your ears may hurt a little if you’re in an environment with low air pressure, and you may even have trouble hearing for a while.

Throat infection

Sometimes, a throat infection and pain while swallowing can also lead to ear aches. Even tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) could lead to pain in one or both ears.

Swimmer’s ear

This is an infection of the outer ear. If you experience a distinct pain when you tug your earlobe, you could be affected by swimmer’s ear. This usually occurs when water is trapped in your ear canal, and it begins to harbour germs. Your ear may turn red and swell up, and you could even suffer from discharge or itching. To avoid this, keep your ears dry when you go swimming.

Middle ear infection

A cold, an allergy or even a sinus infection could cause a middle ear infection. The cold is responsible for blocking the tubes in your middle ear, and when fluid builds up, it could lead to an infection, causing a recurring pain in your ear. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or over-the-counter drugs to tackle the cold or allergy. However, if left untreated, this condition could lead to permanent hearing loss, so be quick to deal with it.

HOME REMEDIES FOR EARACHE

If you don’t want to go the antibiotics way, here are a few natural home remedies that you can use for instant relief from the ache.

Heating pad

Take a hot water bottle or a small washcloth soaked in warm water and place it on your aching ear. The warmth will give you relief from the pain and will improve blood circulation to your ear.

Garlic

Garlic is considered to be a strong analgesic as well as a natural antibiotic. Take one teaspoon of crushed garlic and heat it with two tablespoons of sesame oil. Leave it for a minute. Strain it after it cools and put two or three drops of this oil into the ear that’s paining.

Olive oil

Thought of as one of the best natural remedies for earaches, olive oil helps get rid of infections in the ear and can help relieve the pain. Pour three or four drops of olive oil into your aching ear for instant relief.

Basil leaves

You might know basil for its medicinal properties, and it is helpful for earaches too. Crush basil leaves and put two or three drops into the affected ear for relief from the pain.

White vinegar and rubbing alcohol

Mix a tablespoon each of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol and pour a few drops of this mixture into the affected ear. It will help heal the infection and reduce ear pain.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil works best for treating ear infections. Simply pour a few drops in your ear to eliminate the pain.

Licorice

Licorice has been used for centuries because it has medicinal properties. Heat licorice in clarified butter and make a paste. Apply this around the aching ear for quick relief.

SYMPTOMS OF EARACHE

An earache can manifest in many ways. Here’s what should clue you in:

  • A dull pain in the ears
  • Impaired hearing
  • Fluid drainage from the ear
  • Headache
  • A sense of fullness in the ear
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