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Earache is a common cause of pain and discomfort to everybody. In children, it becomes a bigger cause of worry as the child may be too small to tell the reason for the pain. Therefore, it is up to the immediate caretaker to see how the pain can be alleviated. There are many reasons for earaches, such as infection, perforated eardrum, and boils. It is important to identify the cause of the earache to find a suitable remedy for the same.
Natural Remedies for Earache in Kids
If a child is constantly crying, looks restless, or keeps moving his ears away from you, he could be having an ear infection.
The following are simple home remedies for ear pain in kids.
1. Warm Compress: Use a warm towel compress to reduce pain around the ear and neck area. You can warm up a towel by pressing it on a hot griddle or on a warm iron. Heating pads or a small plastic bottle filled with warm water can also be used. There can be a lot of squirming involved as your child can find it uncomfortable. Do not get angry or irritated with this but try to talk him into it firmly to put the child at ease.
2. Cold Compress: If the warm compress is not helping, use a cold compress instead. Be cautious and avoid putting the ice directly on the skin of your child, as it can stop the blood flow. Ice can be put in a waterproof bag or wrapped in a towel. A frozen packet of milk is also good for this purpose. If you ran out of ice, fill cold water in a small plastic bottle and ease the pain of your child.
3. Basil Leaves: It is essential to keep this simple and inexpensive remedy always handy. Basil is known for its unequivocal medicinal properties. Crush the basil leaves; extract its juice and put a few drops in the ear.
4. Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the most effective natural remedies to treat an ear infection in children. Heat a small quantity of olive oil in a clean pan or microwave till it reaches body temperature. Apply the oil lightly around and inside the affected ear with a clean earbud. Make sure that you use towels to avoid any stray drops of oil from staining the surrounding area.
5. Garlic: Crush a couple of garlic cloves and heat it with some sesame/olive oil. Strain using a clean cloth and apply this garlic oil in and around the affected ear.
6. Eucalyptus Oil and Medicated Cotton Balls: Pour a few drops of diluted eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball and dab it on the infected ear to relieve pain. Repeat this process every day until the pain subsides.
7. Mustard Oil: In most cases, the ear naturally expels excess earwax to avoid a build-up. However, when this doesn’t happen, it can lead to hardening of the earwax. This can cause a blockage and lead to an infection. Put a few drops of warm mustard oil in the infected ear to reduce the blockage; continue this process for a weak. Some of the softer wax will come out by itself, and some more oil can be used for removing the rest of the wax. Mustard oil cleans the infected area by removing wax and small foreign objects. You can use a flashlight to inspect the ear and see if it has cleared up. Below are the steps you can follow to remove earwax:
- Pour a capful into the affected ear
- Wait for a few minutes
- Cover your ear with a tissue
- Tilt the head to remove the fluid
8. Eucalyptus Oil Massage: Never use eucalyptus oil in its original form as it is strong and pungent. Dilute it with coconut oil, sesame oil, or olive oil. Warm it slightly using a clean utensil or microwave it. Massage the area around the ear and neck in a downward movement, reheating whenever the oil becomes cold.
9. Breast Milk: This is a good option for lactating mothers. Put a few drops of fresh breast milk into the infected ear. It is a well-known remedy for treating ear infections in infants as it contains antibodies. Caution should be taken as to not infect the milk by taking it in a dirty container. Also, it should not be administered directly from the breast as the pressure will be too much to take for an infant’s ear. The best approach is to collect the breast milk in a clean container and use ear droppers.
10. Salt: You can use coarse salt as a home remedy for treating an ear infection in kids. Microwave a cup of coarse salt for a minute. Mix it and reheat for another minute. This can be put in a cotton sock and tied on the open end. Put it over the infected ear for 10 minutes and repeat if needed.
11. Onions: Keep the infected ear in an elevated position to reduce the rush of blood. Chop a small onion or a shallot, heat it over a low flame to soften it, and extract its juice. Put a few drops into the ear. Its anti-bacterial quality will help fight the infection and reduce the pain.
12. Tea Tree Oil Tea tree oil is also used for the treatment of an earache in kids. MIx a few drops of diluted tea tree oil with olive oil; warm it till it is at body temperature. Use a clean dropper to put a few drops in each ear. Be gentle and do not use force as the ear is a sensitive organ.
Earache is usually a symptom rather than a malady. Cold, flu, and congestion are the main causes for this pain in children. These are simple home remedies for quick relief, but it is important to identify the cause. The mentioned remedies work well and can also offer instant relief.
However, not all earaches can be solved through home remedies. Issues such as a perforated ear and extensive infection can permanently damage hearing. This is why you should take your child to a paediatrician if the pain is unbearable or continues for more than a week.