It is important to note that an ear infection is usually triggered by a virus which affects the area right behind the eardrum which is commonly referred to as the middle ear. Ear infections are quite common among children but even adults can also suffer from pain and pressure of an ear infection as well.
In most cases, a course of antibiotics is usually prescribed by the doctor if an infection in the ear is suspected, but these are not beneficial in easing the pain while the infection starts to heal. When soothing a painful ear infection, it typically involves heat as an initial first aid measure and administrating over-the-counter medications.
Steps on soothing an ear infection
- The first step when soothing the pain from an ear infection is to apply a warm compress or a hot water bottle on the affected ear. All you have to do is to fill a hot water bottle with water, close the cap and place under the ear as the individual lays on his/her side in bed. Another option is to use a washcloth that has been soaked in reasonably warm water. Squeeze out the excess water and fold the washcloth before the individual holds it on the ear. The heat can provide a soothing effect on the ear while waiting for the infection to heal.
- You can also warm a teaspoon of vegetable, olive or coconut oil in a microwave for 10-20 seconds. Make sure that you will test the oil on the interior of the arm before placed in the ear to make sure that it is not too hot. Place the oil in a medicine dropper. Instruct the individual to tilt his/her head so that the unaffected ear is facing the floor and administer the oil in the affected ear. Take note that this will provide warmth to the ear to help relieve the pain.
- You can provide the individual with over-the-counter medications for pain such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve the pain and swelling in the ear. It is essential to follow the directions indicated in the package when taking these medications and do not take more than eight pills in a day. For young children, drops can be given by taking into consideration the weight of the child and the correct dosage based on the weight and age indicated on the packaging.
It is always important to consult a doctor and schedule an appointment if an ear infection is suspected. Always remember that ear infections can be managed with a round of antibiotics, but if no action is taken, it will only prolong the pain that the individual will experience.
If the individual or child suffers from recurrent ear infections, the doctor might suggest surgical intervention in order to help the middle ear drain properly. Otherwise, it is important to follow the instructions given by the doctor when it comes to antibiotics and ear care.