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Ways to Treat and Prevent Ear Pain
If the last time you had an ear infection was back in the second grade, consider yourself lucky. While most of us do get our earaches out of the way in childhood, there are times when adults get them. One bad cold can trigger ear pain that can make even a grown-up cry. Ear pain comes in other forms besides earaches, such as swimmer's ear and "airplane ear." And sometimes what you think is ear pain can be traced to problems with your mouth, teeth, jaw, throat, or sinuses. Ear infections usually don't go away on their own. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to get relief.
1. Reach For Pain Relief
Take an analgesic such as Extra Strength Tylenol. An over-the-counter pain reliever can help you to feel more comfortable until you can see a doctor.
2. Go For The Garlic
When you have ear pain, eat a clove or two of garlic a day. Garlic has natural antiviral and antibiotic qualities that kill many of the germs that cause earaches. If you are not a fan of fresh garlic, try garlic supplements, available in most health food stores and many drugstores.
3. Apply A Warm Pack
Wing out a washcloth in warm water and place it over your ear. Apply the packs for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 hours. You might also place a cotton ball that has been soaked in warm water into the little crevice between the earlobe and ear opening.
4. Fight Bacteria Or Fungi With Vinegar
Using an eyedropper, drop 6 to 10 drops of an equal mix of distilled white vinegar and water into your ear. The ear canal is usually a little acidic. An infection causes the canal to lose some of that acidity and encourages bacteria to grow. The vinegar rinses help restore this acidity and can help prevent an ear infection from worsening. Avoid these rinses if you know that you have a perforated eardrum, see or feel drainage from your ear, or develop any loss of hearing.
5. Drop In Some Drops
Warm some mineral oil or baby oil and, using an eyedropper, gently drop the oil into your ear canal. Don't use drops if you see or feel drainage from your ear. Drainage is actually a good thing. It means that your eardrum has ruptured and the pus can drain. Seeing your ear drain can be a bit alarming, but the pain is relieved, and you will feel better quickly.
6. Keep Your Head High
Sit up rather than lie down. Reclining can make your ear pain worse.
7. Try Rubbing Alcohol
To help to prevent ear pain such as swimmer's ear, place a drop or two of rubbing alcohol into your ear within an hour after you swim. The alcohol will dry out your ear canal but may cause your ears to itch. Don't use alcohol if you have a perforated eardrum, see or feel drainage from your ear, or develop any loss of hearing.
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