Ear Problems and Injuries,Age 12 and Older Home Treatment
Home treatment may be all that is
needed to relieve minor or intermittent ear discomfort.
To ease ear pain, apply a warm washcloth or a
heating pad set on low. There may be some drainage from
the ear when the heat melts
Do not use a heating pad when you are in bed. You may fall asleep and burn yourself. Do not use a heating pad on
a child. Try an
ice or cold pack to reduce swelling from a minor injury or sunburn. Apply
for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day during the first 48 hours after the injury.
The sooner you apply a cold pack, the less swelling you are likely to have.
Place a cloth between the ice and your skin. Oral or nasal
decongestants may relieve ear pain, especially if the
pain is related to fluid behind the eardrum ( otitis media with effusion). Avoid products that contain antihistamines, which tend to
cause more blockage, unless allergies seem to be the problem. Chewing gum may help relieve pressure changes
in the ear, such as when flying in an airplane. Try a
nonprescription earwax remover if your ear feels plugged but you do not have
signs of infection. Be sure to follow the label
directions carefully. Do not use ear candles. They have no proven benefit in the removal of earwax or the
treatment of other ear problems, and they can cause serious injury.
Safety tips Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine: Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box. Do not take more than the
recommended dose. Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past. If
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
it. If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
Pain develops or increases. Fever
signs of ear infection develop. New or
different drainage from the ear develops. Other symptoms develop,
such as hearing loss or vertigo. Your symptoms become more severe
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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Ear Problems and Injuries,Age 12 and Older Topics