What is Ear Ache?
Ear ache is extremely common in children. The most frequent cause of ear ache is otitis media (infection of the middle ear, ie. the space behind the eardrum) or otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear canal). Ear ache is usually a complication of a cold and is not contagious.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Ache?
- Severe, stabbing pain.
- Fluid build-up behind the ear drum.
- Persistent crying and tugging at the ear.
- Fever and irritability.
- Hearing difficulties.
- Possibly diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
What are the Causes of Ear Ache?
You can help to prevent the infections that may lead to ear ache by:
- Teaching your children to cover their mouths with a disposable tissue when they cough and blow their noses with disposable tissues.
- Only use a tissue once and then immediately throw it away.
- Do not allow your children to share toys that they put in their mouths. If your child has discarded a toy that can be put in the mouth, place it out of reach of the other children. Wash and disinfect these toys before allowing your children to play with them again.
- Make sure your family wash their hands regularly.
Traditional Medical Treatments for Ear Ache
Pain medication is the primary help needed ,using paracetamol or neurofen can reduce the pain.Half of all earaches are caused by viruses so antibiotics are not always necessary.Antibiotics may be prescribed if a bacterial infection is the underlying cause of the ear ache. Try not to forget any of the doses. If your child goes to school or a babysitter, arrange for someone to give the afternoon dose. If the medicine is a liquid, store the antibiotic in the refrigerator and use a measuring spoon to be sure that you give the right amount.
Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Ear Ache
Herbs. Ear drops can help relieve the pain of an earache. A blend of mullein and garlic oil is a good choice because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties; St. John’s wort and calendula can also be added. You can buy herbal ear drops or make your own. Garlic can be irritating to the ear canal in high concentrations, so be sure to dilute the garlic oil with other oils such as mullein. To administer ear drops: Run hot water over a spoon until it is warm, pour a few drops of oil onto the spoon to warm the oil, then put two to three drops in each ear while your child is lying down; plug the ear loosely with a cotton ball. Repeat two or three times a day for no more than four days. Aromatherapy. Make an aromatherapy ear rub with several drops of lavender, tea tree oil, and chamomile in 1 ounce of olive oil. Rub the oil mixture around the outside of the ear and over the lymph nodes on the side of the neck, or dab a cotton ball in the oil, gently place it in the ear, and leave it in until the infection is gone, replacing it with a fresh cotton ball several times a day. Homeopathic remedies can be administered at home to relieve the pain of occasional earaches. If your child is angry, fearful, and sensitive to light and noise, consider Belladonna, which is effective for earaches that come on suddenly, with severe, throbbing pains. Chamomilla is good for earaches associated with teething. Children who need Pulsatilla tend to be weepy, sensitive, and clingy. Their cheeks will be pale, and there may be a thick, yellow-green discharge from the nose or the ear. Symptoms often come on gradually, frequently following a cold. Aconite is for the sudden onset of earache after a chill. The child may awaken in the night screaming with pain and appearing anxious and scared. Recurring earaches also respond well to homeopathic treatment; consult a trained homeopath for help in choosing the right remedy.