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  • Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Ear pain

Ear pain, also known as otalgia, is a common condition that can have a variety of causes. It can be a sharp, dull, or burning pain, and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, hearing loss, or discharge from the ear.


One of the most common causes of ear pain is an ear infection. Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses and can occur in the outer ear (otitis externa) or the middle ear (otitis media). Symptoms of an ear infection include ear pain, fever, and a feeling of fullness in the ear.


Another common cause of ear pain is swimmer's ear, which is an infection of the outer ear canal. It is caused by water that becomes trapped in the ear after swimming or bathing, and can lead to inflammation and infection. Symptoms of swimmer's ear include ear pain, itching, and a discharge from the ear.


Another cause of ear pain can be due to earwax build up, which can cause a blockage in the ear canal, leading to discomfort and hearing loss.


Treatment for ear pain will depend on the cause. For ear infections, treatment may include antibiotics or ear drops. Swimmer's ear can be treated with ear drops or oral antibiotics. Earwax blockage can be treated by irrigation, ear drops or removal by a doctor.


If you experience ear pain, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation. They will be able to determine the cause of the pain and recommend appropriate treatment. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to alleviate pain.


It is also important to take preventive measures to avoid ear infections, such as:

  • Keeping the ears dry, particularly after swimming or bathing

  • Avoiding the use of cotton swabs, which can push wax deeper into the ear canal

  • Not inserting any objects such as hairpins or cotton swabs into the ear canal


If you have any concern about your ear pain, don't hesitate to see your doctor. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to alleviate ear pain and prevent complications.


Natural Home remedies for reducing Ear Pain


Ear pain can be a debilitating condition, but there are some natural home remedies that may help to alleviate pain and discomfort.


These remedies are generally safe and can be used in conjunction with other treatments recommended by your doctor.

  1. Warm compress: Applying a warm compress to the affected ear can help to reduce pain and inflammation. To make a warm compress, soak a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess. Apply the compress to the ear and hold it in place for 10-15 minutes. Repeat as needed.

  2. Garlic oil: Garlic has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that may help to reduce ear pain. To make garlic oil, crush a few cloves of garlic and mix with a carrier oil such as olive oil. Place a few drops of the oil in the affected ear and keep your head tilted for a couple of minutes. Repeat as needed.

  3. Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties that may help to reduce the symptoms of an ear infection. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and use a dropper to place a few drops in the affected ear. Keep your head tilted for a couple of minutes, then drain the solution out.

  4. Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can help to soften earwax and reduce the symptoms of an ear infection. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, and use a dropper to place a few drops in the affected ear. Keep your head tilted for a couple of minutes, then drain the solution out.

  5. Onions: Onions have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that may help to reduce ear pain. Cut an onion in half and place the cut side on the affected ear. Leave it in place for 10-15 minutes, then remove. Repeat as needed.

  6. Olive oil: Olive oil can help to soften earwax, which can reduce the symptoms of an ear infection. Place a few drops of warm olive oil in the affected ear and keep your head tilted for a couple of minutes. Drain the oil out and repeat as needed.


It is worth noting that some of these remedies may not be suitable for everyone, and if your pain persists or increases, you should consult your doctor. Always consult with your doctor before trying any new treatment especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

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