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1. Cold

A cold pack can help with the pain of an earache.

Try wrapping ice in paper towels or freezing a cold pack and then covering it with a light cloth. Hold this to the ear and the area immediately under the ear for 20 minutes.

The cold should not hurt, and parents should never apply ice directly to their children’s skin.

Some people find that heat offers greater relief than cold. For others, alternating hot and cold packs (20 minutes hot, followed by 20 minutes cold) provides the best pain relief.

2. Ear drops

Ear drops can reduce pressure in the ear caused by fluid and earwax.

People should read the directions carefully, and talk to a doctor before using ear drops on a child.

Ear drops are no substitute for prescription ear drops or antibiotics, so people should only use them for a few days. If symptoms return, people should see a doctor.

It is important to remember that people should not use ear drops in a child with tubes in their ears or whose eardrum has ruptured.

3. Massage

Gentle massage can help with ear pain that radiates from the jaw or teeth, or that causes a tension headache.

People can massage the tender area, as well as any surrounding muscles. For example, if the area behind the ear hurts, try massaging the muscles of the jaw and neck.

Massage may also help with the pain of an ear infection.

Using a downward motion, apply pressure beginning just behind the ears and down the neck.

Continuing to apply pressure downward, work forward to the front of the ears.

This type of massage may help drain excess fluid from the ears, and prevent the pain from getting worse.

4. Garlic

Eating a clove of garlic a day may help prevent ear infections.

Garlic has long been used in folk medicine to relieve pain. Some research suggests it has antimicrobial properties that can fight infection.

People should not use it as a substitute for antibiotics a doctor has recommended. Instead, consider adding garlic to an antibiotic regimen to speed up relief.

To prevent ear infections, try eating a clove of garlic each day.

Garlic ear drops may also reduce pain and prevent an infection from getting worse. Cook two or three cloves in two tablespoons of mustard or sesame seed oil until brown, then strain the mix. Then, apply a drop or two to each ear.

5. Onions

Like garlic, onions can help fight infection and reduce pain. Also like garlic, onions are not a substitute for medical attention.

Heat an onion in the microwave for a minute or two. Then, strain the liquid and apply several drops to the ear. A person may want to lie down for 10 minutes, and then allow the liquid to flow out of the ear. Repeat this as needed.

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