What are the Best Earache Treatments?

K. Gierok

While an earache is not a life-threatening condition, it can nonetheless be quite painful. One of the most common forms of treatment for an earache is prescription antibiotics. In most cases, a prescription is necessary for antibiotics used in the treatment of earaches. In addition, decongestants and hydrogen peroxide may also be effective in the treatment of earaches. In some cases, over-the-counter pain killers, such as aspirin, may be effective in the treatment of the condition. Those who do not achieve success with over-the-counter pain killer use may require stronger, prescription medication in order to completely eradicate the ear pain.

Putting some hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip can help with pain caused by water in the ear.
Putting some hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip can help with pain caused by water in the ear.

The use of prescription antibiotics is considered by many to be one of the best earache treatments. Typically, patients who have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection have been found to have the best results when it comes to antibiotic treatment. In order to correctly diagnose a bacterial ear infection, individuals suffering from an earache must consult with a physician or other health care professional. Other symptoms associated with a bacterial ear infection include a low-grade fever and fatigue. Failure to receive treatment for a bacterial infection can result in permanent hearing loss, and therefore should be treated immediately.

Prescription antibiotics may be required to treat earache.
Prescription antibiotics may be required to treat earache.

Decongestants are another of the most common earache treatments. They are most effective when they are used in the treatment of earaches caused by colds, allergy symptoms, influenza, or an upper respiratory infection. Though decongestants have been found to be highly successful in the treatment of this type of earache, it may take a day or two in order to achieve complete eradication of the symptoms. Therefore, individuals should be patient and allow the medication to do its work before attempting other types of earache treatments.

For earaches associated with small amounts of water trapped in the ear, hydrogen peroxide may be effective. Typically, affected individuals are encouraged to place a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball or q-tip, and rub it along the inside of the ear in question. Caution should be used in order to avoid applying too much hydrogen peroxide, as this can lead to dangerous complications.

Aspirin and other similar over-the-counter pain killers are typically quite effective earache treatments. Individuals who have taken these medications for a significant period of time and have not achieved results should consult with their physician. In some cases, it may be necessary to provide patients with prescription-strength pain killers.

An earache may be the result of an ear infection.
An earache may be the result of an ear infection.

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Discussion Comments


I have a medication at home, it says "decongestant" on the label. Does this mean I can use it for my earache?


@turquoise-- Apply several drops of warm olive oil or castor oil into your ear. Don't apply too much, use a dropper if you have one. You can also dip a cotton ball in the oil and put that into your ear if you're more comfortable with that.

Something else you can do is apply a heating pad on your ear. Heat usually relieves my earaches, unless there is a serious inner ear infection going on.


I don't have hydrogen peroxide at home and I already took a pain reliever. My earache is not going away and I can't see my doctor until tomorrow.

Are there any other earache remedies?

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