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Ear aches are a common complaint for many children. An ear infection can be explained as an inflammation of the middle ear. Unlike other aches, this one cannot be soothed by scratching or applying pressure and hence makes children cranky. Ear infections are usually triggered by bacteria or viruses. This causes inflammation that narrows the tube in the ear and allows fluid to build up. This fluid buildup is responsible for the pain.
However, not all ear infections need to be treated with medication. When it comes to treating ear aches in children, picking a natural remedy is a much better option ,since it has no side effects and can address the root cause of the infection. Here are a few natural remedies for earaches:
- Compress: Hot and cold compresses are very effective ways of treating pain and can be used for earaches as well. Place an ice pack or a warm, moist compress over the ear to soothe the ache. Heat relaxes the muscles and stimulates blood flow while ice controls inflammation and swelling. Hot and cold compresses should not be applied for over 20 minutes at a time.
- Water: Some actions can help open up the eustachian tube to the middle ear. Swallowing is one such action. To encourage your child to swallow, offer him lots of fluids.
- Oil: Before using oil to treat an earache ensure that your child is not suffering from a ruptured eardrum and there is no fluid leaking from the ear. Pouring a few drops of warm olive oil or sesame oil can help soothe the pain by opening up the eustachian tube. It can also prevent the buildup of excessive ear wax and form a protective layer on the outer ear against bacteria and other infections.
- Elevate the head: Elevating a child's head can help improve sinus drainage. When it comes to children, instead of using a pillow below their head, place the pillow below the mattress to create a gradual slope.
- Onion: Onions can be used in many different ways to treat earaches. You could either juice an onion and put a few drops of the same in the ear or slice an onion in half and heat it before placing it over the ear like an ear muff. Onion contains anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help soothe earaches effectively and quickly.
If the earache does not reduce or if there is a discharge from the ear, do not continue to self treat it and consult a doctor immediately.