Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Ear Pain: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Ear pain is a fairly common ailment that affects millions of people and is the most common in children. There are two types of ear pain that come with this ailment. The first is the actual pain which occurs deep within the ear. The second is the referred pain which occurs outside the ear and alerts you to the fact that something is not quite right. Ear pains can vary in their severity, with some being a gentle throbbing pain and others being so severe that it becomes difficult to walk. Fortunately, this extremely common malady has effective treatments. There are specific medicines and ear drops that are available in the market and are meant to combat ear pain. These medications often have a dual effect – they get rid of the pain that you are experiencing while also getting rid of the underlying infection that is causing that pain in the first place. Therefore, these treatments are highly effective. Your doctor will recommend the medication that you should be using as there are plenty available in the market and you will need to take your allergies into account before using any medicine. It is important to note that ear pain can sometimes be cause by other underlying conditions such as sinusitis, problems in your teeth, an infection in your nose or the pharynx, cancer in your throat, or an aura that comes right before a migraine. This is why it is important to not solely rely on home remedies for ear pain and to visit your doctor in a timely fashion.

How is the treatment done?

Visiting an ENT specialist (ear, nose, throat) is the first step in ensuring that the treatment occurs. The doctor will first use an otoscope or an auriscope to have a look inside your ear. This will help determine the exact cause of the pain. Sometimes, the answer can be fairly simple, such as a blockage created due to too much ear wax, and the treatment, which includes cleaning the ear, can be administered immediately. This is followed by pain relief almost immediately or within a day. However, ear pain can also be caused due to an infection and this is where the treatment steps tend to vary. Your doctor is most likely to ask you to lie down on your side to let gravity do its magic while he or she uses an ear drop. The drops are administered internally in the ear and do not cause any pain. If you have a large amount of swelling or any abscess in the area, your doctor may use gauze to first assess the damage, and then clean it up before administering the drops. Some doctors prefer oral medication and if that is the case with your doctor, you’ll leave the clinic with a prescription and will be asked to take a certain dosage for a set number of days. The ear canal has to be kept dry during the treatment and you may be given a plug of sorts to apply to your ear when you bathe.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anyone who is experiencing any amount of pain in a single ear or both ears is eligible for the treatment. There is no stipulated time period for which you must wait to see if things worsen. The minute you feel the pain and want to get it treated, you can visit your doctor.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If your ear pain is caused due to underlying problems with your jaw, a migraine, cancer, sinusitis, or any infection in the nose or throat, you may not be eligible for ear pain treatments as the pain you are experiencing in your ear is mainly referral. It indicates that there is a problem in your body, but since the problem is not in your ears, administrating ear drops or having oral medications for ear pain are pointless.

Are there any side effects?

As is the case with most medications, there are certain side effects that you should be vary of. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics to treat your ear infection, you can expect a mild fever to develop as most antibiotics raise the temperature of your body. Thus, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Some ear drops can lead to drowsiness and should not be taken right before performing physical activities or driving as that can be highly dangerous. Such drops are usually meant to be administered at night when you can fall asleep without worry. If you are allergic to any substance, it is best to discuss that with your health care provider so that he or she can administer medication that does not contain the allergen.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are no specific post treatment guidelines for ear pain, although there are guidelines that you must follow while the treatment is going on. The most important guideline is to ensure that your ears do not get wet in any circumstance. This is because it can cause the infection to spread and can also contribute to further pain and blockages. It is also generally advised not to sit in a flight or travel to high altitudes that will make your ears pop as your ears are generally sensitive during this time period and any random stimulus can increase your recovery time if you are not careful.

How long does it take to recover?

Most ear pain treatments last anywhere between 7-10 days. As you continue to take your medications, you will notice a gradual decrease in your symptoms or your pain on a daily basis until the whole thing is gone. If your ear pain is caused due to any other condition that you may be suffering from, then it takes much longer to recover. Until that condition is treated completely, the referral pain in your ear may not completely go away.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Ear drops are quite affordable in India. They range in price from Rs 30 to Rs 100, depending on the medication you are prescribed. The same goes for any oral medication that you might be taking in order to treat ear pain.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treating your ear pain can be permanent. In some case, ear infections do reoccur however, those infections are usually looked upon as a fresh infection rather than the same one coming back again. If your ear pain is the result of a different condition you may have, treating the pain alone will only work for a short period of time. Whether it takes days or weeks, the pain is bound to return to alert you of whatever condition you may be suffering from. Generic ear pain treatment results are normally permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are many home remedies and alternative treatments that can be used in order to treat ear pain. Some of these are quite common and many people resort to using them before seeing a doctor. One popular home treatment is to apply a cold or warm compress to the ear to do away with the pain. Some people drop a few drops of olive oil into their ears while others drop tea tree oil. This is because both these oils have antibacterial and antibiotic properties and are great for fighting any infection that might be causing the pain. If your ear pain is caused due to a muscular problem, you can perform neck exercises to make it better. Some people use ginger or garlic to gain relief from their symptoms as well. Hydrogen peroxide is another common household remedy for ear pain, followed by brandy (administered in the ear, not swallowed). Though many home remedies are known for being successful, it is worth mentioning that it is always better to consult with a health care professional before administering any treatment as you may end up worsening the symptoms. As ear pain can be indicative of other ailments, it is in your best interests to get checked out by a doctor.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: High Price Range: Rs. 30 - Rs. 100

Popular Health Tips

Middle Ear Infections - Causes And Symptoms

Dr. Dhirendra Singh Kushwah 91% (63 ratings)
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Middle Ear Infections - Causes And Symptoms
The human ear is divided into three parts, namely the outer, middle and inner ear. All these parts function in coherence with each other and help us in converting vibrations into sound and information. The middle ear consists of the air space between the inner ear and the outer ear and contains the bones that transmit the vibrations of the outer ear and translate them into information. This area is prone to infections, especially among children and thus may cause discomfort or pain. Symptoms of middle ear infections Middle ear infections primarily tend to manifest themselves as inflammation of the tissues and buildup of fluids. Some of the symptoms are mentioned below. Infections in children - Middle ear infections primarily occur in children although it can occur in adults as well. Some of the common symptoms could be: a. Ear pain either sitting or standing up and especially while lying down b. Irritability and crying, which is infants could translate to more than usual crying c. Problems with sound and difficulties in hearing d. Fluid buildup causing balance related problems e. Discharge of fluid in certain cases f. Unable to sleep and also loss of appetite g. Some cases children may have high fever Causes of middle ear infections The primary cause of middle ear infection is due to the presence of bacteria or virus in the area. The Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat, is connected to nasal passages as well. Any infection that affects the throat or the nose may also affect the middle ear through this tube. Primary causes for the infections could be a. Cold or flu like symptoms which then infect the middle ear as well b. Otitis media, which is the buildup of fluid and inflammation either due to the presence of bacteria and viruses or even without it. c. Seasonal infections which are common during late autumn or winters d. Air pollution is also known to be a factor e. Infection from others, especially in the case of children when they are part of a group care f. Children from 6 months to 2 years are also susceptible to middle ear infections as their immune systems are much less developed. Treatment of middle ear infections Usually, middle ear infections resolve on their own within a day or so. You can try warm compress with a soft piece of cloth to ease the pain. However, if pain persists for too long then antibiotic medications may be required to fight the infection with pain relief medications to lessen the pain and discomfort.

Ear Pain

Dr. Vivek Dudeja 87% (17 ratings)
ENT Specialist, Karnal
Ear Pain
Sudden ear pain can be devided as aural (due to ear) or referred pain which needs to be differentiated. Important causes of reffered pain are from teeth, tonsils. Nasopharynx, base of tongue, temporomandibular (jaw) joint etc. So accompanying symptoms must be seen. But most of the times, cause lie in ear itself. Excrutiating pain in outer ear especially while touching ear can be due to otitis externa or furunculosis. Which in easy words can be explained as bacterial infevtion of outer ear leading to swelling in ear. Another important and very common cause in asom. In this patient will have pain but not on touchhing. This can sometimes lead to hole in tympanic membrane. Hence it becomes very important to differentiate all these causes before starting treatment. Proper treatment is to be taken rather than trying quacks or just pain killers. Stay healthy
3 people found this helpful

Acute Mastoiditis - How It Can Be Treated?

M.B.B.S, MS ENT, MRCS Ed ENT, Fellowship Golf
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Acute Mastoiditis - How It Can Be Treated?
The infection of the bone of the ear is Mastoiditis. This may be an acute infection needing hospitalisation and injectable drugs or may be in the form of slow bone eroding processes like cholesteatoma. Let us learn more about this condition and its treatment- Understanding the Mastoid Bone: The mastoid bone is made up of air sacs and it looks a lot like a sponge. In this sense, it is different from the other bones that can be found in the human body. In order to function properly, this bone requires air from the other parts of the ear, including the Eustachain Tube which connects the middle part of the ear with the portion that lies at the back of the throat. If this tube gets infected due to any reason, the infection and bacteria can also travel to the Mastoid bone, leading to an infection in this area. Another form of the infection starts from the ear drum and a slowly progressive bone eroding process starts which spreads into the air sacs and can potentially spread to the brain. Symptoms: Acute mastoiditis will present with earache, ear discharge and onset of fever and chills, as well as redness and inflammation behind the ear. Pain in the ear may be experienced along with headaches and swelling that may be experienced behind the eyes. At the very earliest sign, these symptoms must be reported to an ENT or ear throat nose specialist so that the treatment can happen at the earliest. Chronic mastoiditis may be due to repeated infections and bone eroding cholesteatoma which presents with repeated episodes of ear discharge which may be foul smelling and may even have blood. Diagnosis: The diagnosis is mostly made on ear examination and may involve imaging tests like a CT scan as well as an MRI scan of the head and the ear. A simple X-ray of the mastoids can help in detecting the severity of the infection, and it spread. Treatment: After diagnosing the problem with imaging tests as well as a detailed ear examination, the doctor will usually start the treatment by admitting the patient in the hospital. Antibiotic medication will be administered through intravenous methods, after which oral antibiotics will be prescribed for many days after the patient has been discharged from the hospital. Surgery may be required if the infection has not cleared up even after the use of antibiotics and is also done in cases of bone erosion. This surgery will be done to drain the infected fluid from the ear and remove a part of this Mastoid bone. Complications like facial paralysis and vertigo need to be discussed with the surgeon before the surgery.
3994 people found this helpful

6 Most Common Ear Ailments In Children!

Dr. Parth Amin 85% (10 ratings)
DNB (ENT), Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Ahmedabad
6 Most Common Ear Ailments In Children!
The ear is made up of three parts that is outer, middle and the inner part. Infections, disorders and ailments in the ear can occur across all age groups and in any part of the ear. Ear ailments are more common in children than in adults as the Eustachian tubes (tubes which drain out ear fluid) are smaller in children. Here are a few common ailments which occur in children: Acute otitis media: AOM is the most common ear infection in children. Some parts of the middle ear are infected, resulting in swelling and blockage of fluid behind the eardrum. This condition is characterised by earache in children and in graver conditions, can also cause fever. Otitis media with effusion: This condition usually occurs due to the infestation of an infection when the fluid gets restricted behind the ear drum. This condition doesn t exhibit too many symptoms except mild earache. You should visit an ENT specialist who can diagnose this condition by checking the concentration of fluid behind the eardrum using special instruments. Chronic otitis media with effusion: This condition occurs in children when the fluid remains trapped behind the eardrum for a long period of time. It can lead to serious infection and cause problems in hearing in children. Barotrauma: Barotrauma occurs due to changes in atmospheric pressure changes. It can cause problems in the Eustachian tube and causes trapping of air in the middle ear. Middle ear problems can become severe if left untreated and result in a burst in the eardrum, causing excessive bleeding. Meniere's disease: This is a disorder, which comes in bouts and is characterised by vertigo and fluctuating hearing loss. This condition usually affects one ear. It can result in tinnitus (ringing in the ear) or permanent loss of hearing if left untreated. Swimmer s ear: Swimmer s ear, also known as otitis externa, is a common condition which is caused in the outer area of the ear. This condition is caused due to remnants of chlorine water in the ear or because of inserting swabs too deep inside the canal. This condition is characterised by earache, discomfort and itching of the ear.
4112 people found this helpful

Ear ache (Ear Pain)

Dr. Rahul Bhargava 93% (139 ratings)
Fellowship In Rhinology, MS (ENT), DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Play video
Earache: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
1 person found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Is soliwax is helpful in fungal infection in ears? In winters every year I faced a pain and a lot of itching in ears.

Dr. Archana Muralidharan 90% (132 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Bangalore
No . Soliwax is wax softner. Fungal infection u have to use different drops. But always better to see doctor before starting it. do not use ear buds

I have some pain in my both ear and some noise like that insect are make a noise in the night. Is that big problem for ear? Pls help.

Dr. Surbhi Agrawal 89% (18627 ratings)
General Physician, Nashik
For tinnitus, which is in fact very annoying as the sound in the head with no external source, you may use Tablet Elavil (Amitriptyline) 10 mg at bedtime to get some sound sleep. Also, Arches tinnitus formula may be helpful. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent. Get your ear examined for wax or perforation, which are the dominant causes of persistent tinnitus. It is a chronic condition and requires maintenance if dry environment, particularly if you go for aquatic sports or swimming. The treatment should be appropriate and to be adhered. Please check for your diabetic status and do not use antibiotic ear drops.
1 person found this helpful

I've got earache please could you help me thank you it would be much appreciated.

Dr. Surbhi Agrawal 89% (18627 ratings)
General Physician, Nashik
You will need antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Kindly revert for detailed assessment and prescription.

Hi I am 27 years. I have blocked ears with stinging pain. Even after I air pop up. My ear still hurts. When I went to my GP, he saw my ears and said it’s clean but dry’ I don’t see any other problem. So what should I do?

Dr. Manish L. Ninama 91% (52 ratings)
ENT Specialist, Ahmedabad
Along with these complaints if you have nasal blockage and cold then it may be due to AOM, you should take steam inhalation and avoid cold drinks, ice cream etc. You also take llevocetrizine with ambroxol once in the evening after meal.
2 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Ear Pain - How To Control It?

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (1340 ratings)
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
For proper evaluation of the ear pain, it is important to check other organs of the body. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
Start Quiz
556 people took this quiz

Ear Pain And How To Treat It

ENT Specialist, Delhi
Your hair spray and jaw may be giving you ear pain which can be relieved by peppermint. True or false? Take this quiz to know now.
Start Quiz
1284 people took this quiz

Popular Health Packages

5 Days validity  •  Medicines included