21 Home Remedies for an Earache

There are a few different things that can lead to an earache. You could have injured the eardrum or your brain, you could have hurt a different part of your head but feel it in your ear, an irritation in the ear, or even an ear or sinus infection.

There a couple of other issues that could potentially lead to pain in your ears. Some of these could be overuse of cotton swabs, strep throat, earwax buildup, change in pressure, an object is in your ear that should not be there, and shampoo or water in your ear.


There are several symptoms that often come with an earache. Fluid draining from the ear, muffled hearing, fever, trouble sleeping, headache, and loss of balance and/or appetite, are just some of the most common earache symptoms.  

Most earaches are caused by one the things listed above. While those are the most common causes, there could be worse underlying issues like a sinus infection. So there are times or circumstances where you should talk to your doctor.


Home Remedies for Earache

If the pain is severe, if pus or blood comes from the ear, if there is swelling around the ear or muscles in the face are drooping, see a doctor. These symptoms could be a sign that you have something more serious than a simple earache.

If you do not have any serious symptoms listed above, and only have the mild the mild symptoms, then you can use the home remedies listed below to treat your earache and its symptoms.


  1. Heat

A heating pad or hot water bottle placed over the ear can help to the inflammation in the ear. Whatever method of heat pad you are using, leave it over the ear for 20 minutes.

Be careful when using the heating pads. You do not want to burn yourself, nor do you want to fall asleep using the heating pad seeing as some of them plugin.

washcloth, earache, towel

You can also soak a washcloth in hot water and hold it up to the ear to get the same effect

  1. Over the Counter Painkillers

This one is pretty easy to follow. The aspirin or ibuprofen that you can get from convenience stores. Just follow the instructions provided on the box or bottle. This can treat most of the symptoms, like swelling and pain, that come with inflammation.


  1. Ear Drops

Since one of the most common causes of an earache is the built-up wax, there are a couple different ear drops you can get over the counter for just this issue. Again, make sure to use it smartly and follow the given steps on the container.


  1. Cold

Like heat, cold can decrease the amount of swelling in the ear. You can use an ice pack, a cold water bottle, some ice in a paper towel, or frozen veggies in a towel. Put your chosen cold pack on the affected ear for 20 minutes. You want to be careful with as well. You can burn yourself with the heat method, but you can also do skin damage if the ice on your skin for too long.

  1. Garlic

Sometimes, an earache is an indication of an ear infection. If that is the case, you can add garlic to your diet to try and kill off the infection before it gets worse.

Another way you can use garlic to make your own ear drops. You are going to need five finely chopped cloves of garlic, 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and a half cup of virgin olive oil. Once you have the olive oil and garlic, cook them over low heat for eight hours. When the eight hours is up, you will need to strain the garlic and olive oil to get out as much garlic juice and olive oil as you can. Mix the oil from the pan in a small glass jar with an eyedropper and add the 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Place two drops in each ear every half hour as needed for seven days.    


  1. Sucking

Sucking on a hard candy, a lollipop, a cough drop, whatever you happen to have, can help to ease the pressure in your ears which can soothe the ear ache at least a little bit.

peppermint, candy, heroin

Peppermint candy works especially well for this home remedy, as peppermint reduces inflammation

  1. Massage

An earache can be a result of muscle tension in the neck, a hurting tooth, or a hurting jaw. There are gentle stretches you can do, as well as simple massages.

Feel by your ear. There is a little ‘pit’ between where your skull right under your ear meets with the top of your jaw and your neck. You can find this by touching your earlobe and moving your hand down a little. Make small circular motions with two fingers in this ‘pit’ very gently.


  1. Onions

Onions can also be used to fight inflammation and infection. To use this home remedy, heat an onion, get the liquid out, and put a drop in the ear. Lay on your opposite side so that the liquid does not run out. You can repeat this as you need to.


  1. Steam

If you are suffering from a sinus infection, then you might be able to benefit from steam. Since the ear, nose, and throat are all connected, breathing in some steam to break up some of the blockages in your sinuses can help to take pressure off your ear.

If plain water does not seem to be doing the trick, feel free to boil some herbs in the water or add a couple drops of essential oils. The best herbs or essential oils to use are lemon balm, rosemary, sage, and calendula.


  1. Olive Oil

Olive oil can lessen the inflammation in the ear, and it’s easy enough to use. Just place a couple drops in the affected ear.

  1. Neti Pot

This is another solution that you want to try if you are dealing with pressure on your ear because of your sinuses. This can be because of a sinus infection, allergies, or even just congestion. You can buy neti pots over the counter and you just follow the instructions on the box.

net pot, sinus, earache

The average neti pot looks like this

  1. Dietary Changes

If you are battling an illness that might be bothering your ears, try not to eat sugar, gluten, and dairy. All of these can actually make nasal congestion worse.


  1.  Essential Oil Rub

There’s an easy rub you can make to apply around the ears when you first start feeling anything is off. All you need is 10 drops of lavender and tea tree essential oils and a fourth cup of olive oil. Using this can help to ebb inflammation and infection.


  1. Hydrogen Peroxide

This is a good thing to use if you think an earache is from wax buildup. Get a cotton ball wet with hydrogen peroxide and then squeeze a couple drops into the affected ear. This will help to break things up so that you can more easily clean the ear.


  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can both fight infection, inflammation, and help to break things up in the ear if there is wax build up in the ear. This also easy to use. Wet a cotton ball or get a glass eyedropper. Place a couple drops in the ear. Use this home remedy every 12 hours as needed.


  1. Tea

There are a couple different kinds of tea you can drink if you want to try to battle infection or you want to try using heat from the inside rather from the outside. You can drink holy basil, echinacea, or German chamomile. All of these also induce relaxation.

Organic Chamomile Tea, 15-pack ($5.49)

  1. Skip the Cleaning

It can actually be better for you if you don’t use cotton swabs to clean your ears. Using cotton swabs to clean your ears every day can push was up against the drum of your ear which can affect your hearing as well as cause pain or irritation. On top of that, ear wax can even help to keep bacteria and fungus from growing in your ear because it has some antimicrobial properties.


  1. Sit up

Laying down to sleep, you can roll onto your side which can be bad. If you roll over on the ear that has been giving your trouble, it can cause pain because the weight of your head is now on your ear and because it can move fluids in your ear against your eardrum. To avoid that, try sleeping on a recliner or a loveseat. It’s still comfortable for sleeping, but it can also lessen the pressure of the fluids in your ear.


  1. Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver kills fungi and bacteria that can cause earaches. Put two to three drops of colloidal silver into the affected ear. Repeat once or twice a day.


  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil calms inflammation and pain while killing bacteria in the ear. Liquify the coconut oil and put a couple drops in your ear. Gently put part of a cotton ball just barely in your ear to stop the oil from getting out. Move your jaw around a little so that the oil really gets into your ear. Remove the cotton ball after 10 or 15 minutes and tilt your head slightly to get the extra oil out.

  1. Castor Oil

Castor oil can do amazing things for lessening the pain and for quickening heal time. Lighting warm the oil, put a drop or two in the affected ear, either stay on the opposite side or close off the opening of your ear with a cotton ball for a couple minutes. After a few minutes, tilt your head over a sink to get the extra oil out.

100% Pure Cold Pressed Castor Oil, 2 oz. ($6.70)

Which of these home remedies are you most likely to try? Comment below!









Neti pot image by Kurt Yoder.



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