Even though earaches are fairly common among children, some adults can be prone to it as well. Either one or both ears can be affected with dull, sharp, or burning pain that is constant or comes and goes every now and then. For most adults, an earache is accompanied with fever and temporary loss of hearing. As for kids, they may show signs of irritation and fussiness.
There are various causes of earaches such as ear infection, earwax buildup, strep throat, excess water trapped inside, sinus infection, change in air pressure, or a foreign object lodged inside the ear. You can try treating the pain at home by taking over-the-counter pain medication or ear drops, or even placing a cold cloth to the affected ear. But if neither of these steps can bring relief, there is another technique you can use to help ease the pain—essential oils.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely
When used in a proper manner, essential oils can work wonders for an earache for children and adults alike. Which is why, keep these following points in mind whenever you use any of the highly concentrated oils.
- Never put essential oils internally (ear canals, eyes, mouth, or mucus membranes).
- As each bottle of essential oils have directions on them, always follow the directions as specified.
- Never apply essential oils directly on the skin by itself; add a few drops of carrier oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil.
- If you’ve been exposed to UV light, avoid the use of any citrus oils as it can have some sensitivity issues.
- Instead of synthetic fragrances, go with the pure oils.
- Keep the room properly ventilated after applying any of the essential oils.
- Store the essential oils in dark glass bottles and keep them away from direct sunlight.
Applications of the Essential Oils for Ear Infection
Even though we have mentioned at home remedies to ease the discomfort caused due to your aching ear, we would still urge you to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis. This will not only help you understand the root cause of the pain, but also give you the right guidance to treat it properly.
After you’ve received a green signal from your doctor, you can use the help of essential oils. Here are a few different application methods and essential oils for earache or ear infection.
1. Finger Massage Application
- In a bowl, combine 2 drops of thyme oil, 2 drops of basil oil, 1 drop of oregano oil, and 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil. Mix it well and dip your fingers in it. Rub your fingers together and gently massage the mixture around your entire outer ear, neck area, and till your throat. Try applying the mixture at least two times a day till you find some relief.
- Here’s another combination you can use—combine 3 drops of mustard oil along with 1 teaspoon of olive oil properly. Use your fingers to gently massage and apply the mixture outside your ear. You can also apply the mixture on your neck, back, and throat area.
- Mix 5 – 6 drops of lavender oil or eucalyptus oil along with 1 teaspoon of either coconut or sweet almond oil. Lightly dip a couple of cotton balls in the mixture and in a circular motion, massage it over the opening of the ear. Follow this three times a day for at least a week, or till the pain subsides.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of coconut oil with 2 drops of tea tree oil. With your fingers, massage the mixture inside the ear (and not inside the ear canal), back of the ear, and down the neck. Make sure you apply a generous amount and leave the oils to work its magic. If the pain continues, continue the remedy 2 times a day for at least a week.
- Here’s another combination that might work for you—1 drop of lavender oil combined with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil. Use your fingers to massage your affected ear, back of the ear, neck, and back of the neck areas to help relieve the pain.
2. Hot Cloth Compress Application
- Ready a bowl of hot water and add 4 – 5 drops of clary sage oil or geranium oil along with jojoba or olive oil. Mix it well. Now take a soft, clean cotton cloth and dip it in the essential oil-mixed water. Ring out excess water and place the cloth over the aching ear till the cloth turns cool. Do this at least 4 – 5 times in one seating three times a day. You can apply this technique for a week to see if your pain has subsided or not.
- Combine 5 drops of peppermint oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a small bowl filled with hot water. Stir the oils properly and soak a clean, soft cotton cloth in it. Ring out excess water and fold the cloth twice. Gently place the hot cloth over your affected ear and keep it there for a few minutes. Do this at least 4 – 5 times in one seating three times a day. You can apply this technique for a week to see if your pain has subsided or not.
3. Cotton Ball Application
- Take a bowl to combine 1 teaspoon of bishop’s weed oil, 3 teaspoons of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil properly. Dip a big piece of cotton ball in the mixture and ring out excess oil from it. Place the cotton ball at the opening of the ear (make sure not to push it inside the ear canal). You can choose to keep the cotton ball for a couple of hours or for the entire day. Use this trick for a few days and see if your pain has lessened or disappeared completely.
- In a dark glass bottle, mix 2 drops of frankincense oil, 2 drops of rose oil, 1 drop of vitamin E oil, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil properly. Take a few cotton balls and soak them slightly with the oil mixture. Gently place the cotton balls right outside the ear canal and let it work its magic. Do this 2 times a day for a week and keep a record of the progress.
- Crush a few pieces of garlic cloves to get its juice. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of olive oil along with garlic juice. Place the bowl in the microwave and warm just a little bit (olive oil can heat up quickly, so keep an eye). Dip a few pieces of cotton ball, squeeze out excess oil, and place the cotton balls on the affected ear. Follow this remedy 2 times a day for a week.
If you or someone close to you has sever earache along with a fever that is 104ºF or above (for infants, it is 101ºF or above), it is time to consult with an experienced healthcare professional. Do not wait for the symptoms to get worse. Sometimes, you may also get severe headache, feel dizzy or lightheaded, see swelling around the ear, or even find pus coming out of the ear. At this point, it is imperative that you stop taking any over-the-counter medicines and other home remedies, and get it thoroughly checked by your doctor.