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Best Remedies to Treat an Ear Infection

suffering from Ear Infection
– 5 minute read

Ear Infection Treatment Tips From Concept by Iowa Hearing

Ear infections can be a painful and uncomfortable condition that disrupts your daily routine, but Concept by Iowa Hearing shares suggestions for ear pain relief while you wait to receive medical treatment. Infections are not only painful, but they can lead to temporary hearing loss and dizziness. We always recommend you seek medical attention for severe infections and those accompanied by fever or mucus discharge. However, over-the-counter and natural remedies can alleviate the discomfort and help you manage the pain while waiting for your medical appointment. Here are some common remedies to treat an ear infection.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter options like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate the pain associated with ear infections. If your infection has brought on a fever, these will help lower that as well. You can also find eardrops that relieve pain and swelling. If the ear disease is due to swimmer’s ear, the local pharmacy should have options to help dry out excess water. Ear protection is a great preventative measure to avoid water in the ear in the future. With any store-bought medication, it is essential to read the labels carefully and follow the instructions to prevent complications.

Cold or Warm Compresses

Applying cold or warm compresses to the affected ear can help alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes with an ear infection. Ear problems cause pain when pressure builds in the inner or middle ear from excess fluid. A warm compress can help relieve ear pressure, reduce inflammation, and help with drainage, all of which contribute to relieving pain. A cold compress can also reduce inflammation and help by numbing the pain. Test each method to see which works better in your case.

Naturopathic Drops

Naturopathic ear drops made from natural plant extracts like mullein, garlic, and chamomile can be an effective ear pain treatment and reduce inflammation caused by infections. The active ingredients offer powerful healing qualities, such as:

  • Mullein – The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties effectively calm irritated ear tissue and fight bacteria.
  • Garlic – Garlic is known for its potent antimicrobial properties to fight bacteria and fungi infections.
  • Chamomile – For soothing properties that can alleviate the discomfort of inflammation, chamomile is a safe bet.


If you don’t have access to naturopathic drops, some garlic from your pantry can be used as a substitute. For ear pain relief, heat two garlic cloves and some olive oil in a small saucepan until it becomes fragrant. Once cooled, strain out the pieces of garlic, place a few drops of the garlic-infused oil into the infected ear, and gently massage around the area. More research is needed on the effectiveness of garlic, but early studies show it has strong antimicrobial properties.


Ginger has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can alleviate ear infection symptoms. You can boil ginger root in water, strain the mixture, and apply a few drops to the outer ear canal. Ginger juice can be used as well. You must not put ginger-infused water, oil, or ginger juice directly into the ear. It should be used as a topical remedy only.

Olive Oil

If you don’t have access to garlic or ginger, olive oil on its own can be used. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce ear inflammation and relieve pain. You can heat olive oil and apply a few drops of warm oil to the affected ear using a dropper. While there isn’t enough scientific evidence backing up the oil’s ability to soothe pain, a couple of drops are worth trying due to the product’s antibacterial properties. However, it’s always a good idea to consult an audiologist or medical professional before trying this. If you get the go-ahead, make sure the oil is no warmer than the average body temperature.

Neck Exercises

Blood flow is integral to the body’s ability to heal and reduce inflammation. Neck exercises can improve blood flow to the affected ear and help relieve ear pressure, pain, and inflammation. If you’re physically able, gently tilting your head, rolling your shoulders, and massaging your neck can help.

Adjust Your Sleeping Position 

One of the reasons congestion and ear pain feel worse at night is because excess fluid has nowhere to go when lying down. Try sleeping with your head propped up a little. This will allow the Eustachian tubes to drain and relieve some pressure.

Find Professional Ear Pain Treatment in Iowa 

As professional audiologists, the Concept by Iowa Hearing team encourages everyone to seek ear infection treatment for prolonged conditions and severe pain, especially if an over-the-counter option or other home remedy doesn’t provide relief. It’s always best to seek medical attention and advice from professionals, even to find out if one of these home remedies involving drops is safe to try in your situation. If you have a chronic condition or frequent ear and hearing issues, we invite you to contact one of our hearing care centers in Iowa for help from experienced audiologists. 

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