Earache in children: natural remedies and home remedies

Earache in young children is very common.

Parents of infants can easily tell if the child has a rash from diapers or a runny nose, but infections of the ears can only manifest themselves through symptoms that are difficult to detect.
After all, three-quarters of children under the age of 3 develop an ear infection.

According to Jennifer Shu (pediatrician and editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics Baby & Child Health di Atlanta – USA), the most common cause of ear infection in children is a cold.

When the mucus reaches the middle ear, viruses or bacteria may be responsible for:

  • An infection,
  • A swollen or reddened ear.

Children under the age of 3 are prone to ear infections for two reasons:

  • They have a weak immune system because they have not come into contact with pathogenic microorganisms in the past.
  • Infants and young children have horizontally lying Eustachian tubes (channels that connect the middle ear to the pharynx) so that mucus can accumulate instead of draining into the throat by gravity.


Earache in children

Pain in both ears of infants and children arises for various reasons, especially with inflammation or infection:

  • of the inner ear,
  • of the middle ear,
  • Of the outer ear.

Breast milk helps prevent infections, so breastfeeding should always be done if possible.
In infants and toddlers who are not yet speaking, it can be difficult to understand that they suffer from earache.
In such situations, the child can:

If the child shows these symptoms, the pediatrician should be consulted.
Some natural remedies and home remedies to reduce earache in children:

Olive oil
There is no scientific proof of olive oil’s effectiveness in treating earache, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it can help relieve pain and itching.
It can be administered in the following ways:

  • Tilt your head towards a healthy ear,
  • Drizzle a few drops of oil at room temperature into the ear canal of the aching ear.

Alternatively, you can also use almond oil.

Nasal rinses: If the child also has a cold, nasal rinses can relieve the earache.

  • Fill a container with 40 ml of lukewarm water,
  • Add a teaspoon of coarse salt,
  • Bend your back forward,
  • Put your head on one side,
  • Pour salt water into the upper nostril with a “Neti Pot” nasal rinsing jug,
  • Wait until the water runs out of the lower nostril by gravity.
  • Turn the head to the other side and repeat the process on the other side.

Earache, therapy

How to treat? Therapy for earache

Treatment of infants

  1. From 6 months to 2 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting and watching what happens. If the child is not seriously ill, antibiotics should be avoided. However, if at this age the diagnosis of an ear infection is confirmed, the doctor will advise antibiotics.
  2. If the child is older than 2 years, the doctor usually recommends avoiding antibiotics.

According to studies by the AAP, parents can wait 48 to 72 hours. If there is no improvement, the child may be given antibiotics.

The special examination of the earache by an ear, nose and throat specialist clarifies the cause: infections of the ear canal are usually bacterial, they are treated with an antibiotic.

They are often used for earache, usually the doctor prescribes:

  • Medication painkillers such as acetaminophen (Ben-u-ron) to relieve the pain associated with this condition.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Moment), phenazone (Otalgan®, which also contains procaine), or aspirin can reduce inflammation.

If these medications don’t help, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or botulinum toxin to reduce pain in the temporomandibular joint.

Semi-sedentary position when resting: If the child lies flat, there is a risk of lying on the aching ear.

Medication or natural remedies for earache?

A study by Tel Aviv University [1] on 171 children between the ages of 5 and 18 shows the effect of various therapies for otitis media.

The trial patients were divided into different groups to which the following were administered:

  1. Drops with natural herbal extract (5 drops 3 times a day), including:
    • Allium sativum (garlic),
    • Verbascum thapsus (mullein),
    • Calendula
    • Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort),
    • Lavender
    • Vitamin E in olive oil.
  2. drops with herbal extract and the antibiotic amoxicillin (80 mg/kg body weight),
  3. Drops of a local anesthetic and antibiotic.
  4. Drops of a local anesthetic alone.


Each group experienced a significant improvement in earache within 3 days.
Patients who only took drops with herbal extracts showed a better response than those who also took amoxicillin.
However, the results show that in 80% of cases, the pain has receded, regardless of therapy.
So it is enough to wait for a cure.

However, medications may be used for pain relief.
If the parents of the children insist, the doctor can recommend this useful natural remedy.

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