Otalgia or earache can occur for a multitude of reasons. The buildup of pressure in the eustachian tube is one of the top causes of earache. Usually the eustachian tube drains fluids out of the middle ear through the back of the throat. Sometimes a cold, allergy or sore throat can cause the eustachian tube to swell up and shut. Tonsillitis and sinus infections also result in earache, especially among children. Sometimes high altitudes or rapid change in altitude, as when flying, can cause earache.
Earache can be an indication of obstruction of the ear canal with a foreign object or earwax. It also may also indicate a perforated or broken eardrum, because of a blow to the head, infection in the inner ear, suction applied to the ear or the insertion of a foreign object into the ear. Swimmers ear is also a common ear infection. It is an infection of the outer ear structures and happens because water is trapped in the ear canal. Bacteria multiply in the ear canal, causing infection and irritation. In this case the treatment of earache requires treatment of the infection.
There are many homeopathic and herbal solutions traditionally used in the treatment of earache. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that these have a good effect. Belladonna, a homeopathic medicine is recommended for a throbbing earache, while Chamomilla is given to babies who are also teething. Some common herbal cures used in the treatment of earache are echinacea and goldenseal herbal combination formula. Echinacea and goldenseal are essentially antiviral and they stimulate the immune system.
Garlic, an antibacterial, and may be useful in the treatment of earache through helping to heal an ear infection. A few drops of garlic juice in sesame oil is heated and put into the ear to clear up any infection. Mullein oil is a traditional Native American cure which reduces swelling and inflammation. The oil is warmed to just above body temperature and one or two drops are put into the affected ear. It is important to remember that earaches could be an indication of more complicated problems. If persistent or accompanied by fever, a qualified doctor should be consulted. The treatment of earache, if persistent usually requires a prescribed antibiotic course and possibly eardrops.