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How To Get Rid Of An Ear Infection Fast

Updated on November 25, 2014

How To Get Rid Of An Ear Infection

Even mild ear infections can lead to excruciating pain and distress, and due to the fact that they are particularly common in children, it is particularly important to learn to gauge the symptoms and take action early.

While some ear infections may go away on their own there is undoubtedly a lot we can do to alleviate suffering and speed up the recovery process. In this article we will look at over-the-counter and natural methods to reduce pain and help the body get rid of an ear infection.

Be on the look out for additional complications and symptoms such as high fevers and moderate hearing loss, which are usually indications that the infection will require medical attention (and usually a course of antibiotic therapy).

When To See A Doctor

  • Sudden and moderate to severe hearing loss.
  • A high fever (101°F+).
  • Redness, swelling and pain behind the ear.
  • If something seems to be stuck in the ear.
  • If any of these symptoms are persistent and last more than a few days without gradually getting better.
  • Bouts of dizziness.

Ear Infection Symptoms

While only a doctor can guarantee you a trusted diagnosis, the symptoms associated with ear infections are quite conspicuous. Before we begin you might want to try this interactive ear symptom guide which will give you a good idea of what you have.

In general, the most common symptoms are:

  • Earaches and pains (both dull and sharp).
  • A feeling of blockage and fullness in the ear.
  • Problems associated with balance.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Fevers and chills.

If you are reading this because your infant or child seems to be suffering from an ear infection, pay attention to any of these key behaviors:

  • Your child is unresponsive to quiet sounds.
  • Drainage from the ear.
  • A fever.
  • General irritability (lack of sleep or incessant pulling of the ear).

If you or your child develop moderate or severe symptoms (please refer to the capsule of text to the right) then you may require prescription medicine, and therefore a visit to a doctor as soon as possible.

Over The Counter Ear Infection Remedies

The first thing many people ought to do is to alleviate the acute sense of pain that ear infections entail. Those of you who are looking for natural ways to deal with the pain may consider:

  • Pressing a warm bottle or bag against the ear may help reduce pain.
  • Some herbal remedies such as a concoction of garlic, onion or St. John's Wort have been said to help as well, though I have no direct experience of this claim.
  • A hydrogen peroxide wash. Take note of the possible side-effects and contraindications!
  • Try a couple of drops of warm olive oil in the affected ear(s).

In most cases finding and using widely available pain-relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen is a one-stop solution to acute pain. If the pain is severe, you may want to ask a doctor for prescription pain relief such as Codeine.

If the pain is under control and you're wondering how to speed up the recovery process, here are a few tips that can help.

  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Help your immune system by taking some Vitamin C (if you're stomach is complaining you're taking too much!).
  • Sleep with your head in an elevated position to help the ear drain.

In most cases once the pain is under control the infection will pass without needing antibiotics. If you feel the onset of the symptoms listed above and to the right, however, I would visit a professional just in case.


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    • dwelburn profile image

      David 5 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      I put a few drops of brandy in mine when I get an ear infection. Works brilliantly; usually only two applications required and it's gone the next day. Works better than all the antibiotic drops or other measures I have tried. Guess any spirit alcohol would work - not just brandy. It works because alcohol kills the bacteria responsible for the infection.

    • profile image

      Reece 6 years ago

      I currently have an ear infection. My ear is almost completely closed up, it's also causing my jaw, head, and throat to hurt. I am currently enrolled in job corps, and am not allowed to have a heating pad, something about a fire hazard. I am currently on an antibiotic, as well as taking ibuprofen for the pain. Any advice would be much appreciated. Email me at with advice.

    • profile image

      Madi 6 years ago

      I love Italy and I'm Italian love mia familia gratzie for the info scicily and rome were I'm from mommy scicily and daddy rome

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Argh, I'm not a fan of florence, but Tuscany (and Umbria -- often overlooked) are fantastic :) Thanks for commenting Vox!

      @Shawn - Thanks for sharing the tip!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 6 years ago

      Recently an Italian friend recommended a few drops of warm olive oil to cure ear infection :) Great hub, definitely useful :) I envy you because you live in Italy - Rome may be the most beautiful place in the whole world, but a little too chaotic (been there in October). Next time - Florence!

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      I have had ear trouble for most of my life. Thanks for writing this hub with some great tips for fighting an ear infection. I will definitely try your suggestions the next time I get an ear infection.

      One remedy that I have used with good results that is not in your hub is to put a few drops in each ear of a 50-50 mixture of alcohol and apple cider vinegar. It did nothing to relieve the pain, but after 2 days the infection was cured.

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you for your time Phoebe!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 6 years ago

      Very informative and useful information. I have always had problems with ear infections growing up. It's a common ailment in my family. Thank you for writing this hub.