Some cases of earache respond to home remedies such as cold or warm compresses or heated olive oil drops, according to Healthline. The effectiveness of home remedies depends on the underlying cause of the condition.
Not all earaches require antibiotics, reports Parents.com. While bacterial infections usually warrant the administration of prescription medications, many doctors advise patients to try a course of watchful waiting to see if the earache resolves without treatment. Since antibiotics can cause unpleasant side effects, such as diarrhea, unnecessary treatment can exacerbate a self-limiting problem. Overuse of antibiotics can also contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant microbes, a public health concern.