Over-the-counter treatment for earaches can include such medications as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, states WebMD. Over-the-counter eardrops may also be used to alleviate ear pain. In addition, if the pain in the ear is due to an accumulation of wax, olive oil may be used to help loosen the wax.
Earaches may have a variety of causes, states WebMD. In some cases, an infection of the ear canal or an infected hair follicle may be to blame. Injury in the ear canal due to damage caused by foreign objects or blockages due to ear wax may also be causes of earaches. Other potential causes include eczema, jaw pain, fluid build-up inside the eardrum and dental abscesses.
Earaches are especially common in infants and children, says WebMD. Ear infections can result in a variety of symptoms, such as fever. Children may also pull on their ear excessively or be irritable, lose their appetite and have difficulty sleeping. Balance and hearing problems may also be evident. If a child's symptoms include stiffness of the neck seek medical advice urgently, as this could be a sign of a more serious illness. A doctor may diagnose an ear infection using a special instrument called an otoscope.