Doctors recommend over-the-counter ear drops to ease pain if the eardrum has not ruptured, according to MedlinePlus. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain relievers can also alleviate pain in children or adults with earaches. MedlinePlus advises against giving aspirin to children.
Applying a cold, damp cloth or a cold pack on the ear for up to 20 minutes is a good way to alleviate pain, states MedlinePlus. Sitting upright rather than lying down minimizes pressure in the middle ear. Adults may try chewing gum to control pain and pressure caused by an ear infection, although giving gum to young children may pose a choking hazard. MedlinePlus advises seeing a doctor if pain, fever, irritability or other symptoms persist after 24 to 48 hours.