There are several at home treatments for earaches, such as applying a cold wash cloth over the ear, using over-the-counter ear drops and chewing gum to help relieve pressure, says Healthline. If the earache turns into an ear infection, a doctor might need to prescribe antibiotics or ear drops.
If taking a prescribed remedy for an ear infection, it is important to finish the prescription to ensure that the infection completely clears up. Wax build up sometimes causes earache, and in that case a doctor might suggest wax softening ear drops. The doctor may also choose to directly flush the wax out of the ear, explains Healthline. Feeding an infant with an earache can help relieve pressure in the ear that's causing discomfort.
Earaches that last longer than 48 hours should be diagnosed by a doctor, says Healthline. Watch for symptoms such as dizziness, swelling and blood or pus draining from the ear. Severe pain and drooping of the facial muscles can also indicate a serious issue. Steps that can be taken to prevent earaches or infections are to avoid smoking and exposure to second hand smoke, dry the ears after swimming or bathing and avoid allergy triggers. Sinusitis and disorders of the jaw may also cause earache.