Treatments for adults who have an earache include placing a cold ice pack on the ear and chewing gum, which helps if there is an infection, according to MedlinePlus. Staying in an upright position, taking over-the-counter pain medication and ear drops also help.
Most earaches go away on their own with home treatment, but there are some instances where a person must contact a medical professional, claims MedlinePlus. If a person has an earache along with a fever, pain or feels sick, it is important to contact a doctor. It is also important to contact a doctor if a person has an earache along with a headache, dizziness, swelling near the ears or weakness of the facial muscles.
If the pain of an earache stops suddenly, this could indicate that the eardrum has ruptured, and it is important that the patient sees a doctor quickly, explains MedlinePlus. People must also see a doctor if the pain of the earache does not go away within about 48 hours. When seeing a doctor, a physical exam often occurs, with a close examination of the ears, throat and nose. The doctor may also check the mastoid bone of the skull, as redness, pain or tenderness around that bone may indicate infection.