Applying a cold pack or cool, damp washcloth over the ear for up to 20 minutes and using over-the-counter ear drops for a nonruptured eardrum are good home remedies for relieving an earache, states MedlinePlus. Chewing also helps reduce pain and pressure associated with an ear infection. Another remedy to relieve ear pain in adults is taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
To decrease pressure in the middle ear, it helps to rest in an upright position rather than lie down on a bed, notes MedlinePlus. If the ear pain results from a change of altitude, a person may chew gum while descending from a high altitude, such as when an airplane lands.
To prevent earaches, MedlinePlus recommends drying the ears thoroughly after swimming or taking a bath, avoiding allergy triggers, and avoiding the insertion of foreign objects into the ear. Using a steroid nasal spray may help lower the risk of an ear infection. Adults should not smoke near children, as secondhand smoke often leads to ear infections in children.
Earaches occur in one or both ears and manifest temporarily or constantly, explains MedlinePlus. Adults usually experience ear pain due to referred pain, in which the aching sensation comes from another area, such as the throat, temporomandibular joint or teeth.