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#BlogchatterA2Z- “E”- Ear pain- Causes, symptoms & homeopathic treatment!

Ear pain: causes, symptoms & homeopathic treatment!

This is day 5 of #BlogchatterA2Z and as “E”, I am ready to share detail information about another common disease. As alphabet “E”, I am talking about earache.  

What is earache (ear pain)? What are types and causes of ear pain? What is scope of homeopathy in treating ear pain? Read the post to know more. 

What is earache?  

By definition, earache means pain in ear which may or may not associated with other symptoms like cough, fever, sinus infection and even toothache.  Earache, itself is not a disease, it is more a symptom and can be caused by different reasons ranging from outer and middle ear infection to any injury or trauma to ear. 

What is primary and secondary otalgia (ear pain)? 

There are mainly two term are used while defining ear pain or otalgia, primary and secondary otalgia.  

When pain is originated from the ear is called primary otalgia and when it is caused by any factor outside the ear (and ear canal), then it is called secondary otalgia.  

Primary otalgia is more common in infants and younger kids, while secondary otalgia is more common in adults. A proper physical examination and evaluation of clinical symptoms by your physician helps in knowing the type of otalgia (primary or secondary) 

Prevalence 

Earache or ear pain is one of the most common condition that affect infants and young kids every year. As per NCBI, the peak incidence of earache has been observed between 6 to 15 months of age. After 5 years of age, this incidence drops rapidly.  

Scientific studies  also suggested that at least 83 % of children at least have one episode of ear infection by 3 year of age.  

After common cold, earache is second most common cause of doctor visit for parents. Kids have lower immunity level than adults, so they are more susceptible to get attacked by common virus and bacterial infections that causes earache.  

Ear is an important part of our ENT (ear, nose, throat) system. So, ear pain could be a result of any disease or pathological changes in either ear, nose or throat. Before confirming a diagnosis of earache, it is very important to have a proper checkup and diagnosis of ENT system to rule out real cause of ear pain.  

Types of earache 

There are mainly two types of earache:  

  • Acute otitis media (middle ear infection) 
  • Otitis externa (infection in external ear)  

AOM (Acute otitis media): inflammation or infection in middle ear is called “Acute otitis media”. It is usually caused by any type of viral or bacterial infection. It occurs, when the area behind the ear drum (means middle ear) gets infected, due to any reasons.  

 It is often associated with common cold and nasal allergies. And more often seen in young kids. In this type of ear infection, due to any causative factors (like common cold or sinus infection) block the eustachian tube in middle ear, results in buildup of fluid and causes infection in middle ear.  

Otitis externa is an infection of ear that is associated with external ear or outer ear canal.  It is often associated with the common skin conditions like eczema and other skin allergies. It is more common in adults. The other signs like redness of skin, discharge from external ear is also present with otitis externa. “Swimmer’s ear” is often refereed as otitis externa. In this condition, constant exposure of water make the external ear more susceptible to infection.   

Causes of earache 

Causes of ear pain

Image source: kidshealth.org

As mentioned earlier, earache or ear pain is just a symptom. There are varieties of causes or disease could be reason or associated with earache. 

More common causes of earache 

  • Changes in pressure (outside the ear canal) like while flying or reaching on high altitude.  
  • Bacterial infection 
  • Viral infection 
  • Foreign object in ear (more common in toddlers) 
  • Associated with common cold, cough and throat pain  
  • Sinus infection also causes ear pain 
  • As a result of trauma or injury to ear  
  • Accumulation of ear wax also causes earache 
  • Swimmer’s ear (common in swimmers):   the condition is common in swimmers. It happens, when water trapped inside your ear canal, causes breed germs and results in redness, itching, swelling in ear, even may cause pus formation too.  
  • As a symptom of chronic otitis media  

Less common causes of earache 

  • Dental issues (like impacted teeth or abscessed teeth) may cause refereed pain in ear.  
  • Arthritis of jaw 
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (chronic facial nerve pain) 
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome (pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles) 

Symptoms  

  • Pain in ear (may be sharp or dull in nature) 
  • Discharge from ear 
  • Sense of fullness 
  • Impaired hearing (in severe cases) 
  • Symptoms of common cough, cold (when ear pain is caused by respiratory infection)  
  • Fever (in some cases) 
  • Severe ear pain may cause difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite and even loss of balance 
  • In some cases, Skin eczema in external ear or signs of skin allergies (usually in case of otitis externa)  

Diagnosis 

Diagnosis is usually made on the basis of clinical symptoms and physical examination.  

In severe cases, where other symptoms like dizziness and hearing loss present, doctor performs CT scan to rule out the cause of ear pain.  

Home care measures

Home treatment are extremely effective in case of earache. In most of the cases, ear pain subsides on its own (when cause is viral infection) and did not require any specific treatment or antibiotics. here are some simple home care measures for treating ear pain at home.

  • Rest  
  • Avoid getting ear wet 
  • Use of mullein oil  
  • Application of warm compress on affected part  
  • Use of over-the-counter painkiller medication (like crocin)  

These home care measures work great in relieving pain and associated symptoms.  

Signs of danger 

Here is a list of signs that indicate that you should take immediate medical treatment for ear pain.  

  • Intensity of pain increased with appearance of other new symptoms like dizziness and headache 
  • Fever of higher degree (more than 101-degree F) 
  • Ear pain in infants with constant crying and fever 
  • Foul smelling or blood mixed discharge from ear 
  • Hearing loss  
  • No response to home treatment 

Homeopathic treatment  

Homeopathic treatment offers great help in treating mild ear pain. But before using homeopathic treatment, it is very important to keep two factors in mind.  

  1. Use homeopathy only in primary and initial days of ear pain. If pain is chronic in nature, it is best to take expert advice.  
  2. Make a confirm diagnosis and rule out possibility of any other serious disease or pathological changes in ear drum or Eustachian canal for chronic and severe cases of ear pain.

Homeopathic remedies for ear pain 

In homeopathy, there are three great pain remedies. These remedies are called “Trio of pain”. They are:  

  • Aconite 
  • Belladona  
  • And chamomilla  

These three works great in relieving pain, including ear pain. Below are specific symptoms of each one.  

Aconite  

Aconite 30

Image source: Distacart.com 

When ear pain get starts after sudden exposure to cold wind, aconite is the remedy to choose. Along with ear pain, there may be symptoms of fever, cough and cold present. Use aconite only during first 24 hours of onset of complain. Aconite also works great when patient has intense fear of death and restlessness. 

Dose: 30 c, 5-6 globules 3-4 times a day.  

Belladonna  

Belladonna 30

Image source: Distacart.com 

Belladonna is second important medicine of “trio of pain”. It is also an “Anti-inflammatory” medicine in homeopathy. It works great in treating earache when there are prominent signs of inflammation means redness, hotness, pain, swelling is present. It is more indicated in early stages, when discharge from ear is not present.  

Dose: 30 c potency 5-6 globules or 2 drops 3-4 times a day.  

Chamomilla  

Chamomilla 30

Image source: Distacart.com 

Especially useful for infants and kids. When kids and infants have higher level of irritability and anger along with ear pain, chamomilla works best.  

Dose: 30 c potency, 5-6 globules, 3-4 times a day. For infants, crushed 2-3 globules in 1 TSP of mother milk and then administer.  

Heper sulph  

Hepar sulph 30

Image source: Distacart.com 

When ear pain is caused by exposure to cold and patient has higher level of sensitivity for pain and touch, heper sulph is the remedy to use. Along with ear pain, there is “Splinter like sensation in throat” present.  

Dose: 30 c potency, 5-6 globules, 3-4 times day 

Silicea 

Silicea 30

Image source: Distacart.com 

Silicea is useful for later stage of ear pain. It is also called “Surgeon’s knife” in homeopathy. When ear pain is caused by foreign body and discharge of pus is present from ear, Silicea gives best results.  

Dose: 30 c potency, 5-6 globules, 3-4 times day 

Few other indicated homeopathic remedies for ear pain 

  • Merc sol: For chronic cases of ear pain, when foul smelling discharge present 
  • Pulsatilla: when ear pain is associated with thick greenish discharge 
  • Ferrum phos: work as an “Anti-inflammatory” and reduces symptoms of ear inflammation.  

Local application  

Mullein ear drops 

Mullein ear drop

Image source: Distacart.com 

Mullen ear drop is a great ear drop for ear pain. It is used as a great remedy to treat severe painful sensation caused by ear infection or other disorders. It is also used for treatment of ear pain caused by otitis media, painful eruption of the external ear, fungal infections and for itching and irritation in ear. It contains mullein power, acidum boracicum, acidum carb and acid benzoicum medicines.  

How to use it: Put 2-3 drops of Mullen oil in affected ear 2-3 times a day to get best results.  

So, there were some good homeopathic remedies for treating ear pain at home with the help of homeopathic remedies.  

What are your thoughts? Please share with me. 

This is all for now.  

Tomorrow as “F”, I will talk about “fever and homeopathic treatment”. Stay tuned to know more.  

Read the previous posts of the series here: 

A: Acidity: causes, symptoms & homeopathic treatment  

B: baby colic : causes, symptoms & homeopathic treatment 

C: Common childhood injuires: causes, symptoms & homeopathic treatment! 

D: Diarrhea: causes, symptoms & homeopathic treatment! 

This post is a part of Blogchatter A2Z Challenge

Disclaimer: the post is written for educational purpose only. did not intend to cure, treat or diagnose any disease condition. always consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your medication or starting any new medication.

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