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Sudden Ear Pain! What can I do?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
About half an hour ago, my left ear started to really, really hurt. I had some minor ear pain last night, but that cleared up, and then this sudden, sharp stabbing pain started tonight. I'm guessing my ear is infected.

I'm taking raw garlic and lots and lots of vitamin C, plus sudafed and asprin. Is there anything else I can do to get this cleared up quickly?

More importantly, what else can I do to releive the pain?
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
Whoops, it's my right ear, not my left. Usually it's the left one that gives me trouble.
post #3 of 19
you can try putting olive oil in your ear. lay on your side (the other one), and have someone drip slightly warmed olive oil into your ear. (if you wanna get really on it, use olive oil that's had garlic cloves soaking in it). lay with the oil in your ear for a while, let it really sink in. then after maybe a few minutes - 10 mins, lay on the other side with your ear over a cloth and let the oil run out.
it can really help to soothe and clear out stuff from in there, and if you can get the garlic, it's antibiotic.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, I have olive oil and I have garlic. How exactly do I use them together and how do I heat up olive oil without starting a fire?
post #5 of 19
The last time I had earache (with the flu) I directed the hair-dryer on it and that really helped with the pain.

I also put oil in, but perhaps too much--I was leaking oily wax (eww) for ten days afterwards and I had some temporary hearing loss.

Good luck--hope it clears up soon.
post #6 of 19
since you don't have time to pre-prepare the oil, you could crush the clove of garlic and drop it into the oil. take about a small amount of oil, like a tablespoon or 2, and you only need to warm it a tiny bit. to say 100 degrees. you want it to be slightly above body temp, but not hot enough to burn your delicate inner ear. I'd probably pour the oil into a small glass bottle, like an old medicine bottle or essential oil bottle (a clean one) and pop it in a pot of hot water, just to heat it up. or hold the oil in a spoon over a candle for a minute.
test it to make sure it's not too hot. strain the garlic out.
post #7 of 19
yeah, and make sure you lie on your side after long enough to really let the oil drain out. it can take a while.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I tried using a rice sock next to my ear but the heat only made me feel worse. So then I tried using ice next to my ear, but that had no effect whatsoever (Except to make my arms sore from holding it there.) So I don't think the hair dryer would work if heat feels bad right now.

I've got some olive oil in a small glass jar warming up in a bowl of hot water- like the way I used to heat up breastmilk in bottles. I figure that should warm it up without making it too hot or risking an olive oil explosion all over the kitchen.

How exactly do I prepare garlic oil? I'm thinking I could prepare it tonight and use it tomorrow. Just let chopped up garlic cloves soak in the oil overnight? Should I heat up the oil?
post #9 of 19
don't get the oil too warm, that's all i'm saying.

to prepare the garlic oil for tomorrow, put peeled, un-nicked garlic cloves in a bottle of olive oil, and leave the bottle sitting in a warm place.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling a lot better today, but nowhere near 100%. My right ear wasn't hurting at all when I first woke up, but once I got up and moved around (and my kids started making noise) I felt some of the pain again, but much, much milder than last night. Chewing makes it worse though.

Last night I used some warm olive oil (with some garlic bits floating in it) in both ears, because the right is in an acute problem and I have chronic problems with the left one. I left the rest of the olive oil/garlic mixture to soak (covered) so I can use more later today, but I haven't yet done so.

This morning I had a big gulp of vitamin C water (that I mixed up last night with 2 tablespoons of vitamin C powder) and about half a clove of raw garlic. Now I'm eating some eggs so the garlic doesn't hurt my stomach.
post #11 of 19
Honestly, garlic oil in the ear does nothing to heal an inner ear infection or fluid build up behind the ear drum. The molecules are too large to diffuse at all through the membrane, so it would be like rubbing it on your stomach to heal appendicitis. It can and frequently does help ease pain. I have been down this road with myself and my child and have studied it extensively, and there is nothing even in most well-conducted alternative research to support its benefits. My natural health care provider told me to stop doing it to my child, b/c she believed it was making her issues worse.

The internal things you are doing to boost your immune system are what will help you most probably. I also recommend chiropractic care, massage, and homeopathics that match your symptoms. Pulsatilla works so well for both my dd and me.

There is a great book on this topic - I think you should check it out!
Childhood Ear Infections: A Parent's Guide to Alternative Treatments (Paperback)
by Michael A. Phd Schmidt
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I can't get to the chirorpactor before Tuesday.

Would garlic oil help if it was an outer ear infection? I'm not entirely sure if the infection is in the inner ear or the outer ear (and the result of scratching my ear canal with a bobby pin because it was itching my like crazy on Friday night, even though I know better.)
post #13 of 19
you scratched in your ear canal with a bobby pin :

swirly, did you mis-type? you say that though there is no medical evidence to support it, and it can't help inner ear infections, "it can and frequently does help ease pain".

I wouldn't think the garlic oil would clear up an infection, I was suggesting it as something I know to help pain in ear aches.

anywayr ruth, are you sure it's an infection, and not some bobby-pin related injury? could it be that the scratching actually scratched a little the delicate tissue in there and got a tad infected? (well, maybe you used a sterile bobby pin? )
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm not entirely sure of anything at this point. But there were at least 20 hours between the scratching and the sudden onset of intense stabbing pain- so I'm thinking that maybe I injured the skin inside the ear canal but then SOMETHING else must have happened to make it suddenly start hurting like that. I wasn't having any pain with chewing on Saturday afternoon either. So the scratching might have weakened the skin there but it's acting like it got infected the next day.

I'm hurting less but still absolutely exhausted and my ears are super-sensitive. I mixed up a huge thing of vitamin C water (2 tbs C plus a tbs of baking soda= 24 grams of sodium ascorbate in a cup) and I've been sipping that slowly since last night. It's nearly finished. I've also had about 5 cloves of raw garlic since then. And after I took a shower, I tried my ears with the hair dryer, NOT with q-tips. Plus my usual CLO (cod liver oil), B complex, and vitamin E, plus I took extra zinc and a multivitamin today.

I'm wondering how long I should keep up with the garlic and vitamin C at this level.
post #15 of 19
well, i'm glad you're feeling better anyway.
i'd keep up the vit C and stuff until you feel better, or you hit tolerance, in which case, just reduce it a touch
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's the thing with "to tolerance"- if I take too much too close to bedtime, it kind of interferes with sleep.
post #17 of 19
Ruthla, do you have a cold or other snotty symptoms? If so massage behind the ear directly on the knob of skull right behind your ear. Use A LOT of pressure and this can relieve the pressure in your ear and allow the fluid in your ear to drain. It's kinda like when you open a big can of juice or other liquid and you punch one hole to pour it out, but you need another on the opposite side to make it flow out smoothly. Massaging your skull back there equalizes the pressure so that the snot can get out of your eustachian tubes. You might experiment with holding your head at different angles as you massage, too. A neti pot can help, too, as can gargling with warm salt water. The eustachian tubes drain into the back of the throat like the sinuses.

If you think it's bobby pin related, not sure the above advice would help at all. BTW, the heat helps I think because it makes the fluid (aka snot) flow easier.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have some postnasal drip, and I do use a neti pot several times a week (I used it this morning when I showered) followed by prescription nasal spray (that I need to keep the eustacian tube clear on the LEFT side to prevent vertigo.)
post #19 of 19
The garlic does work, but not because it kills the infection. Your body's immune system does that. What the garlic does is release sulfur compounds that affect the surrounding tissue and reduce swelling. My mother's relatives used to make her tie a cut onion half to her ear -- works the same way, but much more cumbersome.

How the garlic helps heal the infection is by reducing swelling enough so that the ear can drain. Mullein also helps with this. My usual ear infection remedy is a few drops of mullein tincture in oil heated with a smashed garlic clove, then strained. Let it cool to just above body temp. Works well and I have given it to a child screaming in pain who had relief in 10 minutes then woke up the following day with no complaints of pain or tenderness.
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