CAN OLIVE OIL HELP RELIEVE EARACHE?
by Dané Cilliers
WHAT IS EARACHE?
Earache is a common problem, especially in children. It can be worrying, but it is usually only caused by a minor infection. Earache can be a sharp, dull or burning ear pain that comes and goes or is constant.
The most common ear infection is called “acute otitis media” (AOM) or middle ear infection where the pain is caused by fluid trapped behind the eardrum. Symptoms for this ear infection include fever, pain inside ear, slight hearing loss and feeling sick in general.
In certain cases, you do not always have access to prescribed medications, or your doctor is unavailable, but you have to act fast because you just cannot handle the pain in your ear any longer. Make a quick run to your kitchen to get olive oil as a quick pain reliever. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory are not always required to help with the pain of an earache and olive oil can rather be used as a great home remedy.
WHY OLIVE OIL?
Olive Oil is a common cooking staple in every household, but those golden drops are also packed with several health benefits including treatment for earache. These drops contain soothing herbs, such as lavender and calendula, in addition to olive oil to help reduce pain from an ear infection. While research says that home remedies that work for ear pain are scarce, some doctors agree that this treatment is safe to try at home. Still, before you do, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor.
Doctors can agree olive oil is a great self-care remedy to help minimize pain caused by a middle ear infection and according to Dr. Greg Stewart, olive oil can assist in preventing outer ear infection. It is usually safe to try this home remedy as long as a person takes a few precautions, such as using a small amount and not overheating it. After all that is the secret to home remedies, you do not always know whether it will work but you can always try.
HOW DOES IT WORK:
Olive oil is an accessible oil and attains several health benefits such as being antibacterial and antiviral. According to Dr. William Sears, olive oil assists in relieving pain from middle ear infections by having a soothing effect on the swollen tissue of the inflamed eardrum, often caused by a middle ear infection.
Home treatments do not cure the infection but can assist in decreasing some pain in the affected ear.
DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO USE:
It is important to note that this home remedy is not advised to be used on children younger than the age of two because it may cause complications.
To begin you must heat the olive oil to body temperature (37°C) which should be measured with a thermometer to ensure the oil is not piping hot and does not burn the ear canal, you can test the oil on your skin first just to be extra safe.
You can make use of a glass dropper or you can dip a cotton swab in the heated olive oil to help simplify dripping the oil into the ear. Do not put the cotton swab or any object into the ear after you inserted the drops.
Easy instructions to follow at home goes as follows: Lie on your side with the infected ear facing up. Time for the olive oil bomb to drop, simply put two or three drops of olive oil in the opening of the ear. To help the oil work its way in you can gently massage the skin at the front of the entrance of your ear.
Keep lying on your side for 5-10 minutes for the magic to start working. When you sit up just wipe any excess olive oil from your ear. You can repeat these steps in the other ear if needed. If the pain should continue a few days doctors advise seeking medical attention.
Did you know Olive Oil can also help prevent infection: You can instill two to three drops of body temperature olive oil in both ears before swimming to lubricate the tissue within the ear canal and help prevent water from getting trapped within the ears.
Olive oil helps prevent excess earwax buildup, which could lead to earache. As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” – Desiderius Erasmus.
There you have it, that bottle of olive oil can be your saving grace for earache at home.