Can warm olive oil placed in the infected ear heal the earache?

An earache can make life pretty miserable and most people would be willing to go to any lengths to cure it. Earaches can have many causes ranging from a buildup of wax to an infection. There are many so-called home remedies for earaches, often propounded by well-meaning friends and relatives. Many of these home remedies involve putting some liquid into the ear to provide relief.  One of the popular remedies for earache relief involves using warm olive oil. Hot olive oil should be avoided as it can cause more damage to your ear while warm oil may have a beneficial effect in some cases.

However, many of these remedies including the one using olive oil are risky affairs especially when you do not know the cause of the earache. For example, trying to use warm olive oil for treating an earache caused by a ruptured ear drum may lead to an infection and other more serious consequences. For this reason, an earache should be checked by a doctor for a diagnosis of the underlying cause. Your doctor would be the best person to advise you on the appropriate treatment for your earache and the suitability of any home remedies that you may be contemplating.

Here are some additional facts about earaches:

Earaches in the case of children are usually caused by an infection in the middle ear. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, increased irritability and excessive crying. In adults, earaches are commonly caused by impacted wax or outer ear infections. Infections usually require medication such as antibiotic ear drops while impacted wax usually dissolves with the use of wax-softening ear drops.

Oils such as olive oil may also help to dislodge impacted wax. However, the danger arises because of the temperature of the oil. If the oil is too hot, it may lead to scalding of the delicate ear canal. The damage it causes will further increase the earache, not cure it. It can also lead to scarring and a narrowing of the ear canal. The warm oil may also lead to an infection.

For these reasons it is advisable to consult a doctor before attempting to treat an earache with warm olive oil or any other home remedies.

answered by A S

Yes, warm olive oil should help you heal from swimmer's ear. If you have a perforated eardrum or recent ear surgery, then avoid putting anything into your ears and consult a specialist.

answered by P P

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