Using Heating Pads to Treat Earaches
Earaches is a common problem, especially with children.
Most of these earaches are problems that will go away on their own.
But that doesn't mean that we can't have solutions that will take away the ache and pain.
Having a heating pad or a cold pack and applying by your ear will help with the pain.
Read on to find out more why a LavaBag would be a perfect solution to earache pains.
What is a earache
As mentioned previously, earaches are a very common problem among humans, but especially among children.
It is more common among children probably because they don't take care of themselves as well as an adult would.
This includes not showering as often, not cleaning out their ears, and just a general lack of hygiene.
Other causes could include tight headwear, headphones that are poorly fit or are too tight, ear piercings, grinding teeth, objects stuck in the ear, and more.
So I think it is pretty easy to understand why this happens to kids more often.
Especially in this day and age when kids are spending more time with ear phones on and in their ears.
I know that for me, only wearing headphones for 2 hours playing games one night a week, and at the end of the 2 hours my ears start to hurt.
An earache is a general ear pain and might not have any major underlying issues.
But let's cover what some underlying issues could be.
There are a few common causes of earaches.
These include, but not limited to: ear infections, glue ear, damage to the ear, ear wax or other objects in the ear, throat problems, jaw problems, or dental problems.
There are two types of ear infections, an outer ear infection and a middle ear infection.
Outer ear infections are those infections that start in the tube connecting the outer ear and the ear drum.
Middle ear infections are those infections that affect the parts of the ear behind the ear drum.
Included with the pain the ear, there should also be the presence of watery or pus like substance coming out of the ear.
These infections go away on their own a lot of times, but if you do decide to visit your local physicians, they may prescribe some anti biotics to treat the infection.
Glue ear is a build up of fluid within the ear that can cause hearing lose.
The condition is usually painless, but eventually the build up of the fluid can cause pain and the earache.
It can also go away on its own, though if it doesn't your physician can do a minor procedure to get the fluid removed.
Ear damage/object in the ear
There are a few ways to cause damage to your ear.
If you go in too deep with a q-tip or use your finger to scrap the side of your ear canal, that can cause damage.
The ear canal is really sensitive.
I have a son who put a dried bean in each of his ear, supposedly because he was tired of listening to his brothers.
Because ear canals are so sensitive, when we took him to the doctor's for help getting the beans out, my son cried a lot even though it seemed like a simple process.
So even the subtlest of injuries to the ear canal can cause a lot of pain.
If you earache is accompanied by difficulty swallowing, then you could have a throat infection.
There are many reasons for a throat infection, some that will go away on their own.
But if you think you have a throat infection, you should see your local physician to get checked out.
They should be able to prescribe you antibiotics, if needed.
If you suffer from arthritis of the jaw or you grind your teeth, you might get an earache.
Again, check with your local physician if you think you have jaw problems.
Treating earaches using a LavaBag
The great thing about using a LavaBag for your earache is that LavaBags are good for both hot and cold treatments.
In the case of an earache, hot and cold treatments can be done separately or together to help relief the pain from the earache.
There are a few reasons that cold treatment is good for earaches.
According to Medical News Today:
"Cold treatment reduces blood flow to an injured area. This slows the rate of inflammation and reduces the risk of swelling and tissue damage.
It also numbs sore tissues, acting as a local anesthetic, and slows down the pain messages being transmitted to the brain.
Ice can help treat a swollen and inflamed joint or muscle. It is most effective within 48 hours of an injury."
One of the first things you have to worry about with an earache is inflammation.
Inflammation is the body's immune systems response to an irritant.
When an injury first occurs, the body starts to working on fixing whatever is going wrong.
The inflammation is the way the body creates the signals.
By the time we feel the inflammation, the body is already working on healing that portion of the body that hurts.
So we don't need the pain from the inflammation any more.
That is why we try to get rid of the pain as soon as the inflammation starts to happen.
When we have an earache, there could be some inflammation that is occurring.
Addressing the inflammation should get rid of some of the pain.
Start off by putting the LavaBag in the freezer and leave it there for at least 2 hours.
Then you can take it out and place it by your ear, especially where it hurts.
Leave it there until the cold fades away (somewhere around 30 to 45 minutes).
Treatment using heat is great because is increases the blood flow to the area, which in turn speeds up the healing process.
When you have an injury or a pain like an earache, increased blood flow helps to make the pain go away faster.
And if you have new injuries, it seems like heart treatment is the best.
For most heat treatment, putting the LavaBag in the microwave is only about a 3 minutes wait and then you have somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour of heat to work with.
Place it near your ear to increase blood flow to the earache area and hopefully rid yourself of pain.
Alternating between heat and cold
In some cases, the best thing you can do for yourself is treat your earache with both hot and cold treatment.
This gives you the best of both worlds because the cold will help to reduce any of the inflammation and then coming in with the heat treatment will increase blood flow and hopefully help the earache to heal faster.
Start off with your LavaBag in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Then take it out and apply it directly to the side of the head with the earache.
Leave it there until it no longer has any cold on it.
Once the cold has run out, set it aside.
You want to make sure to give yourself a two hour break from when you took the LavaBag off until you put it back on with heat treatment.
After two hours, put your LavaBag in the microwave for 3 minutes.
Then take it out of the microwave.
The LavaBag might be too hot to apply directly onto your ear, so you might need to place a hand towel in between the LavaBag and your ear.
Once you have the hand towel wrapped around the LavaBag, then you can apply it directly to your ear.
Leave it there until the heat runs out, which should be around 45 minutes to an hour.
When the heat is gone, place it back in the freezer.
You should give yourself another two hour break before you apply the cold treatment again.
Repeat this process throughout the day, but don't exceed more than 4 total treatments of hot and cold together.
Anything more than that and you might give yourself a rash or other skin problems.
We of course prefer the LavaBag treatment with hold and cold, but there are other treatments you can try if the LavaBag doesn't work.
Garlic has been known as a pain reducer, especially for earaches.
Some people prefer to use garlic powder and apply it to some bread to make garlic bread for themselves.
This is one way to do it.
But the best way is to eat garlic directly.
This means you go to the grocery store and purchase some cloves of garlic.
Now separate the cloves and get rid of the garlic skin.
You can eat it directly like this, but in our family we like to put a little bit of butter in a pan in fry the garlic just a little bit.
This makes it a little bit easier to eat and it tastes great too.
You can do this as little or as much as you would like.
Usually we let every in our family have a little bit of garlic, otherwise I would probably eat it all by myself.
After a few times of eating the garlic, this should help reduce the earache pain.
Garlic can sometimes interfere with antibiotics prescribed to you by your local physician, so make sure to confer with them.
Sleep in upright position
Sleeping in an upright position can help reduce the pressure on the ear.
For me, I like to sleep on either on my sides at night.
If I had an earache, this could make the earache worse because I'm putting all the pressure on one ear.
If you sleep in an upright position, there is none of this pressure to worry about.
If you've ever been on an airplane or traveling in a car up and down mountains, you know what it feels like for pressure to build up in your ear.
On an airplane, sometimes you would be offered crackers to get this chewy effect going.
This is because chewing helps to release some of the pressure on your ears.
Chewing gum does the same thing for you and probably more effectively because you have to chew gum for a longer period of time than crackers.
This is a family favorite for us.
We typically use this when someone complains of pain in their ear or for general sickness.
The hydrogen peroxide will help to break up any ear wax buildup in your ear, which could be causing your earache.
To do this, lay on your side opposite of the earache, so you are earache side up.
Then put some hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab.
Once you have it on the cotton swab, put about 10 to 15 drops in your ear and let the hydrogen peroxide do the work.
You'll know the hydrogen peroxide is working because bubbles will start to form in your ear.
This is perfectly natural, so don't let it frighten you.
Once the bubbling has died down, then you should be able to clear out the hydrogen peroxide.
Get another cotton swab and place it on your eye.
Then slowly lay down on your other side.
The hydrogen peroxide should slowly come out of your ear onto the new cotton swab.
An earache can often be painful, but it also might not be a big deal.
If your earache is persistent over a couple of days, you should go see your local physicians and have them check you out.
They might give you a referral to an ear, throat, and nose specialist.
But if the earache is only going on for a day, a LavaBag is great for both heat and cold treatment.
Simply put the cold LavaBag on your ear and then two hours later place the hot LavaBag on your ear until the heat runs out.
You can also try eating garlic and putting hydrogen peroxide in your ear.
If your earache continues, then you should definitely visit your local physician.