An earache can result from various causes including a build up of fluid, wax or mucous, trauma, dental issues, sinusitis or the common cold.

The pain associated with an earache will be varied depending on the cause, and associated symptoms include fever, discharge, irritability, poor appetite/feeding and sleeping, ringing in the ear or reduced hearing. A child or infant pulling or tugging at their ear or lobe may be a sign of ear pain.

Homoeopathic remedies can be very useful in the management of an uncomplicated ear pain, however professional advice should be sought for recurrent, chronic or severe cases.

In choosing a suitable remedy consider:

  •  the events prior to the earache – was there an emotional upset, teething or exposure to extreme temperatures, wind or   draughts
  •  factors that improve or worsen the symptoms – pressure, warmth, cold, touch,  consolation, noise
  •  timing and nature of symptoms – for example worse around midnight, or midday; the type of pain –  is it throbbing, tearing, or   shooting
  •  the person’s emotional reaction to the pain

The chosen remedy may require repetition frequently initially, reducing repetition of doses with improvement. If there is no change after 3-4 doses reconsider your remedy choice. 

The following information may be helpful and relates to homoeopathic remedy pictures and information available in traditional homoeopathic texts. Homoeopathic principles should be applied when using any homoeopathic remedy. Always read the product label. If symptoms persist consult your health care practitioner promptly.

Aconite is indicated when the earache comes on suddenly after exposure to cold, dry winds. The ear is red, hot and painful. Thirsty. Symptoms are worse in the evening and around midnight, and better from warm applications.

Belladonna has sudden onset with violent pain and throbbing. Often right sided and may extend to the throat. Person screams from the pain, with hot head and cold limbs. Possible fever and delirium, thirstless and pupils dilated. Symptoms worse from warmth, noise, touch and movement.

Chamomilla is useful for stabbing, tearing pain. The individual is angry, irritable, restless and sensitive to pain. Symptoms are worse from 9pm to midnight, warmth and teething, and better from pacing or being carried.

Ferrum phos is for the early stages with slight symptoms and generally just ‘off colour’. There is heat, throbbing and inflammation. Flushing, alternate pallor and redness. 

Hepar sulph for inflammation and when pus is forming, before discharge. With whizzing, throbbing sounds in the ear. Symptoms are worse from touch and exposure to cold air, and better from being wrapped up. 

Kali mur suits catarrhal congestion causing deafness, or noise in the ear, with swollen glands and tongue coated white. Use with or instead of Pulsatilla for pain during air travel.

Pulsatilla for redness and swelling of the ear. There may be thick yellow-green discharge. Pain from congestion during a cold, as if pressure is pushing the drum out. Person is clingy, cuddly, and desires consolation and fresh air. Symptoms worse from changes in air pressure such as during air travel.

Silica can be helpful in the later stages of an earache when the child is physically weak, tired and chilly. Mild and whimpering with pain behind the ear in the mastoid region. Chronic problems in small, refined children who sweat about the feet.

Relief can sometimes be obtained by gentle massage or applying a warm or cold compress to the affected area. Or try onion juice, grated, strained and warmed or warmed garlic infused oil held in place with cotton wool. These old cures are renowned to help dry up mucous and have an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory effect.

Download, print or share Ear Complaints Factsheet or Tots to Teens Info Sheet