“It is important to clarify the cause of earaches,” says Edith Pernkopf from the St. Magdalena pharmacy in Linz. In winter, flu-like infections would often also trigger earaches. “Due to the swollen mucous membranes in the nose, the connection between the nose and the ear, the auditory tube, is misplaced, pressure equalization is no longer possible and that hurts,” explains the pharmacist. In summer, germs in the swimming pool often cause inflammation of the external auditory canals. But pain from inflammation of the jaw joint or tooth decay can also radiate to the ears.
For the earache that occurs at this time of year accompanied by a cold, the expert recommends decongestant nose drops, which relieve the feeling of pressure in the ear. “But you shouldn’t use them for more than five to seven days, otherwise you’ll get used to them,” she warns. You can also use sea salt-based nasal sprays.
Pernkopf advises taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. The latter is not only analgesic, but also anti-inflammatory. If there is a lot of mucus in the paranasal sinuses, expectorants are also helpful. Herbal remedies with elderflower and gentian root or the herbal active ingredient Myrtol are good for children. A non-vegetable alternative is the effervescent drink acetylcysteine.
According to Pernkopf, if the symptoms have not improved after two days, you should see a doctor. “With children under two years old, you should always go to the doctor immediately if you have an earache.”