Best Ways to Address Childhood Earaches


I grew up with childhood earaches. And they were painful

However, I never visited the doctor’s for my earaches.  Not sure why but I am very happy for this,  for 2 reasons:

  1. I would have been on a lot of antibiotics… I mean a lot
  2. I was taught, early on, to believe that my body could fight the earache and that natural therapies  do work

But don’t begin to think that my mom and grandma neglected me. They didn’t. This is what they did:

  • Place a hot water bottle behind my ear
  • Inserted a warm olive oil saturated cotton ball into my ear ( be careful that it is not too warm to burn)

Luckily, neither of my kids never have had an earache but I have had many patients who do. In my treatment for them, I suggest all of the above but tweak a few things:

  • Add a  garlic clove to the olive oil when heating it up
  • Prescribe a homeopathic instead of the Tylenol
  • Evaluate diet

The  true inspiration of this post comes from this NPR article I stumbled across recently, Temporary Hearing Loss May Rewire Kids’ Brains.

The title made me wonder.

Did my chronic ear aches effect my elementary schooling? I did struggle in my early schooling. And I was very quiet in school…maybe even withdrawn.


Okay but then I read the last paragraph and was comforted.

“Restore healing, and the brain will eventually catch up.”


My advice to parents of children who have chronic ear infections is to completely evaluate your childs’ diet. I wish gluten (I have found out that I have a sensitivity to it)  had been taking out of my diet as a child because it would have relieved many painful nights (and perhaps happier times in the classroom!). Dairy might have been a culprit as well. Be aware of how your child reacts to food; it is an important aspect of optimal health.


dr. heather

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