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Can You Treat an Earache at the Pharmacy?

Updated March 23, 2017

Mild to moderate ear pain can be treated with products available at your local pharmacy. Some treatments are available over-the-counter, but others will require a prescription.

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Earaches may occur as the result of an ear infection or swimmer's ear. Swimmer's ear is an infection or inflammation of the ear canal or outer ear area. It may occur as the result of scratching your ear, having an object lodged in your ear, or swimming in contaminated water.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

An ear infection and swimmer's ear can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as ear drops and pain relievers.

Prescription Treatments

A doctor can prescribe medicated ear drops to fight infection and relieve pain.

Other Treatments

Other treatments that may help with earache discomfort include holding a cold compress against the ear several times a day, or chewing gum to relieve ear pressure.


Seek medical attention if your earache is accompanied by severe headache, dizziness, ear swelling, or fever.

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About the Author

Based in Laurel, Miss., Melody Morgan Hughes covers topics related to education, money and health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education from William Carey University and a Master of Education from Nova Southeastern University.

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