First Aid Guide for Illness & Emergencies

First Aid Guide for Illness & Emergencies


Step 1

  • A warm moist compress can be placed on the painful ear to help with the pain.

Step 2

  • For pain, take ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, etc.) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®, etc.). Medication dosages should be based on the instructions, or contact your doctor if you are unsure.

Step 3

  • If the ear is draining fluid, gently wipe it away. Do not place a cotton swab deep into the ear. Do not use any eardrops or oil, unless prescribed by your doctor.

Step 4

  • Call 911 after a head injury with bleeding or watery straw-colored fluid coming from the ear. This can be a sign of a broken (fractured) skull. Keep the person still until trained medical help arrives.

Treating Swimmer’s Ear

  • In swimmer’s ear, the ear hole outer skin will be moist or draining, red appearing, and it often hurts to pull on the outer ear or to push just in front of the ear.
  • Home treatment can help for prevention or for a mild swimmer’s ear. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part of rubbing alcohol and pour 1 teaspoon (about 5 milliliters) of this solution into the ear. Let it drain out. This will dry the ear canal.
  • Call your doctor or go to medical care for moderate to severe ear pain and drainage or if there is a known hole in the eardrum.