mended, to stimulate the circulation and inure the system to changes of weather.
Another great class of troubles which is sadly misunderstood by the public is the acute inflammations of the ear. There are few pains in the human body more distressing than earaches. Many have been the nights of agony passed with pain in the ear, because the proper remedy has not been known in the household.
Almost every conceivable thing has been used for earache by patients of high and low degree. With the exception of baking soda, already mentioned—and I have considerable hesitancy in trusting even that to popular use—nothing should ever be dropped in the ear except hot water. When the ear is throbbing with pain, the hot douche is the best means to employ for relief. In this condition any kind of a syringe is available, for there is not much probability of the sufferer throwing a stream forcible enough to increase his pain. Very hot water should be used. A quart of plain water as hot as can be endured should be injected, repeating it as often as is necessary—every five minutes, even.
If we happen to be beyond the reach of a physician, and the hot-water douche fails to relieve, leeching should be employed, remembering to apply the leech upon the little projection just in front of the ear, called the tragus. Do not ever put a poultice over the ear.
To secure rest at night and between the intervals of necessary douching, fill the auditory canal with hot water, cover the whole side of the head with a napkin wrung out in hot water, and tie a dry towel over the entire head.
Simple tenderness in front of the external ear or in the canal means either a pimple or a boil in the canal. In this condition also, hot douching and hot-water applications are the only safe remedies to employ at home. Medical advice must be sought early, to open the little abscess and allow the matter to escape.
Violent, throbbing, deep-seated earache means an abscess within the drum cavity of the ear; and this is a serious disease—often ruinous to the hearing, and even dangerous to life. The advice of a physician, preferably a specialist, is indispensable; and the above hints are not at all intended to supply his place, but merely to anticipate his arrival.