Swimmer’s Ear 101

Warmer weather means more fun outdoors, especially in pools, lakes, or oceans. Swimmer’s ear is a common side-effect of being in the water and is diagnosed by an infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from the eardrum to the outside of your head. When water is stagnant in your ear, it creates an environment that promotes excess bacterial growth. 

Swimmer’s ear can be treated with ear drops. Swift treatment will help prevent complications and more serious infections. While symptoms are initially mild, they can worsen if the condition is not addressed. To avoid swimmer’s ear, the easiest prevention is to avoid getting water in your ears.

Cotton swabs or Q-tips can force earwax deeper into the ear canal, so do not use these to get water out of your ear. Instead, use irrigation-based ear drops after swimming. These drops are specially formulated with alcohol and vinegar to sterilize and restore the ear canal’s normal pH and can be purchased over the counter.

Getting water in the ear canal is a risk for swimmers in any waterway. Still, it’s riskier when the water is not chlorinated, as there’s a higher chance of bacteria in rivers or lakes. Lake water can sometimes contain dangerous bacteria causing infectious diseases such as meningitis and hepatitis.

Swimmer’s ear can damage the insides of an ear, though temporary and mild. Most people with the condition swiftly recover with adequate treatment, though long-term effects from chronic infection can lead to hearing loss.

See a doctor immediately if you have severe ear pain, cannot hear well, or have a clogged sensation in your ear. The most common treatment is an antimicrobial application where the ear canal is cleaned of pus, earwax, oils, or dead skin cells.

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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

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