Swimmer’s Ear: Cause and Treatment

images-4More than 2.4 million people a year report having swimmer’s ear. Most often affiliated with swimmers, swimmer’s ear is a condition that anyone can develop, though it is more prevalent among children. The cause is related to water that gets trapped in the ear canal, creating a moist environment where bacteria can grow.

5 Unexpected Causes of “Swimmer’s” Ear

  1. Too much bacteria from hot tubs or polluted water.
  2. Over cleaning the ear canal with cotton swabs or something similar.
  3. Certain chemicals such as hair spray or hair dye
    TIP: Avoid this by placing cotton balls in your ears when using these products.
  4. A cut in the ear canal.
  5. Other skin conditions, such as eczema or seborrhea.

images-3Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms:

  1. Drainage from the ear
  2. Ear pain, which may get worse when you pull on the outer ear
  3. Difficulty hearing
  4. Itching 
Treatment for swimmer’s ear can include simple warm compresses to the problem ear, over the counter pain medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen. More serious symptoms might require a visit to the doctor who might prescribe antibiotics to help address the infection. 

Reduce Your Risk

  1. Keep ears dry
  2. Use earplugs and bathing caps
  3. Use a towel to dry your ears well
  4. Tilt head allow each ear to drain out after swimming
  5. Using a dryer on low can help dry ear passage (hold at a safe distance)
  6. Do not insert finger or other objects into your ear, you may risk permanent damage

Consult your health professional if you suspect that you might have swimmer’s ear. Remember, an ounce of prevention can translate into reduction in your health care expenses.

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References: The Mayo Clinic, Emedincehealth.com, WebMD, CDCAmerican Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryNational Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health
By: WHBlogger
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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