Swimmer’s Ear

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It is summer break and many of you will enjoy some time swimming in the pool along with other water activities.

Prolonged, frequent exposure to the water can put you at increased risk for developing an infection in the external canal of the ear (between the head and ear drum) known as otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear.

Symptoms

The symptoms can be as mild as some itching inside the ear canal to severe resulting in: pain, pus drainage, and/or hearing loss.

Treatment

Avoid putting anything inside of your ear. It is best to see your doctor to get a proper evaluation and treatment recommendations which may include antibiotic drops. Follow the directions given to you by your doctor and be sure to complete the entire course of treatment.

Prevention

There is no guarantee that anything will prevent the infection, but the following are recommended

Avoid cleaning the ears with q-tips or any hard objects as this could create scratches in the canal making you susceptible to infection

Use the following cleaning drops after you shower after spending any time in the water: Make a mixture of 1:1 isopropyl alcohol and distilled vinegar and place in a clean bottle with a clean dropper. While lying on your left side, use the dropper to place 1 – 2 drops to fill the right ear canal with the mixture (it is best to have someone do this for you). Leave the solution in the canal for up to one minute and then tilt your head to the right onto a towel to allow the solution to drain out. Repeat on the other side.

Enjoy your time in the water this summer!

 

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