What Is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is very common. It is associated with swimming since it is common in kids who spend a lot of time in the water. It is caused by by to much moisture in the ear can irritate and break down the skin in the canal, letting bacteria or fungi penetrate. It happens most often in summertime, when swimming is common.

But you don’t have to swim to get swimmer’s ear. Anything that causes a break in the skin of the ear canal can lead to an infection. Dry skin or eczema, scratching the ear canal, vigorous ear cleaning with cotton swabs, or putting foreign objects like bobby pins or paper clips into the ear can all increase the risk of swimmer’s ear.

What Are the Signs of Swimmer’s Ear?

Ear pain is the main sign of swimmer’s ear. It can be severe and gets worse when the outer part of the ear is pulled or pressed on. It also may be painful to chew. Sometimes the ear canal itches before the pain begins.

Swelling of the ear canal might make a child complain of a full or uncomfortable feeling in the ear. The outer ear may look red or swollen, and lymph nodes around the ear can get enlarged and tender. Sometimes, there’s discharge from the ear canal — this might be clear at first and then turn cloudy, yellowish, and pus-like.

Are There Any Home Treatments

The best treatment for swimmers ear is prevention. Earplugs can be used which can prevent excess water in the ears. Using silicon based earplugs is preferable since they will mold to the ear canal. If you get swimmers ear avoid swimming until your ears have healed to prevent further irritation.

Eating a healthy diet with foods high in antioxidants will improve your immune system. Also make sure to drink plenty of water, Being well hydrated will help drain the mucus from your ear canal.

Mixing a solution of rubbing alcohol and vinegar has been shown to treat swimmers ear. Add one or two drops a few times a day to the infected ear.

If the condition persists for more than two weeks you should see the assistance of a health care professional.

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