By now, many of your days have been spent at the pool – there is hardly a more enjoyable pastime of summer. However, have you or your child ever returned home with horrible ear pain? If this is the case, you might have just started experiencing the first signs of swimmer’s ear.
Below, we’re going to share some information about swimmer’s ear, exactly what causes it, how to cure it, and how to avoid being plagued by it in the first place.
What Is Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s ear is when an infection in your ear canal occurs due to water staying in the ear canal for too long, which creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Although it can happen to anyone, it is more common in children.
Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include but are not limited to:
- Ear pain
- Itching ear canal
- Red outer ear
- Ear canal is swollen shut
- Drainage or pus coming from ear
- Trouble hearing
Sounds painful, doesn’t it? Since swimmer’s ear can bring about the same symptoms as an ear infection, it is important to seek medical treatment for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
How Can You Prevent Swimmer’s Ear?
As in most cases, the best treatment option is prevention. Take a look at how you can protect your family from swimmer’s ear this summer.
First, try to keep your ears as dry as possible. Wearing a bathing cap and/or earplugs can help. You also want to dry your ears as soon as possible after swimming and bathing so that water doesn’t set in for too long. (Hint: if your ears still feel wet after swimming, consider drying them with your hair dryer set on the lowest setting, holding it several inches from your ear.)
Second, avoid putting objects in your ear canal that can cause more damage, including cotton-tip swabs, pencils, paper clips, etc. – with children you can never be too cautious!
Finally, consider talking to a knowledgeable physician about using ear drops to help prevent ear infections from water. If you or your child have had swimmer’s ear in the past, it might be best to use ear drops in order to limit the infection from occurring in the first place.
Treatment Is Available
If you do begin suffering the symptoms of swimmer’s ear, have no fear. There are a number of treatment options available to help clear up the infection, such as:
- Keeping ears dry
- Removing water from ears after swimming
Discover how the team at Excel ENT of Alabama in Birmingham, AL, can help you regain your hearing!
Are you having hearing issues? Contact the team at Excel ENT of Alabama today to schedule an appointment for a medical evaluation to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment plan when it comes to hearing loss.