By Sarah Jones
Swimmer’s ear is a condition of the outer ear that occurs when too much water becomes trapped in the ears after swimming or bathing. Swimmer’s ear can cause a range of symptoms that can be a pain to handle. Knowing how to protect your hearing is important for treating swimmer’s ear and other ear conditions.
What Is Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s ear is aptly named because it often occurs after long periods of swimming. When water becomes trapped in the ears, this moist environment becomes a prime breeding ground for infections of the outer ear. If any of the following symptoms are occurring, you need to find the nearest urgent care center right away.
· Redness inside the ear
· Pain in the ear
· Itching in the ear
· Drainage of clear fluid
Swimmer’s ear needs to be treated by a doctor or it could damage the eardrum and lead to hearing problems. Seeking medical attention will ensure the condition is properly treated.
How Is Swimmer’s Ear Treated?
Swimmers ear is treated according to the severity. Mild cases of swimmer’s ear will typically resolve on their own without medication.
The doctor may need to clean the ear if pus or drainage is present. Antibiotic drops may be prescribed, but the doctor may also prescribe oral antibiotics if the ear infection is severe. Prompt treatment is essential, and preventative measures should be taken for those who frequently suffer from swimmer’s ear infections.
How to Protect Your Ears
If you are a frequent swimmer, there are steps you can take to protect your ears. Once a person has developed a swimmer’s ear, they typically do not want to experience the pain, irritation, and hearing loss that accompany this ear condition. Taking the proper measures will help to ensure the swimmer’s ear is kept at bay.
· There are special drops that can be used before swimming to keep the ears from filling with water. These drops encourage water evaporation and protect the ears from irritation.
· Never use cotton swabs or other devices to clean your ears, pick at them, or scratch them.
· Keep your ears dry at all times. After a bath, make sure to drain the water from your ears effectively.
· Swimmer’s ear treatment is most effective when the patient is seen near the onset of symptoms. Waiting too long to seek
· Medical treatment
· This could result in severe infections and permanent damage.
· Always maintain proper ear hygiene. Neglecting your ears can lead to health problems, including infections.
· If you have problems with chronic swimmer’s ear consider having custom earplugs made to seal your ears during swimming and bathing. These will prevent water from entering the canal and causing ear health problems.
Your Ear Health Is Important
Taking care of your ears may not seem so important, but a lack of care can lead to severe health issues that could cause permanent hearing loss. With each infection, there is the risk of hearing damage due to changes in the components of the ear. Taking care of your ears will help to ensure you have good hearing for life.
Swimmer’s ear can be a real pain to deal with for most people. People of all ages can develop swimmer’s ear, though children are often more susceptible to the condition. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your doctor or seek an urgent care appointment right away so your ears can be properly treated.