Swimmer’s Ear

Causes of Swimmer’s Ear

Water isn’t the only thing that can cause Swimmer’s Ear. Anything that damages the lipid layer, a protective film covering the ear canal, can cause an infection. This includes sand, dirt, debris, soap, shampoo, headphones, cotton swabs, bobby pins, fingernails, and other sharp objects inserted in the ear. Bony growths in the ear canal known as exostoses, skin problems (eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea), and even sweating can all lead to infection.

In addition to inflammation and redness, other symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear may include pain, fever, itchiness, hearing loss, and fullness in the ear. Those with narrow ear canals, impacted earwax, or previous cases of Swimmer’s Ear are most at risk for developing it.

Swimmer’s Ear Treatment & Prevention

Home treatment is often an effective way of eradicating Swimmer’s Ear. Use warm saline solution or a half-and-half mixture of white vinegar and warm water to rinse and flush your ears. Apply a warm compress (a wet washcloth or heating pad) to the affected ear. Nonprescription medications can be used to treat pain, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If the infection is caused by bacteria, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

To prevent Swimmer’s Ear , try eardrops with a half-and-half mixture of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol before and after swimming. Use shower caps or special swimmer’s earplugs, and dry your ears thoroughly after swimming and bathing.