Swim season is coming, which could easily mean lots of fun, but could also lead to a good deal of ache if you are not careful. A lot of people do not realize how delicate their ears are and that they should be given just as much consideration as other parts of their bodies. Swimmer’s ear is also known as acute external otitis since it occurs in the outer ear canal. When water gets stuck in this area of your ear after swimming (or even if you get bacteria in there from sticking your finger or a cotton swab inside), bacteria can grow out of control and make for one painful infection. After all, those warm, moist environments are where bacteria thrives the most.
You will normally be able to tell on your own if you are developing a case of swimmer’s ear. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, make sure you call us soon and ensure you get your appointment on the books.
- Itching or redness in your ear
- Discomfort that is worse when you pull on your outer ear
- Drainage of clear, odorless fluid (or puss at later stages)
- Feeling of fullness and increasing pain in the ear
Treatment for swimmer’s ear is not difficult if caught within a reasonable amount of time. Normally, you can pick up a bottle of eardrops from your pharmacy with a simple prescription. Prompt treatment of swimmer’s ear can help prevent progression and complications. We aren’t telling you to stay out of the water! Just be aware of what can possibly happen.
If you are prone to getting these infections, wear earplugs if you’re going to be swimming a lot. Simply shaking the water out of your ear also may help in the short term. This may sound silly, but a trick that works for a lot of people is hopping on one foot with your head tilted to the side if you feel leftover water stuck in your ear. Often it will wiggle itself out and you will have absolutely nothing to worry about. However, if you ever do experience a problem with this, there are no better people to go to for assistance than your friends here at Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat!