Best Ways to Avoid Swimmer’s Ear

swimmers-earSwimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is definitely something that can put a damper on summer fun, so it’s important to take care of your ears and keep an eye out for any signs of irritation or infection. It’s more common for swimmer’s ear to occur from unchlorinated bodies of natural water, like lakes and rivers, but the condition can also develop from swimming pools or if you’ve simply been sweating profusely or have been exposed to damp environments where bacteria may be present.

The following tips can help you prevent swimmer’s ear:

  • Dry your ears after sweating or swimming, but be careful not to put a Q-tip or anything else inside your ears. Just tilt your head to both sides and let excess moisture drip out, then gently dry the outside of your ears with the edge of a clean towel.
  • Avoid bodies of water where bacteria may be present and be careful not to touch in or around your ear with unwashed hands.
  • Mix a 1:1 solution of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and put one drop in each ear before and after swimming to help clean the ear and increase its acidity so that it can fight bacteria and fungus.

Symptoms of mild swimmer’s ear include redness in or around the ear, itching, and clear drainage. If the ear infection goes untreated, the condition could progress and cause pain, partial ear blockage, and pus discharge. If you think you may have swimmer’s ear, head to your doctor’s office or a walk-in clinic to get it thoroughly cleaned out. Prescription ear drops and/or pain medication may also be necessary to clear up the infection and relieve your symptoms.

For more tips on staying healthy this summer and throughout rest of the year, please see South Tampa Immediate Care’s full list of online health articles. If you have any questions about the medical services our walk-in clinic offers, please contact us today.