Five Tips for Treating Swimmer’s Ear

posted by Dave Leman on January 29, 2014

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Swimmer’s ear, which affects the outer ear, is a painful condition that results from infection, irritation, or inflammation. These symptoms can occur after water has been trapped in your ear, leading to a spread of fungal organisms or bacteria. The goal of treatment is to cure the infection and return the ear canal skin to a healthy condition.

Here are some tips and treatments/medications for swimmer’s ear:

  • Keep it clean – cleaning your outer ear canal helps the ear drops flow to every inch of the infected areas
  • Try prescribed ear drops – for more serious cases doctors prescribe drops that contain some type of combination of a steroid, antibiotic, anti-fungal medication, or acidic solution all of which depends on the seriousness of your infection
  • Try at-home treatments – for mild cases you can help heal your outer ear canal by making your own ear drops using 2 ingredients, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol
  • Stay away from pools and lakes – stay out of the water to give your ear canal time to heal. When showering or bathing use petroleum jelly coated cotton balls to protect your ear from getting any water in it
  • Try over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve the pain – these will help ease the discomfort of swimmer’s ear. Try over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil, Aleve or Tylenol

If your infection doesn’t seem to be getting better within 7-10 days, and your infection hasn’t responded to the treatment, call your doctor immediately to book an appointment for further diagnosis.

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