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Swimmer’s Ear: Prevention and Treatment

PRM-blogcover-swimmer's ear
For many kids, summertime begins Swimmer’s Ear season. This common ear infection, called otitis externa, happens when water is trapped in the ear canal, enabling bacteria to grow and resulting in infection. Luckily for the kids, Swimmer’s Ear is preventable. Below are four ways to keep their ears dry and infection away:

Ear plugs
Before your children take a dip in the pool, encourage them to wear a swim cap or ear plugs. These devices are designed to keep water from getting in their ears. This is the easiest way to prevent swimmer’s ear.

No ear pulling
If your child does get water in their ear, urge them to not place their finger or other objects in their ear. Not only can it push debris and wax deeper into the ear, it can cause damage to the ear canal.

After pool care
Immediately after swimming, make sure your child’s ears are dry. There are two methods that can be used. One, take a soft towel and dry the ear. Two, use a hair dryer on the lowest setting and hold it about a foot away from the ear. This will ensure the ear canal is dry and avoid developing swimmer’s ear.

No Swimming
Avoid swimming in bodies of water with high levels of bacteria. Determining if the water is safe to swim in can be tricky. Often water will be dirty or murky, but this is not always true. If you see a no swimming sign or feel unsure about the water quality, avoid swimming in the area.

Treatment
Swimmer’s ear should be treated properly. If you suspect your child has symptoms, contact an ENT physician at Premier Medical.

A word from Dr. J. Mark Harrison:

Some patients are more prone to ear infections.  One of the reasons is the ph balance in the ear.  One thing that can be done to decrease these outer ear infections is to put over the counter swimmers ear drops in after swimming.  These drops should not be used if the patient has tubes or a hole in the eardrum.

Swimmer’s ear can turn any fun day of swimming into an evening of discomfort. If your child is experiencing symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear, the ENT specialist at Premier Medical are here to help. Call or make an appointment online today.

Resources:

https://www.earq.com/blog/how-to-prevent-swimmers-ear

https://www.simplyswim.com/blog/about-swimmers-ear/ doing_wp_cron=1467323457.8850169181823730468750

http://clearearinc.com/what-is-swimmers-ear/

http://www.entnet.org/content/swimmers-ear

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