One of the best ways to beat the summer heat is to find a body of water and jump in. However, exposure to germs in natural sourced or dirty water can lead to complications. Swimmer’s ear is one of the most common issues that develop in the ears due to bacterial growth from contaminated water or infection. It is estimated that around 10% of people will develop swimmer’s ear at least once in their lives.
What are the Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear
When contaminated water sits inside the ear canal for too long, bacteria and germs can cause an infection of the outer ear. The most common symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:
•Muffled or underwater sounds while in the open air.
•Pain inside and tenderness around the ear.
•Discharge of foul-smelling, yellow fluid from the ear.
Tips and Treatment Options
While painful and inconvenient, swimmer’s ear is easily treatable if taken care of quickly. Even in the worse care scenarios, the majority of infections can be eliminated with antibiotics. Studies have shown that the appropriate treatments available today are both safe and effective and will help lessen complications in the future.
Ear drops can alleviate minor infections and provide fast relief. However, if you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you have a ruptured eardrum, had ear surgery recently, or have ventilation tubes in your ears, do not use ear drops. Some recommended treatments include rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and olive oil.
If an infection worsens, you may need to get a round of antibiotics to get rid of swimmer’s ear. It is essential to take the entire course even after the symptoms have cleared up; quitting too soon can cause a relapse of the infection and could help the bacteria become antibiotic-resistant, causing even more problems.
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of remedy; this is very true with Simmer’s ear. As the germs that cause swimmer’s ear needs the right environment to thrive, taking steps to prevent issues can go a very long way.
•Keep your ears dry and clean
•Never use cotton swabs
•Take care of your skin
•Maintain your earwax
•Wear earplugs or a swim cap while swimming
Following these tips can help to ensure that nothing interferes with your summertime water fun.