With summer here, many of us are diving in the pool and making more trips on the beach. Swimming is a great way to relax and get in a good workout at the same time.
But, chances are good that when you go for a swim, your head will be completely submerged under water. It is important to know
Without proper protection, this can expose your ears to water and allow moisture to enter the ear canal. Depending on the size and shape of your canal, it can not allow water to flow well and you may have more chances of developing swimmer’s ears.
Just like with any physical activity, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure you’re safe while enjoying yourself.
Prevention of ear care
Follow these tips to avoid swimmer’s ear:
Keep your ears dry. After exposure to moisture from swimming or bath, dry your ears well. Simply dry your outer ear, gently and slowly wipe it with a soft towel or cloth. Tip your head in the tip to help clear the water from your ear canal. You can dry your ears with a blow dryer if you put it on the lowest setting and keep it at least one foot (about 0.3 meters) away from the ear.
At-home preventive treatment. If you know you don’t have a punctured eardrum, you can use homemade preventive ear drops before and after swimming. 1 part white vinegar and 1 part rubbing alcohol can help in drying and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus, which can cause swimmer’s ears. Pour 1 teaspoon (about 5 millilitres) of the solution into each ear and let it drain back out. Similar over-the-counter solutions can be available at your drug store.
Swim wisely. Look for signals that alert swimmers for high bacterial counting and do not swim during those days.
Avoid putting foreign objects in your ear. Never attempt to scratch an itch or dig out earwax with items such as a cotton swab, paper clip or hairpin. Using these items, your ears can pack deeply into the canal, trouble the thin skin inside your ears or break the skin.
Protect your ears from irritants. Put the cotton ball in your ear while applying products such as hair spray and hair dye.
Use earplugs – Swimming ear plugs prevent water from getting inside the ear canal also help in avoiding any ear infection.
Use caution after an ear infection or surgery. If you have recently had ear infections or ear surgery, talk to your doctor before swimming.
Best treatments for swimmer’s ear-
Typically, you can identify a swimmer’s ear infection by redness and swelling of the ear canal and outer ear (the part that you can see around the opening), itching, pain, pus drainage and sometimes hearing loss.
You can sometimes reduce inflammation with the helping of clean and dry to the ear canal. In most cases, this requires applying antibiotic or antifungal ear drops. The drop needs to reach your skin to work, so for example, it is important to clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide. However, Doctor says that pouring water into your ears is never a good idea.
He says you can start with over-the-counter drying agents. However, he says a trip to the doctor is best so that he or she can:
Clean your ear safely
Recommend the correct ear drops
Show you how to use the drops properly
If it doesn’t resolve, Doctor advises that you do not let the condition go. “If it is left untreated, then the swimmer’s ear may become bad and it can be difficult to cure,” Doctor says. “Occasionally, patients need prescription oral antibiotics and, in extreme conditions, the patient may need to be admitted to the hospital.