How to Get Rid of Swimmers' Ear

How to Get Rid of Swimmers’ Ear

Matt DearingHearing Health, Hearing Protection, Resource

Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is a common condition caused by inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal. It typically occurs when water becomes trapped in the ear canal, creating a moist environment that promotes bacterial or fungal growth. Swimmer’s ear can be uncomfortable and even painful, but the good news is that it can usually be treated effectively at home. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to get rid of swimmer’s ear and provide some tips for preventing it in the future.

  1. Keep Your Ears Dry

The first step in treating swimmer’s ear is to keep your ears as dry as possible. Avoid swimming or submerging your head in water until the infection has cleared up. If you need to shower or bathe, use a waterproof earplug or a cotton ball coated with petroleum jelly to keep water out of your ears.

  1. Use Eardrops

Over-the-counter eardrops are often the most effective way to treat swimmer’s ear. These drops contain ingredients that help to dry out the ear canal and kill bacteria or fungus. Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, and be sure to use the drops for the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms improve before then.

  1. Apply Warm Compresses

Applying warm compresses to the affected ear can help to relieve pain and discomfort associated with swimmer’s ear. Simply soak a clean cloth in warm water, wring out any excess moisture, and hold it against your ear for 10-15 minutes at a time. Repeat this process several times a day as needed.

  1. Use Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort of swimmer’s ear. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the packaging, and consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or if the pain persists.

  1. Avoid Inserting Objects into Your Ears

While it may be tempting to try to clean out your ears with cotton swabs or other objects, this can actually make swimmer’s ear worse by pushing the infection further into the ear canal. Avoid inserting anything into your ears, and let your body’s natural defenses take care of clearing out the infection.

  1. Seek Medical Attention if Symptoms Persist

In most cases, swimmer’s ear will clear up on its own with home treatment. However, if your symptoms persist for more than a few days despite home remedies, or if you experience severe pain, swelling, or drainage from the ear, it’s important to seek medical attention. Your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help clear up the infection.

  1. Prevent Recurrence

Once you’ve successfully treated swimmer’s ear, it’s important to take steps to prevent it from coming back in the future. This includes keeping your ears dry, wearing earplugs while swimming, and avoiding activities that may introduce water into your ears, such as diving or waterskiing.

Swimmer’s ear can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but it can usually be treated effectively at home with simple remedies. By keeping your ears dry, using eardrops, applying warm compresses, and taking pain relievers as needed, you can help to alleviate symptoms and promote healing.