We all love to splash around in the pool during the hot days of summer. We swim laps, play games or just wade in to cool off. When we spend time in the water, it increases our risk of swimmer’s ear, which is an ear infection that can result from bacteria that grows in the ear canal when it is wet. Swimmer’s ear can be painful and put a damper on our summer plans, but fortunately we can avoid it with a few simple tips.
Keep Your Ears Clean and Dry
After you go swimming, make sure to dry your ears well with a towel. If you can’t get the moisture out by tilting your head and wiping them out, a cool hair dryer will usually do the trick.
Keep the Sin in Your Ears Healthy
To avoid infection, keeping the skin in and around your ears healthy is key. They should be dry, but not so dry they get cracked or feel uncomfortable. Don’t ever scratch or cut your ears, and cotton swabs are generally best avoided, because anything that is inserted into the ear canal can go too far and damage the ear drum or skin inside. If you think you have too much ear wax, see a doctor to find out your options.
Ear Plugs to the Rescue!
Sometimes water gets in our ears and can’t get out, and that’s what creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that can cause the swimmer’s ear infection. Swimming ear plugs can be a good option for keeping the water out while you are swimming. They can be found at retail stores or at your audiologist’s office. They need to fit well to be effective, so ensure they are the right size for you.
Ear Drops Can Help
When water is trapped in your ear canal, several liquids can be used to drop in the ear canal to dry it or flush the water out. Many people swear by olive oil: just a couple of drops can force the water out of your ear canal and keep the skin in there healthy. Hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol can also be used. They both act to dry out the ear canal and eventually cause infection. This can be effective, but using it often can cause excessive dryness in the ear canal, so it’s not recommended to do it all the time. White vinegar drops can also be used to help coax the water out of the ear canal. If you have synthetic ear tubes or a ruptured ear drum, never drop anything into your ear canal. Drops may also be ineffective if you experience excessive ear wax.
Ear Wax is Not a Bad Thing
Ear was serves a purpose: it protects our ears. Too much wax (or too little) can cause a problem, so here are a few pointers for keeping a healthy balance:
If you keep your ears clean and dry and keep these tips in mind, you will have a happy, fun summer full of swimming and pool time without worrying about Swimmer’s Ear. It is important to keep regular check-ups with your audiologist to maintain your ear health, so if you think you may have Swimmer’s Ear or another infection, contact us today!
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon CA94583 (925) 394-4646