Avoiding Swimmer’s Ear This Summer

June 11, 2019

It’s hot out there and I can’t think of anything better than a dip in the pool or ocean to cool off! Trips to the beach and sunny days spent in the pool are ahead, which are a lot of fun–but it what’s not fun is Swimmer’s Ear.

Swimmer’s Ear is a type of ear infection caused by bacteria breeding in trapped moisture within the ear canal. The best way to deal with Swimmer’s Ear is to avoid it altogether, so here are a few ways to do that.

Avoid it! Since swimmer’s ear is a result of wetness that becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, it makes sense that keeping your ears clean and dry will prevent it. Be sure to thoroughly dry your ears after they get wet. To dry the outer ear canal you can simply use a towel. For the unreachable parts a hair dryer on the cool setting can help. Some recommend rubbing alcohol to dry out their ears, but frequent use of rubbing alcohol can actually cause more infection later on.

Use over-the-counter ear drops. Growing up, I used over-the-counter ear drops to help remove unwanted moisture after swimming. They can be a great way to facilitate drying out the ear canal. White vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and olive oil are other home-remedy options. As mentioned above, rubbing alcohol can cause excessive dryness if you use it too often, and hydrogen peroxide can kill good bacteria in your ear canal so use those sparingly.

Use specialty swimming ear plugs.
Swimming ear plugs can be used to prevent moisture from entering your ears at all. You can buy them online, at your audiologist’s office and at some retail outlets. A good fit to your ears is key or they can do more harm than good. Don’t use just any earplugs–they should be designed for swimming.  

Healthy skin makes for healthy ears. The best way to have healthy ears and prevent infection in your ears is healthy skin. If the skin in your ears is dry or cracked, infection can result. If you suffer from flaky dry skin in your ears, try these tips:

  • Keep your ears dry
  • Don’t scratch or cut your ears
  • Be gentle with cleaning. Avoid cotton swabs or other objects poked in the ear.
  • If you think you have excessive ear wax, consult a doctor or audiologist.

You can minimize your risk of any infection (including Swimmer’s Ear) by remembering these preventative tips. Regular check-ups with your audiologist is important for maintaining ear health.

The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.

Diablo Hearing Services   2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106   San Ramon (925) 394-4646

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