Swimmer Ear Infection

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Spring it just around the corner and we need to start thinking about our kids Spring activities. First learn to swim or swim better is this 2019 motto or as we like to put it "Fun Way To Learn To Swim"

This month in our Featured Article I would like to talk about Swimmers Ear. During my grand-kids young years from nose runs to ear infections the ear infection was always the worst of the two. This article will talk mainly about Swimmer's Ear but has good advice for any ear infection. I would always like to hear from you if you have other thoughts to pass on to our young Family's... Keep them swimming, Cantillon Swim buoy LLC

Featured Article............ SWIMMER EAR INFECTION:

Swimmer's Ear Causes

The skin lining the ear canal and outer ear serves as a barrier against infection from bacteria and fungi. The ear is protected against infection because the lining is slightly acidic. The lining is also a physical barrier that protects against excessive moisture.

Swimmer's Ear Symptoms

The most common symptom of swimmer's ear is pain. Pain gradually begins over a day or two. The pain almost always involves only one ear. The pain is especially intense when the ear is touched or pulled.

The ear canal may itch. The outer ear may be red, and in severe cases the ear canal may be swollen shut. The ear may drain. This drainage may be clear, white, yellow, or sometimes bloody and foul smelling. Some fluid may crust at the opening of the ear canal. With severe swelling or drainage, the person may have trouble hearing. Ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and dizziness or vertigo may also be present. Fever is generally not present. If there is a fever, it is not usually high.

Swimmer's Ear Home Remedies

Avoid any further trauma to the ear. Do not attempt to remove visible debris or drainage from the ear. Stop swimming or exposure to water until the condition improves.

Apply heat to the ear to control the pain at home. Warmth from a heating pad may provide some relief. Fold a towel in half and place it between the heating pad and the ear. Limit the use of the heating pad to short periods. The folded towel should help prevent accidental burning of the ear if the heating pad is too hot. If the person is not allergic to these, try a over-the-counter pain medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil), or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol). Nonprescription ear drops are not usually strong enough to cure the problem. Such drops are useful only for prevention of episodes after water exposure. Ear drops used for treatment of the condition must be obtained with a prescription from a doctor.

When to Seek Medical Care

Home care for swimmer's ear can be used to control pain temporarily. However, because over-the-counter ear drops are not strong enough to cure the infection, a visit to a health care professional for specific medications as indicated. Swimmer's ear is not an emergency situation in most cases, so call the doctor for an appointment.

Call a health care professional immediately in any of these situations:

Pain is not controlled with over-the-counter medicines that are taken as recommended on the label. Any pressure on the outer ear may cause great pain, so it is often difficult to lie down with the affected side against a pillow. Many people with swimmer's ear have trouble sleeping until they get medical attention. The person feels dizzy. The person has any signs of facial weakness or double vision. The person has diabetes or some other condition that prevents the immune system from functioning normally. If there is associated redness or swelling that extends down the neck or along the face from the ear, immediate medical attention should be taught.

Swimmer's ear, in general, is not an emergency. However, the person should go to the emergency department at the hospital if they are experiencing symptoms of swimmer's ear and have diabetes, are running a fever, are experiencing dizziness or facial weakness, or have a history of prior ear surgery.

Swimmer's Ear Prevention

Use of shower caps while bathing and earplugs while swimming will help keep water out of the ear canal. The best earplugs are often soft balls of special wax. The wax can be purchased at most pharmacies. Simply roll a small ball of wax in your hands and press it into the outer ear. Homemade ear drops also help prevent swimmer's ear after water exposure. Make a 50:50 mixture of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol for use after swimming or exposure to water. Apply 3-4 drops in each ear canal after swimming. This helps dry the canal and maintain the acidic environment of the ear canal. Avoid placing objects in the ear that can scrape or scratch the skin of the canal because this may cause an infection.

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