It’s summer time, which means your child is ready to jump in the pool and swim to their heart’s content. Unfortunately with this sort of lifestyle can come potential sunburns and the dreaded swimmer’s ear. CDC defines swimmer’s ear as “an infection of the outer ear canal.” This of course can happen after swimming in the pool, or being submerged in water. Germs thrive in the ear when it remains moist and wet, hence the name, swimmer’s ear. As your local ear, nose and throat specialist, Camellia ENT is ready to help treat you or your child if swimmer’s ear continues to persist after your pool activities. In the meantime, learn more below and review these common tips to try to avoid this extra ear pain.
Keep Ear as Dry as Possible
Of course we support all the fun pool activities, especially for our kids, but the key is once you’re out of the pool, dry your ears and continue to keep them as dry as you can. Some ideas are to use a bathing cup, ear plugs, or even custom-made earmolds when you will be in contact with water. After you are in contact with water, tilt your head down, which can allow any trapped water to exit your ear canal.
Ear Wax Can Help
A very common practice is to try to cleaner wax out of your ears. However, if you suffer from swimmer’s ear, most ENT doctors will advise you to leave the ear wax alone. You can sometimes make your ear situation worse by using a q-tip to inadvertently push wax further into your ear canal. Having the right amount of ear wax actually can help prevent ear infections.
Skin Conditions Can Be a Culprit
Having skin conditions such as eczema and seborrhea can be a reason you are more prone to infections. When skin is cracked, dry or impaired, the likelihood of infection increases. If you do have a skin condition, make sure you are getting it treated, which can help with avoiding infection.
Make Ear Drops Part of Your Routine
There are many different types of solutions you may consider to use as ear drops. For best practice, always consult your doctor first on which one would be the best for your situation. Some different kinds that may be suggested to you are rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or even olive oil. Do note that more ENT doctors are suggesting against hydrogen peroxide over the worry that it can also kill good bacteria in your ear; this may be something you wish to bring up when you speak with your doctor.
The Correct Way to Administer Ear Drops
As mentioned above, there is a certain way to apply drops to your ear, and you are going to want help from another person. Find a flat service such as a desk or countertop that you would like to use. Put a towel over the surface. Lay one side of your head completely flat against the towel and surface. Whoever is helping you will then pour a couple of drops of whatever the doctor prescribes carefully into your ear canal. Stay still and wait a few minutes. Flip over your head to the other side and repeat.
Ear Health for Your Whole Family
Camellia ENT are the leading ENT doctors for the Lafayette and Acadiana area. Our staff can see your whole family and treat all things ears, throat and nose. If you or your child is struggling with swimmer’s ear or anything similar, we’d love to have you in for a consultation and help treat any condition. Let’s help you and your family enjoy summer pool activities pain-free!