Swimmers ear – Various important things to know!!

If you are of the view that a swimmer`s ear issue can affect only the swimmers, then you are not alone!!

It is true that this very painful ear issue that occurs on the outer ear canal is common and it can affect anyone from elders to kids. Also known as Otitis externa, swimmer`s ear can be due to other reasons like excess moisture in the ear canal due to heavy perspiration, prolonged exposure to humid weather etc. It is important to get this issue treated compulsorily.

Important causes for swimmers ear are

Water exposure:

It is noteworthy that continuous exposure to water could wash away the protective layer of ear wax present in the ears. This would then allow bacteria or fungi to thrive in the moist condition.

Abrasions or scratches etc:

Bacteria would be able to enter inside our ears when we create tiny openings in our ear canal using cotton swabs, pins etc. Here, the delicate skin of the ear canal inside the ear would get affected.

High humidity or sweating:

Bacteria or fungi could grow inside the ear canal due to the presence of a humid environment or sweating etc. So, please be careful.

Obstruction in ear canal:

Moisture could get trapped inside the ear canal when we use objects like ear plugs, hearing aids etc. Even ear wax build up could lead to ear canal infection in us.

Skin issues:

It must be noted that some skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis could compromise skin`s natural barrier. This would lead to infection in the ear canal. Please take care.

Symptoms:

Those with swimmer`s ear problems could experience many symptoms like Ear canal itching, redness and swelling of outer ear, reduced hearing or hearing loss, feel of fullness or excess pressure or pain etc. In some severe cases, fever might also occur.

Treatment for swimmer`s ear issue:

Ear drops:

In most cases, antifungal or antibiotic ear drops would be very effective. Point to be noted is that these drops might contain acetic acid, neomycin etc.

Pain relief medicines:

The discomfort in the ears could be managed by taking medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc.

Ear cleaning:

This is also one important way to treat swimmer`s ear problem. Here, excess ear wax would be removed or drainage from the ear canal would be removed to help quick healing.

Tips to avoid swimmer`s ear issue:

One important method is by keeping the ears dry. Point is that after bathing or swimming we must gently dry our ears with a towel. It is s important to refrain from inserting objects inside ears. By avoiding certain irritants like hair dye or hairspray etc, we could prevent this issue. Finally, we must visit ear specialist to identify and address the issues before they worsen.