Swimmers Ear – Symptoms and What To Do
Swimmers Ear – Otitis Externa Infections
Swimmers ear is something to keep an eye on. Swimming is an all year activity – with indoor pools, lakes and the ocean in the summer months – and with swimming comes an annoying infection called swimmers ear, an infection of the ear canal. This causes plenty of unpleasant side effects for kids. Luckily these symptoms are easy to treat and we can even prevent them in some cases.
What is swimmers ear?
External otitis is a bacterial infection of the skin around the outer ear canal. We usually see acute infections, though chronic infections can also occur. It is generally caused by bacteria called pseudomonas, streptococcus or staphylococcus, which frequently cause skin infections and/or head and neck infections in kids.
Most cases of external otitis involve a history of excessive water exposure, as in activities like swimming, diving or water sports. Water collects in the ear canal and acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. Minor cuts in the skin from a cotton swab or cuts from a finger can predispose one to bacterial colonization.
- Itchy ears
- Draining of pus from the ear
- Blood in ear
- Sore ear especially when moving the outer ear (unlike otitis media)
- Swelling on the side of the face
- Enlarged lymph nodes near the ear
- Temporary hearing loss
How can I prevent swimmer’s ear?
- Avoid excessive water exposure
- Avoid excessive use of cotton swabs
- Follow proper ear care
- Use drops in the ears after swimming to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Home remedies for ear infection prevention, include: hydrogen peroxide in the ear, Burow’s solution, commercial swimmers ear drops or diluted vinegar drops
How to treat an ear infection
For otitis externa, we typically use antibiotic drops (not oral antibiotics), which contact the bacteria and infected skin, killing the bacteria. These antibiotic drops often contain a mild steroid to calm inflammation, speed healing and decrease pain.
Read more on Internal Middle Ear infections.
The general information provided on the Website is for informational purposes and is not medical advice.
Do NOT use this Website for medical emergencies.
If you have a medical emergency, call a physician or qualified healthcare provider, or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on this Website. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed and qualified health provider in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.
- 7 Tips For Preventing Viral Infections This Fall and Winter - November 10, 2019
- Stomach Flu – When To Be Worried - November 8, 2019
- 5 Ways To Treat Viral Infection Symptoms This Season - November 7, 2019
- What Is Whooping Cough (Pertussis)? What Is The Whooping Cough Sound? - November 3, 2019
- How to Check Children’s Temperature Correctly - November 1, 2019
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - October 19, 2019
- Scared of the Flu? You Should Be! - October 4, 2019
- Quinoa Breakfast Muffins - September 25, 2019
- Pimple Remedies for Baby Acne - September 22, 2019
- Back To School – Healthy Snacks For Toddlers and Kids - August 27, 2019