If you’re one to take to the pool at the slightest show of stress, then you’ve probably had a swimmer’s ear before. It is an outer ear infection extending from the pinnae to the eardrum. The medical term for the condition is Otitis Externa. However, swimming is only one cause. Let’s find out about others and learn more about the situation.
Causes Of Swimmer’s Ear
The ear’s major natural defense is earwax production. It keeps the ear’s natural acidic environment. For people who swim regularly, the constant contact of the ear with water alters the natural environment in the ear. That can aid the growth of microbes. You can also get a swimmer’s ear via trauma by putting fingers or objects into your ear and damaging it.
Ear devices such as earbuds, AirPods, earpieces, and hearing aids can cause injury to the ear’s inner lining too. That’s an opening for a potential infection.
Initially, it starts as some itching, pain, slight redness of your ear, and sometimes, ear discharge. With time these symptoms worsen, and you may begin to feel that your ear is partially blocked and your hearing is impaired. Please see a doctor at this stage to avoid aggravating the condition. Possible complications include hearing loss, skull infection, and brain infection.
Always keep your ears dry. When swimming, try to use earplugs or swimming caps. Avoid dirty, untreated pools. After swimming or bathing, tilt your head to the side to drain the water. Use a dry towel to wipe it too. Don’t try to clear ear wax with some strange object. You stand the risk of ear damage. If you feel that your ear is filled with wax, apply some mineral oil or baby oil to soften it. After a day, squirt some warm water gently with a rubber bulb syringe. Tilt your head to the side to drain the water and dry it with a clean towel.
If you suspect swimmers ear, see your doctor for proper treatment. It’s a simple infection that often goes away within a few days of treatment.