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Swimmer’s Ear: Symptoms and Prevention

One of the best parts of the summer is getting to hang out in the pool, either lounging or cannonballing right into the water. However, one downside of going all of the ways into the water is the possibility of developing swimmer’s ear. Here, we have compiled some tricks and preventions of swimmer’s ear.


First, it is important to fully understand what swimmer’s ear looks like. In mild cases, there is itching or pain from within the ear canal, redness inside of the ear, and drainage. However, in the more advanced and serious progressions, swimmer’s ear can continue to have pain on the side of your face and neck, a totally blocked ear canal and a fever. Some other symptoms include flaky skin around the outer ear, decreased hearing, and a ruptured eardrum.


To prevent these symptoms before getting in the water, make sure you maintain correct ear wax hygiene. If you have excessive ear wax, you should get your ears professionally cleaned by a doctor. You should always avoid cleaning your ear with a cotton swab, which only pushes the bacteria further into the ear. Also, gently blow-drying your ears on a cool setting after swimming or bathing can help prevent swimmer’s ear because it disrupts the bacteria and does not allow for it to grow, as well as drying out the ear.

However, the only way to truly avoid the risk of swimmer’s ear is to wear earplugs while swimming. This is especially true if you have been swimming in contaminated water, including commercial swimming pools and hot tubs, which increases the risk of swimmer’s ear. Also, if you have conditions like eczema or allergies you may be more likely to get swimmer’s ear.

If your condition worsens, the best bet is to go to your doctor or Otolaryngologists to recommend ear drops or to see what the best next step would be.

By following these tips, you and your family can have a fun summer full of swimming, without the swimmer’s ear!

If the symptoms continue to bother you, you may need to consult a doctor. If you are having ear pain, call Shea Clinic today to set up an appointment with one of our doctors. Call now locally at 901-761-9720 or toll-free at 800-477-SHEA.

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