Swimmer’s Ear

Have you experienced the uncomfortable symptoms of swimmer’s ear? If you have ever suffered from an ear infection from swimming, you may have experience the discomfort of swimmer’s ear.

Learn more about what the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of swimmer’s ear.

What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Also known as otitis externa, ‘swimmer’s ear’ is a condition that causes inflammation of the external ear canal and is most commonly caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. Bacteria and fungi thrive in warm and humid conditions. Water becoming trapped behind built up earwax can cause otitis externa. 

Swimmers ear

Even though the name implies that this condition is due to swimming, water can also become trapped in the ear following showering or bathing, placing you at greater risk of infection.

Other conditions that may place you at a higher risk of contracting an outer ear infection include skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, allergies, diabetes, or cleaning your ears incorrectly.

Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms

If you are experiencing swimmer’s ear, you may have a range of symptoms that are typical of an infection. This can include pain or tenderness in the outer part of the ear, which may be more severe when chewing. You may also experience itching in and around the ear, a feeling of pressure or fullness, and a sensation of squelching within the ear. Some people also notice that their hearing is affected.

Swimmer’s Ear Treatment

If you are suffering from the symptoms of swimmer’s ear, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your GP. Although this condition is usually not serious, it is important to treat any infection.

Treatment will include keeping the ears dry and using any ear drops prescribed by your GP. The drops may be antibacterial or antifungal and may also contain a steroid to reduce inflammation.

Additionally, it can be beneficial to visit Earworx for micro-suction. The dry technique used by Earworx nurses to remove excess ear wax can also be used to remove debris related to swimmer’s ear. This will allow any prescribed drops to penetrate better and work faster to clear the infection.

It’s always best to get a professional opinion before considering any home remedies. If your ear feels painful to touch, it’s best to see a professional as soon as possible.

Preventing Swimmer’s Ear

Some tips to avoid getting swimmer’s ear include:

  • If you are prone to wax build up, try using earplugs to prevent water entering the ear.
  • Make sure you dry your ears after you go for a swim. Wipe the outer ear and do so gently. Shake excess water from your ear canal and use a hairdryer on low heat to remove any trapped water. Aqua Ear (alcohol ear drops) can also be used to remove water from inside the ears by evaporation. Only use Aqua Ear if you do not have a hole in your eardrum
  • Consider an ear clean prior to the Summer months or when you’re likely to spend a lot of time in water. Water trapped behind wax, whether this leads to an infection or not, can be distracting and unpleasant. Trapped water will be partially absorbed by wax which will cause wax in the ear canal to expand. This can lead to an ear wax blockage.

Contact Earworx Today

If you have any more questions about swimmer’s ear or earwax removal, feel free to contact our friendly staff or book an appointment online.