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  • 6/20/2013

Fast and Easy Swimmers Ear Home Treatments

how to get rid of swimmer’s ear

Swimmer's ear (also called acute otitis Externa) is an infection of the outer ear canal caused sometimes by fungus but most commonly by bacteria. The frequent, prolonged exposure to water that occurs when someone swims regularly can wash away the oily, waxy substance that normally lines and protects the ear canal. In addition, even after the swimmer leaves the pool or pond, water can remain in the ear canal, creating a warm, moist environment that's perfect for breeding bacteria.
Despite the name, however, these external ear infections don't just occur in swimmers or in the summertime. Water can enter and pool in the outer ear canal after showers, too. And sometimes, exposure to water isn't required at all. Inserting anything into the ear, including a cotton swab, key, or fingernail, can scratch the skin in the ear canal and open the door to infection. Contact with certain chemicals such as hair spray or hair dye (Avoid this by placing cotton balls in your ears when using these products.)
No matter its cause, swimmer's ear usually advertises its presence first with an itching or tingling sensation in the ear. Resisting the urge to scratch is essential, however, since rubbing or digging in the ear will only make the problem worse.
These early symptoms are generally followed by mild to severe pain in the external ear. Indeed, one way to distinguish swimmer's ear from an infection in the middle or inner ear is to gently tug on the earlobe, wiggle it, and move it back and forth. If such manipulation hurts, you likely have an outer-ear infection, or swimmer's ear.

In more serious cases, pain is accompanied by discharge from the ear and even some hearing loss due to swelling of the ear canal. For anything more than a mild, temporary case of swimmer's ear, you should see a doctor right away.
So that you won't have to suffer through any of this, read the following home remedies to find out how you can prevent swimmer's ear.
Swimmer's ear Prevention
Watch where you swim. Avoid jumping into pools, ponds, lakes, oceans, or any other body of water in which the water may not be clean. Dirty water means more bacteria.

Get the water out. A key to preventing swimmer's ear is to not let water sit in the ear. If you feel or hear water swishing around in your ear after a shower or swim, try shaking your head in the direction of the affected ear to dislodge the water.

Cover your head. While a swim cap may not afford much protection for a competitive swimmer whose head is constantly in the water, it may keep water out of the ears of a casual swimmer or someone doing water exercises. Choose a swim cap that covers the ears tightly.

Stay out of your ears. You can exacerbate a mild case of swimmer's ear or promote infection by poking, swabbing, or scratching inside your ears. The wax produced in the ear is antibacterial and forms a natural protective barrier against moisture and minor irritation. So don't make it your goal in life to rid your ears of wax. And don't put anything in your ear that's smaller than your elbow. (If you're concerned that heavy wax buildup might be hindering your hearing, see an ear doctor, who can tell for sure and, if necessary, remove the extra wax safely.)

Home Remedies
White Vinegar
Pour few drops of white vinegar in some water, and put this solution into the infected ear. White vinegar gives a quick relief from pain and itching due to the infection.
Olive Oil
Pour few drops of warm olive oil in the infected ear with a dropper. Its antiseptic properties will reduce the infection. It gives fast relief from swimmer’s ear.
Heat Therapy

Dip a washcloth in hot water or take a warm water bottle and place it against the infected ear. It is a good remedy for swimmer’s ear pain relief.

Garlic Oil
This is another good natural cure for swimmer’s ear. Grate some garlic and soak it in the olive oil for a night. Strain it the next day, and put at least 3 drops into the infected ear after warming it up a bit.


Other links:

Water Safety (Part 4)

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