How to tell if you have Swimmers Ear
If you swim in non-regulatory swimming water (non-chlorinated or non-salted), you could get a diagnosis of swimmers’s ear. It’s nothing to be afraid of — however, it’s important to take care of it immediately if you encounter it, or else you could face internal damage to your ear.
What is Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmers ear, also known as otitis externa, is a common infection of the outer ear that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head. The infection is caused by contaminated water remaining in the ear for an extended period of time, which can lead to bacteria or fungi growth, irritation, and tissue damage.
Treating Swimmer’s Ear in Manhattan, New York City
If it’s not managed properly, swimmer’s ear could cause serious problems. Frequently, your ENT will prescribe you eardrops to help rid the body of the infection. These eardrops contain:
- Acidic solution – helps to restore the ear’s normal antibacterial environment
- Antibiotic – fights bacteria
- Antifungal medication – fights a fungal infection
- Steroid – reduces inflammation
To make sure your treatments work properly, you should not swim, fly, or wear headphones or earplugs until you have recovered. It’s also important to avoid getting water in the ear while bathing to reduce the risk of further infection.
Preventing Swimmer’s Ear
There are a few tips you can follow to prevent swimmer’s ear this summer:
- Use towels to dry your ears after swimming or bathing. To ensure no water gets stuck in the ear canal, tilt your head to hold each ear facing down to allow water to escape the ear canal
- Ask a lifeguard or pool worker if the pH levels are checked daily. A good pH balance will decrease the chance of getting contaminated water in the ear.
- Speak to your local ENT Doctor using ear drops regularly after swimming.
Call our office at (212) 213-3339 if you’re experiencing pain after swimming, or if you want more information on preventing swimmer’s ear.