Keeping Swimmer’s Ear At Bay

swimmer's ear

Summertime offers many opportunities to take a break from the daily grind by spending family vacations near a lake, pool, or ocean.

However, those relaxing summer spots can also pose challenges. Swimming in any body of water can cause water-logged ears that can readily turn into swimmer’s ear(s).

What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear or external otitis usually develops in ears exposed to moisture when water remains in the ear after swimming or diving. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.  

The combination of bacteria and moisture can breed swimmers’ ear inflammation, irritation, or infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head.

Swimmer’s ear more commonly occurs in children who find themselves in the water for more time than adults, but adults can also experience the condition.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear may include:

  • Itching 
  • Redness 
  • Pain, especially when the outer ear is tugged on
  • Muffled hearing 
  • Warmth
  • Drainage
  • A full or plugged-up sensation
  • Pain when chewing
  • Swelling of lymph nodes 

Treatments for Swimmer’s Ear

Treatment for swimmer’s ear depends on the severity of it and if it has occurred in both ears.  Seeing a medical professional is the best course of action to determine whether ear drops, an antibiotic, or both is the best next step.

  • Ear drops are usually prescribed several times daily for 7–10 days
  • A warm or cool compress can assist with discomfort.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can help mitigate or manage any ear pain. 
  • Avoid using Q-tips to clean away any drainage, which will cause further irritation.
  • Use earplugs to avoid recurrent episodes.
  • It’s essential to keep water out of an affected ear during the entire course of treatment. You can use earplugs a cotton ball covered in petroleum jelly as an earplug to protect your ears from water during showering or bathing.

Do NOT use ear-drying drops for swimmer’s ear treatment unless directed to by a doctor.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Our Patients Who Experience Swimmer’s Ear

How can chiropractic care help with swimmer’s ear?  

Proper spinal alignment helps the body with its many functions, including fluid and lymphatic movement, which is crucial with a swimmer’s ear diagnosis. Chiropractic adjustments also help the upper neck stay balanced, which promotes proper drainage of the nose + ears.

Did you know that Dr. Lydia and Dr. Bethanie can adjust your ears? 

They can also use an otoscope to check ears for fluid and irritation. If you or your child are experiencing ear pain or have been diagnosed with swimmer’s ear, be sure to schedule a visit for chiropractic care at Vaida this summer.

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