How to Cure Swimmer’s Otitis
The swimmer’s ear (also called otitis externa or swimmer) is the outer ear infection that often affects swimmers because of contaminated water which remains locked inside the ear. This can cause painful inflammation, hearing loss and even more serious symptoms. Although it is advisable to see your doctor, there are some steps that you can implement at home to reduce the discomfort and facilitate healing.
1) Get an ENT specialist, especially if the symptoms are severe.
It is always recommended to go to the doctor to prevent possible complications and to identify the underlying causes. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor and make an appointment, preferably within 24 hours.
Leakage of fluid from the ear (especially if the bad smell with traces of blood or pus-like).
– The pain increases or the skin behind the ear is red.
– Severe vertigo.
– The weakness of facial muscles.
– Buzz or other noises in the ears.
– Diabetics, the elderly or people with severe pain are at greater risk of getting a more severe infection and should be urgently called upon. When you go to the medical facility, ask to be seen by an otolaryngologist.
2) Make sure your Ear stays dry.
Avoid swimming or putting your head underwater. When taking a shower, put cotton swabs in your ears (without inserting them too deeply) to prevent water from entering.
Do not try to dry the ears using cotton swabs or any other object. Cotton balls increase the risk of infection and are particularly dangerous when the ear is already infected.
3) Apply a warm, dry compress to relieve the pain.
You can use an electric heater set to a minimum, or a warm, dry towel. Place it over your ear for a few minutes to soothe the discomfort. You may notice a little material coming out, as the wax dissolves with heat.
To prepare a warm, dry compress, place a damp cloth in the microwave for a few minutes, then seal it in an airtight bag. You can wrap another dry towel over the bag to get more comfortable.
To avoid possible burns, do not apply the pack to children or a sleeping person.
4) Take painkillers if necessary.
Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can reduce pain and be helpful if you experience severe discomfort.
Cure an Integro Tympanum
5) Do not use these treatments if you have severe symptoms.
When the eardrum is torn by the pressure of the infection, you may experience one or some of the symptoms listed above. The treatments described below are not suitable and, on the contrary, can be dangerous in this case, since the fluids can reach the back of the eardrum and penetrate into the inner ear. Always visit the specialist if you show one of these signs in addition to those typical of the swimmer’s ear.
If you have previously had damage to the eardrum or have undergone ear surgery, consult a doctor before performing the following treatments, even if you do not experience symptoms of tympanic tearing.
6) Heat a mixture of alcohol and vinegar.
Prepare a solution in equal parts of white vinegar and 70% alcohol and heat it until it becomes hot but not boiling.
Alternatively, buy a non-aqueous solution of ear drops based on acetic acid in the pharmacy.
Cold or hot liquids in the ear can cause dizziness. Try to bring the temperature of the solution to the level of the body.
7) Rinse your ear if you feel it obstructed.
The presence of some earwax is not a problem, but if the ear canal is clogged, dirty or contains residues, it may be necessary to do a proper cleaning first. Fill a bulb syringe with the vinegar and alcohol mixture and sprinkle a little in the ear canal, letting it drain.
Keep in mind that it is not recommended to rinse the ear with warm water, in case of external otitis.
If your ear is still blocked, visit an otolaryngologist or ask your family doctor to prescribe a specialist visit. The otorine is able to clean the ear more effectively by suction.
Never put this remedy on a person with diabetes, even at the doctor’s office.
8) Apply the solution as you would with the ear drops.
Alcohol helps evaporate the residual moisture, while vinegar makes the ear canal more acidic; both these elements make the ear a less welcoming environment for bacteria. Apply the drops following this method:
Heat the solution by rubbing the vial in your hands or by placing it in a cup of hot water, avoiding this coming into contact with the solution.
Lie down so that the affected ear is facing up.
Ask a family member to place two or three drops on the wall of the ear canal, trying to let the air out so that the drops remain inside the ear. Try to move your ear gently to help the solution work.
Stay relaxed for a few minutes.
9) Contact your doctor to undergo other treatments.
If you do not see any signs of improvement, you should visit a specialist, so he can recommend one or more of the following therapies:
Antibacterial auricular drops (or, more rarely, antimycotic drops).
Insertion of a “wick” into the swollen auditory canal, to allow the drops to penetrate.
Oral or injectable antibiotics if the infection has spread.
Surgical cleaning of the auditory canal.
Incision and drainage of an abscess.
Remember to tell your doctor if you are diabetic, immunosuppressive, if you have had any ear surgery or if you have a perforated eardrum.
10) Avoid cleaning the inside of the ear.
Excessive irrigation with water to remove earwax can cause damage. If your ears tend to produce too much earwax, ask your doctor to give you safe treatment.
Even too much soap in the ear canals can increase the risk of infection because it raises the pH level.
11) Consider using earplugs when you swim.
Actually, their use is still the subject of debate among medical specialists. On one hand, in fact, the stoppers can prevent water from entering the ear canal, but, on the other hand, an object inserted into the ears can cause damage and make them more susceptible to infections. Ask your doctor for advice, taking into account the condition of your ear canal and the risk of being exposed to a bacterial infection when you swim.
12) Keep your ears dry.
Use a towel or dryer to dry your ears after a bath or shower. If you hear water in the ear canal, you can apply a drop of vinegar mixed with a drop of alcohol to speed up the drying process and reduce the risk of bacterial overgrowth.
13) Protect your ears when using hair products.
Hairspray and hair dyes contain chemicals that can damage the ear canal. Lightly place some cotton balls over your ears to prevent any substance from entering them during the application of these products.
14) Get an otolaryngologist to keep your ears clean.
Go to the specialist if you feel itchy, have a feeling of dizziness, the skin of the ears is scaled or produce an excessive amount of earwax. You can also consider setting up periodic appointments to undergo professional cleaning.
Doctors usually prescribe a 7-10 day medication cycle, but the duration of the actual treatment can vary significantly. Always follow the doctor’s instructions but, if the symptoms have not yet resolved and the first cycle is about to end, contact him and ask him to prescribe another one.
If you have to put the drops in the ears of a small child, hold it in your lap with its legs around your waist and your head on your knees. Hold it in this position for 2-3 minutes to allow the drops to act.