Swimmer’s Ear: Prevention & Treatment
Last summer, we had done a lot of swimming during a two-week period of time. My daughter began complaining of her ear hurting, so I just assumed it was an ear infection. She had had an ear infection before, and it was usually accompanied by a fever and your child really not feeling well. However, with swimmer’s ear, it seemed that she was only experiencing pain in her ear – no fever or other symptoms. When we went to the pediatrician, she was diagnosed with swimmer’s year. I had heard of swimmer’s ear but did not know exactly what it is. While an ear infection is considered an infection in the middle ear, swimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer ear.
While it may not always be possible to prevent swimmer’s ear, you can do your best by drying the outer part of the ear each time you swim. Tip your head to the side to make sure all the water comes out and then wipe it thoroughly. Be sure not to swim in waters that might have a lot of bacteria in them. Also, never put anything inside your ear canal, including Q-tips. If your child is prone to swimmer’s year, have them wear earplugs. You can also use ear drops (except when you have ruptured your ear drum, had tubes put in your ears, or have had recent ear surgery). Some of the ingredients in ear drops include rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, olive oil, and hydrogen peroxide.
If you think that your child has swimmer’s ear, it is very important that they see a doctor. Only a medical specialist can determine if the pain your child is experiencing is coming from swimmer’s ear, an ear infection, or something else. The doctor will probably prescribe ear drops to treat the infection. Be sure to finish the prescribed dosage. If your child is experiencing pain before the drops start to work, ask your pediatrician about either using acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
While your child is healing, be sure not to let them swim or get water in their ear. If possible, avoid flying, as the pressure from the altitude change will be especially painful for these tender ears. While swimmer’s ear is a common affliction during these summer months that are filled with water activities, it is one that you can try to prevent and deal with.
Meet The Bella Behind the Blog: Kristen Farley is a mother of three and a domestic goddess. She is a former teacher who enjoys spending lots of time with her kids, healthy eating, volunteering at school, and mommy blogging for the masses.