Summer is supposed to be fun, spending the hot sunny days at the beach, pool or the lake. At some point you or your child has probably experienced the dreaded swimmer’s ear. Similar to a middle ear infection, swimmer’s ear can develop at any age group and can cause ear pain of the outer ear canal. Children are more at risk of developing swimmers ear if they spend too much time in the water. If moisture and fluids enter their ears it can serve as a breeding ground for germs and bacteria leading to this type of ear infection. As you read further you will know more about swimmer’s ear symptoms, treatment and prevention on how to protect you and your family this summer 2019.
Swimmer’s ear symptoms
Swimmer’s ear is not the same as the common childhood middle ear infection. One quick way
to tell the difference is that If you can wiggle the outer ear without pain or discomfort then your ear condition is probably not swimmer’s ear. It is important to understand the differences so that you or your child, who loves to spend a lot of time swimming, can look out for these symptoms of swimmer’s ear:
- Itchiness inside the ear
- Redness and swelling of the ear
- Pain when the infected ear is tugged on or when pressure is applied on the ear
- Pus draining from the infected ear
Although it can happen to any age group, swimmer’s ear can be especially painful for children, as their immune systems are still in development.
Treatment for swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer’s ear can be treated with antibiotic ear drops. At AFC Urgent Care New Britain we do an examination of the eardrum to ensure that it’s not ruptured. Any debris detected we attempt to carefully remove, as the infection causes the ear to be highly sensitive. An antibiotic ear drop is prescribed to be used for 7 days , 2-3 times a day as a treatment plan. During this time we recommend no swimming, no ear plugs, and obviously not sticking foreign objects into the ear while the ear is healing.
How to prevent swimmer’s ear
Swimmer’s ear cases are more common from swimming, but they can also occur when not in the water. Chemicals from hair dye, baths, showers and sticking foreign objects in the ear may cause swimmer’s ear if entered into the ear. It is important to avoid waters that have high bacteria counts that can cause swimmer’s ear. If swimming we advise drying off the ears and tilting your head to get excess water out while hopping- you can do this! It will help reduce your chances of getting swimmer’s ear.
Your local urgent care center
Don’t let swimmer’s ear ruin your summer fun at the pool, beach or lake. At AFC Urgent Care New Britain you can walk right in for your medical needs today, no appointment necessary at any of our walk-in clinics. We are located at 135 East Main Street, New Britain CT 06051. We are open 7 days a week and are ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances