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Swimming with swimmers ear: Swimmer’s Ear (for Kids) – Nemours Kidshealth


Swimmer’s Ear (for Kids) – Nemours Kidshealth

What Is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the ear canal. If you stick your finger in your ear, you’re feeling a little of the ear canal. But if you have swimmer’s ear, and you stick your finger in your ear — YOW! Let’s find out more about this painful type of ear infection, which often affects swimmers.

How Does Swimmer’s Ear Happen?

Swimmer’s ear — also called otitis externa (say: o-TYtus ek-STUR-nuh) — is different from a regular ear infection. Usually, when people say a kid has an ear infection, they mean otitis media (say: ME-dee-uh), an infection of the middle ear. This sometimes happens when a kid gets a cold.

But swimmer’s ear happens when bacteria grow in the ear canal, which is a passageway to the eardrum. In that canal, you’ll find delicate skin that’s protected by a thin coating of earwax. Most of the time, water can run in and out of the ear canal without causing a problem. For instance, you don’t usually get swimmer’s ear from taking baths or showers.

Bacteria get a chance to grow when water stays in the ear canal. This can happen when a kid swims a lot. Bacteria grow and the ear canal gets red and swollen. Sometimes kids can get an infection in the ear canal even if they haven’t been swimming. A scratch or other irritation to the ear canal can also lead to swimmer’s ear.

How Do I Know if I Have Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear may start with some itching, but try not to scratch because this can make the infection worse. Ear pain is the most common sign of swimmer’s ear. Even touching or bumping the outside of the ear can hurt. The infection also could make it harder to hear with the infected ear because of the swelling that happens in the ear canal.

If a doctor thinks you have swimmer’s ear, they will help you get rid of the infection. To do that, the doctor will probably prescribe ear drops that contain an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. Sometimes, the doctor may use a wick. Not the wick on a candle! This kind of wick is like a tiny sponge the doctor puts in your ear. The medicine goes into the sponge and it keeps the medicine touching the ear canal that’s infected. The wick is removed after it has done its job.

Use the drops as long as your doctor tells you to, even if your ear starts feeling better. Stopping too soon can cause the infection to come back. If your ear hurts, the doctor may suggest that a parent give you a pain reliever. This can help you feel better while you’re waiting for the antibiotic to work.

When Can I Go Back in the Pool?

The question every kid wants to know is: “When can I swim again?” You’ll have to ask your doctor, but be prepared to wait a little bit. It could be as long as a week to 10 days before the doctor says OK. That’s a bummer in the summer, but it’s better than having that awful ear pain again!

If you have a big problem with swimmer’s ear or you’re a kid who’s always in the water, the doctor may suggest ways for you to protect yourself. For instance, your mom or dad can get some special drops to put in your ears after swimming to dry up the water in there. It’s an extra step that just might keep your ears in super shape all summer!

Don’t let swimmer’s ear keep you out of the water

  • Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Swimming is a great way for kids to stay active, especially during the summer months. However, the combination of heat, humidity and water can lead to an ear condition called acute otitis externa, more commonly known as swimmer’s ear.

The infection often is caused by bacteria being carried into the outer ear canal. Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include redness, swelling, itching, drainage of pus and pain.

Following are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent and treat swimmer’s ear:

Keep your ears as dry as possible.

Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or showering.

  • Use a towel to dry your ears well.

  • Tilt your head and hold each ear facing down to allow water to escape the ear canal.

  • Pull your earlobe in different directions while the ear is faced down to help water drain out.

  • If water is still in the ears, consider using a hair dryer to move air within the ear canal. Be sure the hair dryer is on the lowest heat and speed/fan setting, and hold it several inches from the ear.

Don’t put objects, including cotton-tip swabs, pencils, paperclips or fingers, in the ear canal.

Don’t try to remove ear wax. It helps protect your ear canal from infection.

Consult your pediatrician about using commercial alcohol-based ear drops or a 1:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar after swimming.

  • Drops should not be used by people with ear tubes, damaged ear drums, outer ear infection or ear drainage (pus or liquid coming from the ear).

Consult your pediatrician if your ears are itchy, flaky, swollen or painful, or if you have drainage from your ears.

© 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics. This information may be freely
copied and distributed with proper attribution.

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Ear – Swimmer’s

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • An infection or irritation of the ear canal from lots of swimming
  • The ear canal is itchy or painful
  • Also caused by using cotton swabs

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear

  • Starts with an itchy ear canal
  • Ear canal can become painful
  • Pain gets worse when you press on the tragus. (The tragus is the tab of tissue in front of the ear.)
  • The ear feels plugged or full
  • Ear discharge may start as the swimmer’s ear gets worse
  • No cold symptoms or fever

Cause of Swimmer’s Ear

  • Water gets trapped in the ear canal. Then, the lining becomes wet and swollen.
  • This makes it prone to an infection with germs (swimmer’s ear).
  • Wax buildup also traps water behind it. Most often, this is caused by cotton swabs.
  • Ear canals were meant to be dry.

When to Call for Ear – Swimmer’s

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Severe ear pain and not improved after using care advice
  • Redness and swelling of outer ear
  • Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Yellow discharge or pus from ear canal
  • Fever
  • Blocked ear canal
  • Swollen lymph node near ear
  • You are not sure that ear pain is caused by swimmer’s ear
  • Ear symptoms last more than 7 days on treatment
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Swimmer’s ear with no other problems

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

Care Advice for Mild Swimmer’s Ear

  1. What You Should Know About Swimmer’s Ear:
    • Swimmer’s ear is a mild infection of the ear canal.
    • It’s caused by water getting trapped in the ear canal. Ear canals were meant to be dry.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. White Vinegar Rinses:
    • Rinse the ear canals with half-strength white vinegar. Mix vinegar with equal parts warm water. Exception: ear tubes or hole in eardrum.
    • Start by having your child lie down with the painful ear upward.
    • Fill the ear canal.
    • Wait 5 minutes. Then, turn your child’s head to the side and move the ear. This will remove the vinegar rinse.
    • Do the other side.
    • Continue twice a day until the ear canal returns to normal.
    • Reason: restores the normal acid pH of the ear canal and lessens swelling.
  3. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  4. Heat For Pain:
    • If pain is moderate to severe, use a heating pad (set on low). You can also use a warm wet cloth to outer ear.
    • Do this for 20 minutes. Caution: avoid burns. Repeat as needed.
    • This will also increase drainage.
  5. Reduce Swimming Times:
    • Try not to swim until symptoms are gone.
    • If on a swim team, it’s usually okay to continue.
    • Swimming may slow your child’s recovery, but causes no serious harm.
  6. Return to School:
    • Swimmer’s ear cannot be spread to others.
  7. What to Expect:
    • With treatment, symptoms should be better in 3 days.
    • They should be gone in 7 days.
  8. Prevention of Swimmer’s Ear:
    • Try to keep the ear canals dry.
    • After showers, hair washing, or swimming, help the water run out of ears. Do this by turning the head.
    • Do not use cotton swabs. Reason: packs in the earwax. The wax buildup then traps water behind it.
    • If swimmer’s ear is a frequent problem, rinse the ear canals after swimming. Use a few drops of a white vinegar-rubbing alcohol rinse. Use equal parts of each to make the rinse.
    • Lake water has the greatest risk. Rinse the ear canals with tap water after any lake swimming. Do this until you can get vinegar ear drops.
  9. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Ear pain becomes severe
    • Ear symptoms last over 7 days on treatment
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 09/28/2021

Last Revised: 03/11/2021

Copyright 2000-2021. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

All about swimmer’s ear | UCI Health

One of the joys of summer is enjoying the cool waters of the ocean or the nearest swimming pool. But the fun can quickly fade if you happen to bring home some of that water — trapped in the delicate structure of your ear canal.

Swimmer’s ear is a common malady of summer, especially among children and teens, although anyone can develop it. The infection is officially known as acute otitis externa, and it can produce one heck of an earache, along with:

Infection can develop if not treated 

Untreated, the infection can progress beyond the ear canal.

The infection can develop when water gets trapped in the ear canal. The water eventually weakens the skin, damaging the protective barrier.

“It’s simply water sitting in the ear canal for a period of time and bacteria are able to grow in it and invade into the skin,” says Dr. Harrison W. Lin, a UCI Health ear, nose and throat specialist with the UCI Health Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.

“Some people may be more prone to the condition if the ear canals angle in such a way so that water is more easily trapped. But anyone can get swimmer’s ear.”

Here are Lin’s tips for recognizing, treating and preventing swimmer’s ear.

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear

The symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:

  • Pain and tenderness of the ear and surrounding area
  • Drainage (usually yellow and pus-like) and swelling are common
  • Sound is muffled

If you think you have a mild ear infection, you may be able to treat it at home by keeping the ear dry.

“Don’t go swimming,” Lin advises. “Use a hair dryer with the heating setting off and blow air into the ear.” But, he adds: “Most people with swimmer’s ear will likely benefit from a trip to the doctor.”

Treating the infection

Treatment for swimmer’s ear involves several steps.

  • Canal cleaning. The doctor will likely clean out the ear canal, removing the fluid, bacteria and dead skin cells. The patient then typically uses prescription ear drops for about two weeks to kill the infection. Sometimes other treatments are needed, such as oral antibiotics or pain medication. Occasionally, the infection is fungal, not bacterial, which requires a different medication, Lin says.
  • Take ear drops. To administer ear drops, lie down with the ear facing upwards. (It’s easier if someone else puts the drops in for you.) Remain lying down for a few minutes after receiving the drops so the medicine can be absorbed.
  • Avoid water. During treatment, it’s important to keep the ear dry and avoid swimming or getting the ear wet in the shower or bathtub. Coat a cotton ball with Vaseline and plug the ears during a shower or use ear plugs, Lin says. “I usually tell people to stay out of the water for one week as long as they are getting better. Swimmer’s ear can relapse. But the vast majority of people — after having the ear cleaned out and using ear drops twice daily — feel better in 24 to 48 hours.”
  • When to seek medical attention. People who have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, due to cancer treatment or an autoimmune condition) should seek medical attention immediately if they suspect they have swimmer’s ear, Lin says. “They need to be particularly careful because their immune system is weakened, and a simple ear infection like this can lead to severe infections that can go into the brain.”

Preventing swimmer’s ear

  • Block the water. Wear ear plugs when you swim.
  • Keep ears dry. Use a hair dryer with the heat setting off to blow air into the ears after swimming or a shower.
  • Avoid prescription ear drops. However, you can make your own ear-drop solution at home to help prevent infection, Lin says. Mix up a solution that is 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent white vinegar. With an ear dropper, put four or five drops of the solution in each ear after swimming or a shower. “The solution reduces the acidity of ear canal and dries out the ear, making the ear canal environment more hostile to bacteria.” Lin says.
  • Don’t use cotton swabs or Q-tips. “Nothing good comes from putting a Q-tip in your ear,” Lin says. “The skin gets abraded by the Q-tip. The keratin, which is a protective layer of skin, gets knocked off and that opens the door to an infection.”
  • Live with your ear wax. “People who don’t make enough ear wax or make too much ear wax are at increased susceptibility to swimmer’s ear,” he adds. “Ear wax is generally good. It reduces the acidity of the ear canal, and has antibacterial properties. If you make the right amount, and most of us do, it tends to protect the ear.” Too much ear wax can trap water, however. Talk to your doctor about excessive ear wax.

Related Stories

Is it dangerous to swim with an ear infection?

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Is it dangerous to swim with an ear infection?

Summer is here, temperatures are rising, and kids want to get outside and cool off. It can be crushing for your little ones if they have to miss out on the chance to go swimming because of an ear infection. But do they have to stay out of the water? In this month’s blog, we explore the differences between swimmer’s ear and a middle ear infection and discuss whether it is safe to go back into the water.

Swimmer’s Ear
Also known as otitis externa, swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear, commonly caused by excess moisture remaining in the ear, which enables bacteria to grow. The bacteria that causes this type of infection can also grow in scratches to the ear canal lining (such as an abrasion caused by inserting something into the ear, like a cotton swab).

Symptoms range from itching in the ear canal, discharge, and mild discomfort that can be felt when the outer ear is touched, to muffled hearing in more moderate cases or even severe pain, blockage of the ear canal, and fever in advanced cases. Typically, swimmer’s ear is treated first with a thorough cleaning. The Mayo Clinic notes that “cleaning your outer ear canal is necessary to help ear drops flow to all infected areas. Your doctor will use a suction device or ear curette to clean away discharge, clumps of earwax, flaky skin and other debris.” Then, ear drops are used to clear up the infection, plus over-the-counter pain relievers, as needed.

In order to prevent swimmer’s ear, healthcare providers recommend keeping as much moisture out of the ear canal as possible. Dry your children’s ears thoroughly after bathing and swimming by wiping the outer ear gently with a soft washcloth. We’ve all probably detected that sloshy feeling in the ears after (or during) a swim. You can help drain water from the ear canal by tipping your head to the side to let it run out. You can also use a blow dryer on its lowest setting – but be sure to hold it at least a foot away from the ear. For those who swim regularly, it is also recommended to wear a tight-fitting swim cap that covers the ears, to keep as much water out as possible.

Swimmer’s ear is easily treatable and should be addressed quickly when symptoms emerge. If left untreated, complications include temporary hearing loss or more chronic, widespread infection. Because swimming is the most prominent risk factor – especially swimming in water prone to high bacteria levels – anyone diagnosed with swimmer’s ear should stay out of the water until the infection clears up. This means no swimming or scuba diving, and even protecting your ear from water in the bath or shower is recommended.

Middle Ear Infection
One of the most common health problems children will face in their lifetime, middle ear infection (acute otitis media or AOM) affects the ear further down the canal, behind the eardrum. At PhotoniCare, our focus is on visualization of the middle ear space. AOM is an ear infection where the middle ear (area behind the eardrum) becomes inflamed and infected. The eustachian tube that runs from the middle of the ear to the back of the throat becomes swollen, trapping infected fluid in the middle ear. This occurs due to a variety of reasons including the flu and common cold. Because the eustachian tube is much shorter and more horizontal in children, it can become blocked much easier than in adults, and is more susceptible to middle ear infection. In contrast to swimmer’s ear, however, water in the ear canal does not cause middle ear infections.

Symptoms of a middle ear infection usually appear rapidly, and include fever, fluid draining from the ear, headache, and even loss of appetite. Behaviors that indicate your child might have an ear infection include tugging at the ear, out-of-the-ordinary crying or fussiness, trouble sleeping, or not reacting to sounds.

While most middle ear infections clear up on their own, it is important to contact your pediatrician if symptoms persist more than 24 hours, to monitor progression and determine if antibiotics are needed.

The good news for parents and kids eager to get to the pool is that even with a middle ear infection, swimming is not out of the question. You do still want to dry the ears thoroughly to avoid the risk of an additional infection on top of otitis media, but water from the pool will not typically exacerbate an infection in the middle ear.

Swimmer’s ear and middle ear infections are two different beasts. The CDC notes that an easy way to tell them apart is the presence of pain in the outer ear: “If you can wiggle the outer ear without pain or discomfort then your ear condition is probably not swimmer’s ear.”

Once diagnosed, can we go swimming?

  • with swimmer’s ear = NO (not until the infection clears)
  • with a middle ear infection = YES

So give that ear a tug, and if it wiggles without pain, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool!

Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments


Anatomy of the Ear

What is swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)?

Swimmer’s ear (also called otitis externa) is a type of ear infection. The infection occurs in the ear canal. Because the ear canal is dark, warm, and can hold water, it makes a perfect environment for water-loving bacteria and fungus to grow.

Why is this ear infection called “swimmer’s ear”?

Otitis externa was given the nickname swimmer’s ear because it most commonly affects individuals who spend a lot of time in water, such as swimmers.

Symptoms and Causes

What conditions cause swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)?

Conditions that can lead to swimmer’s ear include:

  • Water that gets trapped in the ear canal, for example from swimming or showering often
  • Loss of ear wax – a natural protectant – due to too much water entering the ear canal or removing too much wax when cleaning ears
  • Injury to ear caused by putting objects into the ear, such as fingers, pen/pencils, paper clips, hair clips
  • Swimming in polluted water
  • Other skin conditions that affect the ear canal, such as eczema or psoriasis

What are the symptoms of swimmer’s ear?

  • Ear pain: pain that often gets worse when the outer ear is tugged or pressed on; pain can become intense and spread across the side of the face of the affected ear
  • Itching inside the ear canal
  • Bad-smelling or colored (yellow, yellow/green) pus oozing from the ear
  • Blocked ear
  • Redness and swelling in the outer ear
  • Temporary hearing loss or decreased hearing
  • Slight fever

Management and Treatment

How is swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) treated?

First, the ear canal is examined and is cleared of any pus or drainage. Ear drops that contain an antibiotic are prescribed. Sometimes the ear canal is too narrowed or blocked to deliver ear drops by simply placing drops in the ear. When this happens, a thin gauze or “wick” is placed inside the ear, which helps the ear drops pass through the blockage and reach the infection. Ear drops are typically used for 7 to 14 days. Oral antibiotics are rarely used for swimmer’s ear.

An over-the-counter pain medicine, such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) can be taken to relieve pain and swelling. Corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce itching and inflammation. Sometimes oral antibiotics are prescribed if the infection has spread beyond the ear canal.

What can happen if swimmer’s ear continues to reoccur?

The infection, which starts in the inner ear, can spread to cartilage and bone of the ear canal. This condition is called malignant external otitis. Facial nerve paralysis is rare, but can occur when the infection advances this far.


What can I do to prevent swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)?

  • Keep ears as dry as possible. Place a shower cap over your head to help prevent water or hair shampoo from getting into your ears. Place a cotton ball in the ear but do not push it in far. Use a dry towel to dry your ears after bathing or swimming. Use ear plugs if you play water sports or are frequently in water.
  • Turn your head from side to side after getting out of water. This helps water drain from your ears.
  • Don’t stick anything into your ear canal. This includes pens/pencils, fingers, bobby clips or cotton-tipped swabs. (Swabs should only be used to dry the outer ear.)
  • Don’t swim in polluted water.
  • Do not swallow the water you swim in.
  • Use a simple, homemade solution to help prevent bacteria from growing inside the ear. Mix one drop of vinegar with one drop of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and put one drop in each ear after bathing or swimming. Be sure to check with your doctor first before making and using this homemade solution.

Living With

When should I see a specialist to treat swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)?

If your ear infection has not gone away 10 to 14 days after treatment with antibiotic eardrops, you have lost your hearing, you see pus or other yellow/green matter oozing from your ear, or experience a worsening of any of the symptoms of swimmer’s ear, you should be seen by an ear specialist (an otolaryngologist).

90,000 Swimmers note. How to prevent otitis media | Healthy life | Health

Why is this happening?

The human ear is poorly adapted to active stay in water. During swimming, and especially when diving, jumping into water and scuba diving, water under pressure penetrates into the outer ear and fills it completely. Stagnant water irritates the ear canal. The skin lining it from the inside is very thin and vulnerable, and if cracks appear in it, microbes begin to attack it.The irritation can turn into inflammation – otitis externa.

The main thing is dry!

To prevent this unpleasant consequence, it is imperative to pour water out of your ears after bathing. This can be done in the following ways.

Shake your head, alternately tilting it in different directions and pulling the earlobe down. From these movements, the ear canal straightens – and water flows out under the influence of gravity.

Bend your head and, tightly closing the auricle with your palm, press several times – the water will rush outward for compressed air.

If you cannot completely pour water out of your ears, drip three drops of hydrogen peroxide, vodka or alcohol diluted twice into each ear. By the way, alcohol evaporates quickly, which means that it dries the skin itself.

Never dry your ears with a hair dryer: vibration and noise damage the eardrum, and overdrying the skin of the ear canal increases its vulnerability.

Divers, watch out!

If you like to dive and jump into the water, you may face more serious danger.Water, getting into the nose or mouth, easily penetrates into the middle ear, from where it is no longer possible to remove it on your own. Inflammation of the middle ear is fraught with such serious consequences as purulent and chronic otitis media, eardrum rupture and hearing loss.

When irritated, the ear begins to itch and tingle. And the visible part of the ear canal turns red and swells. Later, when the infection joins, pain appears. If you lightly tug on the lobe, the pain will intensify. When water enters the middle ear, a person begins to hear noise, his own voice sounds strange, and there may be a sharp decrease in hearing.With the development of otitis media, the pain becomes shooting and intensifies at night.

How to solve problem

Of course, it is best to consult an otorhinolaryngologist who will prescribe the necessary treatment.

In case of middle ear inflammation, you will have to take antibiotics by mouth. Semi-alcohol compresses will help to cope with night pain. Conventional nasal drops reduce swelling and improve outflow from the middle ear.

If ear problems recur from year to year, then diving and jumping into the water will have to be abandoned.When swimming, do not lower your head into the water. Remember that a rubber cap and diving earplugs do not protect your ears from water. By the way, do not forget to take them off as soon as you go ashore.

See also:

90,000 Swimmer’s ear – everything about otitis externa, its treatment and prevention

Swimmer’s ear is an inflammatory process of the skin of the ear canal. Basically, this is common otitis externa – an acute infection caused by bacteria. Inflammation occurs in a diffuse (diffuse) form and can affect not only the tissues of the auditory canal, but also the tympanic membrane and auricle.

Causes and types of otitis externa

The disease received the name “swimmer’s ear” due to the fact that it develops when water enters the auditory canal.


Inflammation of the outer ear is caused by bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus and epidermis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, streptococcus, etc. They attack the ear when water gets in – moisture washes away the natural protective layer of the auditory canal, causing sulfur to swell. In such an environment, bacteria actively multiply.

The main causes of inflammation associated with water treatments:

  • Swimming in ponds
  • Pool Swimming
  • Bath and sauna visits
  • Surfing

The risk is increased in hot, humid weather.It is also high in people who injure the ear canal with cotton swabs or headphones. Microcracks form on the skin, into which bacteria enter with water – and inflammation begins. Most often, the disease occurs in children who are swimming and do not use special earplugs.


The disease occurs in 2 forms:

  1. Acute – develops immediately after infection, characterized by vivid symptoms.
  2. Chronic – develops if an acute swimmer’s ear is not treated.Differs in sluggish manifestations and prolonged course.

Swimmer’s ear symptoms

When otitis externa develops, the symptoms are:

  • Ear hurts – pulsating pain radiates to the temple, neck and lower jaw
  • Feel congestion and distention inside the ear
  • The skin of the auricle and the orifice of the auditory canal turns red and flakes
  • Hearing decreases slightly
  • Itching in the ear canal
  • Discharge oozing from the ear

Gradually the disease becomes chronic and the symptoms become less severe.Therefore, as soon as signs of otitis externa appear, you should immediately contact the ENT.

Diagnosis of the disease

The diagnosis is made by an ENT doctor using otoscopy. He assesses the condition of the skin of the ear canal and tympanic membrane, takes a smear on the microflora. This allows you to identify the disease and its causative agent in order to choose the right treatment.

Swimmer’s ear in a child

Children most often suffer from external otitis media. This is due to the fact that their ear is still forming, and the walls of the auditory canals are narrower than in adults.The risks are increased if the child goes to the pool and does not use special swimming earplugs.

When diagnosed with otitis externa in children, treatment should be started immediately. If the disease is started, it can easily become chronic or spread to the middle ear and other structures. Entrusting the treatment of otitis externa in children should only be a doctor. And even better – to avoid illness by buying children’s swimming earplugs for your child.

Treatment of the “swimmer’s ear”

When diagnosed with otitis externa, treatment is mainly medication.Prescribed for the patient:

  • Topical antibiotics in the form of drops or ointments. The drug is selected taking into account the identified microflora. Before prescribing an antibiotic, the doctor checks for contraindications – whether it is suitable for the patient, whether there is any allergy.
  • Washing with an antiseptic solution – helps to cleanse the auditory canal from desquamated epithelium, purulent masses and pathological secretions.
  • Medication turundas – inserted into the ear and help relieve inflammation.

If swimmer’s ear is found early, treatment will be successful and fast. The focus of inflammation is stopped, and the disease goes away. If not treated, the patient constantly relapses. Therefore, it is important to complete the full course of therapy.

When a patient has a swimmer’s ear, how to treat it? In this case, various neoplasms are formed in the external passage – exostoses, cholesteatomas. They are removed surgically.

Swimming earplugs

Special earplugs, which swimmers should definitely buy, will help to avoid inflammation of the outer ear.They block access to the ear for water. As a result, the protective layer of the ear canal is not washed out, the sulfur does not swell. In this case, a person hears all sounds.

If you buy earplugs for swimming, the risk of otitis externa is reduced significantly. They also increase the comfort of classes – there is no unpleasant feeling of stuffiness in the ears.

Where to buy earplugs? They are sold in pharmacies and shops, but it is better to order them individually. In our center, you can make earmolds from your ear casts.

Prevention of external otitis media

The best prevention of illness is swimming earplugs, which you can buy from us. Also recommended:

  • Use special swimming caps
  • Gently clean ears – do not use cotton swabs or other sharp objects
  • Keep ears away from irritating substances

Possible complications

If the inflammation is left untreated, it spreads to other important structures.Because of this, it can develop:

  • Otitis media
  • Miringit
  • Osteomyelitis of the temporal bone
  • Meningitis

Looking for earplugs? You can buy them in Kiev from us. Contact us to find out more!

90,000 Swimmer’s ear and hearing aids.

Finally it’s summer again, which means it’s time for a beach holiday. However, a problem such as swimmer’s ear, or ear infection, can affect anyone.Here’s what you need to know about this and what hearing aid wearers look out for.

When you go on summer vacation, you always have a lot of hassle. Fees, fare, route planning, booking a place to stay, etc., and so on. How to protect yourself from sunburn is what many think about first, and therefore sunglasses and cream are first put in a suitcase. Often they don’t know or forget about other situations that may arise on vacation.For example, many are unaware of the dangers of swimmer’s ear. Hearing aid users also have other points to pay attention to, such as water or sand damage to equipment.

Whether you wear hearing aids or not, be sure to consider ear protection when going to the beach. Not sure where to start? In this article, we provide information on what a swimmer’s ear is and how to prevent it; and how hearing aid wearers can prepare for their trip to the sea.

What is swimmer’s ear?

Known as swimmer’s ear, it most often develops as a result of a common skin infection and water entering the ear canal, where bacteria grow and become inflamed due to the limited space, heat and humidity. Also, the appearance of such a problem can provoke hypothermia, cleaning the ears with cotton swabs or other objects and, as a result, damage to the skin inside the ear, and improper care of hearing aids or earplugs.Unlike skin infections on the hands or feet, ear infections are more difficult to treat. It so happens that many people suffer from swimmer’s ear every summer, and the right treatment can quickly fix the problem. Symptoms of this disease include pain, swelling, congestion, and temporary hearing loss.

Children are more likely to have swimmer’s ear because they have narrower ear canals and the immune system is not yet fully developed. Also, naturally, avid or professional swimmers are five times more likely to suffer from “swimmer’s ear” as they spend more and longer time in the water.People who like to swim in the ocean or lake are also more prone to developing this disease, because there are a lot of bacteria in these bodies of water.

Although “swimmer’s ear” is really unpleasant, you don’t need to worry too much if your ear hurts after swimming. Just see your doctor and make sure the infection is nipped in the bud before it gets too painful.

Can swimmer’s ear cause tinnitus?

It is known that swimmer’s ear causes temporary hearing loss, but one should not jump to conclusions and think that hearing will not be restored.Many people experience panic when they suddenly lose their hearing, but remember that these cases are mostly temporary. A plug in the inner ear and ear canal can block sound, resulting in hearing loss and / or tinnitus.

In case you wake up with ear pain, blocked ear, tinnitus or sudden hearing loss, see your doctor for a diagnosis. If you recently went swimming, or got caught in the rain and got wet, or just took a shower and got water in your ear, the problem may be “swimmer’s ear”.Treatment in this case usually consists of prescribing medicated ear drops and / or antibiotics.

Avoiding the “swimmer’s ear”

People with ear infections tend to avoid swimming in a pool, lake or sea, as it can cause ear pain. Still, the threat of a swimmer’s ear shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment. If you are concerned that you might get an ear infection, you can take steps to avoid it.Earplugs are a great way to prevent water from entering your ear, and thoroughly drying your ears after swimming will help loosen any deposits inside your ear canal.

If water gets into your ear, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide can be used to dry the ear canal and kill bacteria. But never use cotton swabs or other foreign objects for this. While it may be tempting to use something that absorbs moisture, cotton swabs can damage your eardrum or irritate the skin in your ear canal, making the problem worse.Just tilt your head, move your jaw, as if yawning, so that the water comes out of the ear by itself.

Beach survival tips for hearing aids.

If you wear hearing aids, you probably already know about the dangers of going to the beach. However, there are always ways to save the technique, avoid problems before they arise, and have a good time. Many hearing aid wearers have posted tips online, and we’ve put together solutions to three of their most pressing problems: hearing aid damage from water, heat and sand.

Water, moisture and perspiration.

The words “water damage” can be a nightmare for all of us. Exposure to water can ruin our hearing aids, phones, books and even our homes. In fact, water is everywhere – in humid air, sweat, and also in swimming pools or the sea. This is unavoidable, but it is possible to protect your hearing aids from water damage. If you plan to spend the day outdoors, when it is humid from rain or, conversely, sunny, hot and sweating, bring a microfiber towel and wipe your hearing aids from time to time.This will help remove excess moisture.

A waterproof cover is also essential in case you find yourself in the water. You can hide your hearing aids for a while and put them back on when your ears are completely dry. Although waterproof hearing aids exist, they usually protect against rain or sweat rather than immersion in water.

Dehumidifiers can also be used to get rid of moisture in the hearing aid after a long day, and some chargers have this feature as well.If you don’t already own one, consider purchasing one before your trip.

Summer heat.

Heating is harmful to hearing aids and their batteries. Store your hearing aids and batteries in a cool place. Never leave them in the car, in the sun or by the window. Of course, it’s always a good idea to bring extra hearing aid batteries with you, but if not stored properly, they can be damaged by heat and sun before you can use them.


Sand and hearing aids are not good friends with each other. Sand can get stuck inside the hearing aid and cause serious injury. Never leave your hearing aids on a beach towel – always store them in a tight, waterproof (and sand-proof) case. If you drop them in the sand and then encounter a problem in their work, you will need to contact the service center.

After a long trip, it is always a good idea to bring your hearing aids to your service center.There they will be checked for water or sand, and thoroughly cleaned. If you do not have your own hearing care provider, you can contact us – we will be happy to help.

Your hearing aids, ear health and lifestyle are all important aspects of your daily life. We post new articles every week, and topics range from tips and tricks, information guides and updates to hearing news. Stay up to date with our newsletter and don’t miss anything.

How to protect your ears while swimming

Conventionally, otitis media can be divided into four types: fungal (pathogens are fungi), viral (often the same viruses that lead to measles, SARS or influenza can trigger the development of otitis media), bacterial and coccal (staphylococci and other similar pathogens). Since the clinical picture in all cases is almost the same, it is impossible to independently determine which pathogen caused the development of the disease.For this reason, it is categorically not recommended to self-medicate: antibiotics taken in the case of viral or fungal otitis media, or antifungal agents in the case of bacterial otitis media, will not only not help, but will also lead to a more severe course of the disease.


Can you get otitis media in the pool?

Unfortunately, yes. One of the most common causes of the development of the disease is the ingress of water, especially unclean water, into the ear, and hypothermia.

Is it possible to warm the ears with otitis media?

No way! If otitis media has passed into a purulent form (and in the early stages this can simply not be noticed), under the influence of heat, pus can spread higher into the meninges – and provoke the development of meningitis.

Why is otitis media dangerous? Can it lead to deafness?

In no case should one treat otitis media lightly and wait until it passes by itself, and even more so to self-medicate.Launched, it can go into a purulent form – and provoke the development of brain abscesses, meningitis, disorders of the vestibular apparatus. In addition, due to otitis media, hearing loss and even hearing loss, paralysis of the facial nerve and even destruction of the bone structures of the ear can develop.


Is it possible to cure otitis media on your own?

No. At the first symptoms, an urgent need to consult a doctor, since only he can determine which pathogen is causing the disease.If this is not done, the treatment will be ineffective, and the disease will progress. At the first signs of illness, make an urgent appointment with a doctor!

How to swim and not be afraid of otitis media?

The surest way to protect your ears is to prevent water from entering your ear canal. Swimming earplugs are ideal, but they are not suitable for everyone. If this is your case, then you can put pieces of cotton wool soaked in any oil in your ears before swimming, and after the swim, blot your ears with a piece of dry cotton wool – it will completely absorb the water.

Swimmers ears. How to protect your ears while swimming? Ears hurt after swimming? :: ACMD

Swimming is one of the most popular and useful sports not only for adults, but also for children. Swimming culture is instilled from a very early age. Seas, oceans, rivers, lakes, pools. Summer and winter. Everything is fine, if not for the small dangers that can spoil your impression of this sport and recreation. Today we will talk about one “underwater” stone on the part of diseases of the ear, throat, nose.

These are “swimmers’ ears”

Inflammatory disease of the external auditory canal, which most often develops after swimming in water (ponds, pools) due to hypothermia or penetration of a bacterial infection. The normal condition of the ear (the skin of the ear canal) is impaired due to frequent exposure to a humid environment. We still provoke this by improper care of the ear canal. Intensive use of sanitary sticks leads to the removal of the protective sulfur, the top layer of the skin is removed along with the protective bacteria, the skin is irritated, and wounds are formed.

The danger is not so much cold water as the microbes contained in this water, since the main cause of the development of inflammation is a pathogenic bacterium. If you dry the ear, remove all moisture, then microorganisms will not harm. If you do not dry your ears properly, stagnant water reduces the acidity of the skin and its protective function, irritates the ear canal and creates favorable conditions for the growth of bacteria and fungi.

So, what to do to prevent the onset of the disease:

  1. Protect your ears from the ingress of water – special caps or the use of earplugs.A combination is ideal. We choose earplugs that are waterproof and comfortable for you individually. You can make a cotton ball, soak in oil (vaseline) and use as earplugs.
  2. If water gets into the ear, remove the water !!! Never dry your ears with a hairdryer! Hot air, strong vibrations and the noise from a hair dryer can damage your hearing system. Try to “shake out” the water from the ear canal, while aligning it. Pull the auricle back and tilt your head slightly upward. Jump on one leg.Press with your palm on your ear. If there are no sulfur plugs in the ear canal, the water will come out without problems.
  3. Avoid swimming in muddy bodies of water. In pools that are monitored, it is less likely to get sick.
  4. After showering, bathing or shampooing, immediately gently wipe only the outside of your ears with the corner of a soft towel or small balls of cotton wool.
  5. Do not wear earplugs, earphones, or earphones for long periods of time. These items trap moisture in the ear canal, creating a breeding ground for the development of microorganisms.
  6. If you wear a hearing aid, remove it as often as possible to allow your ear to dry out.
  7. Do not use hygiene sticks to remove wax from the ear canal. Remember that sulfuric discharge is the protection of the skin. She must be!!! The use of sticks leads to skin trauma, the formation of wounds and inflammatory diseases of the ear canal.

If your ears still start to hurt, especially when you touch them and the pain intensifies with the movement of the jaw, hearing has decreased, discharge from the ear has appeared – do not self-medicate .Contact your ENT doctor for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. An untimely and adequately treated inflammatory process can turn into a chronic form and every ingress of water or an unfavorable factor can provoke a return of inflammation.

Swimming and your ears: what you need to know?

Swimming is an integral part of relaxation and an active lifestyle, regardless of your age and whether you are swimming in a pool, lake, river or ocean.But can your favorite pastime lead to hearing damage and hearing loss?

The effect of swimming on your ears

Swimming can put your hearing organ at significant risk as it can lead to the development of otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear. The cause of this disease is the effect of bacteria present in natural water bodies. Such bacteria can also be found in pool and hot tub water if the water is not properly sanitized or chlorinated.When contaminated water enters the ear, bacteria can begin to multiply, leading to infection. These infections can damage the fragile hair cells in the inner ear that transmit sound, resulting in hearing loss.

Protection of the hearing organ from water

You can minimize the risk of ear infections after swimming by making sure your pool or hot tub is properly sanitized and chlorinated before using it.If you prefer to swim in natural waters, avoid stagnant areas where bacterial contamination is most likely. Also, find out if a particular body of water could pose a safety risk.

You can provide additional hearing protection by using earplugs while swimming to prevent water from entering your ears. Disposable waterproof earplugs can be found at any drug store or sports store, but if you swim regularly, you can opt for custom-made reusable hearing protection.

If after swimming you feel like water has entered your ear, you can take the following measures to remove it:

  • Dry the auricle with a soft towel, without inserting it into the external auditory canal.
  • Tilt your head to the side and gently pull on your earlobe to drain the water.
  • Chewing or yawning will open the Eustachian tube and drain water from the ears.
  • Exposure to steam also contributes to the opening of the Eustachian tube.Lean over a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes.

If the above methods do not work, see a doctor who will remove the water from the ear and prescribe treatment if necessary. If you have a hearing impairment, your hearing care professional can help you identify the cause and, if necessary, select the correct hearing aids.

Don’t be afraid of water

Swimming can be safe if you take proper precautions.Learning more about the water you swim in, wearing appropriate hearing protection, and knowing what to do if water gets into your ear can help you avoid the risk of developing an infection that can lead to hearing loss.

We treat the swimmer’s ear, we select the therapy regimen individually

Swimmer’s ear is pathology of the outer ear , accompanied by inflammation of the skin of the walls of the ear canal, auricle, and eardrum.It flows in a spilled form and can be both acute and chronic. Most often found in people who go to the pool – hence the name. Also in ENT practice, pathology is called external otitis media.

Causes and types of disease

The pathology is caused by infection , and it can proceed in acute or chronic form.


In most cases swimmer’s ear disease caused by bacteria. Most often it is Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, streptococci.Sometimes fungal infections can also cause inflammation. The main factor contributing to infection is the ingress of water into the ear. It swells the sulfur and creates a moist environment in the ear canals that is conducive to infection. Also, inflammation can be provoked by other causes – ear microtrauma, skin diseases, abnormal narrowing of the auditory canals.


There are 2 forms of the disease:

  1. Acute – develops immediately after infection and gives vivid symptoms.A person fully recovers on average in 4-5 weeks.
  2. Chronic – is a complication of an acute process, or develops independently. Gives flaccid symptoms and lasts longer than 6 weeks.

How to tell that you have a swimmer’s ear

When a person has otitis externa, the symptoms of are as follows:

  • ear hurts – the pain is pulsating, radiates to the temple, jaw, neck, increases when the ear is pressed, pulled by the lobe, as well as when chewing and swallowing;
  • itches in the ear, lays and bursts;
  • the skin around the mouth of the ear canal turns red;
  • fluid flows from the ear;
  • hearing deteriorates.

In some cases, especially in acute form, patients show general symptoms – fever up to 37 degrees, weakness.

Swimmer’s ear for children

Most often, pathology occurs in children – especially those who go to the pool. Children’s ear canals are narrower than those of adults, so it is more difficult to remove water from them. Because of this, it accumulates inside and can provoke inflammation. Treatment of otitis externa in children should be carried out with gentle methods so as not to disrupt the growth of important structures of the ear.

How to cure swimmer’s ear

Having noticed signs of external otitis media , you need to make an appointment with an ENT doctor. He will diagnose and select an individual therapy regimen. When diagnosed with otitis externa, treatment includes taking various drugs. It can be:

  • local antibiotics – for the bacterial nature of the infection;
  • antifungal – if the cause is fungal microflora;
  • turundas and lavages with antiseptics and anti-inflammatory solutions – remove secretions and pathological masses, accelerate tissue healing;
  • analgesics – used to relieve pain.

If you have swimmer’s ear, how to treat – they know in our ENT center for children and adults. Our doctors carry out complex diagnostics and select therapy individually, taking into account all contraindications and features.

How to protect yourself and your family from the swimmer’s ear

Prevention includes wearing special earplugs while swimming and proper ear hygiene. If water gets into the auditory canals, it must be removed with a cotton swab dipped in boric alcohol.

What can the disease lead to

If treatment is not started on time, the inflammatory process spreads to the adjacent tissues . It can affect the middle ear and then the inner ear. Because of this, people develop permanent hearing loss. also, inflammation can go to the temporal bone, cartilage, facial nerve or the base of the skull, which is fraught with life-threatening pathologies – osteomyelitis, meningitis, necrotizing otitis media.