An infection of the outer ear canal is called Swimmer’s Ear. It is common in people who swim a lot, hence the name. But not only swimmers suffer from this. When there is excess moisture in the canal, it causes irritation, and the skin breaks down. This creates a conducive environment for bacteria and fungi.
The infection is common during the summer when most people enjoy swimming. It results in severe pain, upon experiencing which you should visit a hearing clinic near your Denver, Colorado home to avert further damage. Additional symptoms include itching, swelling and an uncomfortable or full feeling in the ear. If you are a regular swimmer, here are some easy ways to avoid this bothersome infection.
Keep your Ears Dry and Clean
Once you have had an encounter with water, be it after swimming or bathing, dry your ear canals thoroughly to avoid infection. An effective way to ensure this is by tipping your head to each side and ensuring that all water runs out. Dry your ears thoroughly after that. Also, avoid things that may irritate your ears further, such as hairspray.
Be Cautious when Dealing with Ear Wax
Ear wax plays a significant role in the health of your ears and is essential in repelling water. Appropriate amounts of it allow for prevention of infections. When it is too much or too little, it will cause ear problems. Since the ears are self-cleaning, it is advisable not to use Q-tips to coerce wax out of the ears. The ears will naturally push the unneeded wax to the edge, where it can easily be wiped off. It is, therefore, not necessary to be extreme in the cleaning process as this will damage the ear canal and make you prone to infections.
Invest in Swimming Plugs
Earplugs serve different purposes. You can use them to balance ear pressure, block out noise, and prevent water from getting into the ears. If you are a regular swimmer, it is only prudent that you get yourself some. When visiting the store to make your purchase, be sure to choose swimming earplugs as these will have an appropriate material to keep the water away. For them to work, get a perfect fit. Better still, you can get a custom fit from a healthcare professional.
Take Care of the Skin
The state of the skin in your ear canal has a great bearing on whether you experience swimmer’s ear. When it is dry and cracked, it offers a conducive environment for the condition. It is no wonder then that people with seborrhea, allergies, and eczema are prone to swimmer’s ear. To keep your skin under control and avoid having flaking and dry ears, be gentle when cleaning them. Also, avoid scratching and inserting objects into the ear canal as these tendencies could damage the skin around it. When suffering from dry skin, use olive oil to lubricate it.
Ears are quite sensitive, and infections can easily escalate to full-blown medical problems. If even after taking all the necessary precautions you still develop an infection, see a specialist immediately. Depending on the severity of the condition, they will offer appropriate treatment which might include prescribing antibiotic ear drops. Where there is a buildup of pus, they will suction it or clean it up. Follow any instructions given until the infection clears up, and learn to protect your ears from excessive moisture.