Put simply, swimmer’s ear is an infection of the skin of the outer ear canal. It’s due to exposure of the said part of your ear to water or moisture, causing the proliferation of bacteria.
Just like what the name says, it’s something that is very common among swimmers, as well as divers, surfers and others who can be usually found in the swimming pool or ocean. However, just because you are not a seasoned swimmer doesn’t mean that you are impervious to having swimmer’s ears. The fact is children and adults alike can have it!
Earlier, it was mentioned that exposing the outer ear canal to water and moisture can cause swimmer’s ear. That’s because it encourages the multiplication of bacteria, resulting in an infection.
However, you may end up with swimmer’s ears even if you have not jumped into the swimming pool or ocean. According to medical professionals, this problem concerning the skin of the outer ear canal can also be due to improper or excessive use of cotton swabs in cleaning the outer ear canal. You can consider yourself at risk of having swimmer’s ear if it’s your habit to clean your ear canal with cottons swabs.
Especially if the infection is the severe, swimmer’s ear is usually treated with antibiotics that are instilled into the ear canal. Paying an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor a visit allows you to get proper diagnosis and the right treatment for swimmer’s ears. Seeing a specialist is of utmost importance particularly if the problem persists more than 4 weeks, and strikes more than 4 times a year as it is most likely to be the kind that’s chronic in nature.
There are a number of remedies that you may try at home for dealing with mild to moderate cases of swimmer’s ear. Here are some of those that are guaranteed to deliver results:
Warm Olive Oil
Because of its antibacterial properties, olive oil may be employed in dealing with swimmer’s ears. Before having a few drops of it instilled into the affected ear with a medicine dropper, olive oil should be warmed in the microwave for only a few seconds. Prior to employing warmed olive oil for swimmer’s ear, make sure that it’s not scalding hot!
Rubbing Alcohol with White Vinegar
The combination of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar is very effective in zapping bacteria and speeding up the healing process of an infection. When using rubbing alcohol and white vinegar for dealing with swimmer’s ear, you can expect for some stinging sensation to strike the moment the mixture is instilled into the affected ear.
Hydrogen Peroxide (Three Percent)
Everyone knows that three percent hydrogen peroxide is very good for disinfecting a wound, keeping it from becoming infected. It’s also something that you may count on if you are bugged by swimmer’s ear. Simply place 3 to 4 drops of three percent hydrogen peroxide into the ear canal. Allow it to remain there for a couple of minutes.
Garlic Oil Capsules
Is there a bottle of garlic oil capsules in your medicine cabinet? Then you have quick access to an effective home remedy for swimmer’s ear. Simply prick a capsule and instill at least 3 drops of garlic oil in the affected ear. You may also soak some fresh garlic cloves in olive oil overnight, and then place a few drops of it in your ear the following day.
Finally, you may place a neatly folded small washcloth that is soaked in warm water over the affected ear area. Doing this helps you attain relief from the pain and itchiness associated with swimmer’s ear. This also boosts the ability of your body to fight off the infection that is going on in your outer ear canal.