Spring Break and Swimmer's Ear

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It's Spring Break and if you're lucky, you're somewhere warm! This is one of the most exciting times of the year. It's warming up, summer is approaching soon, and you just may be able to get in a little pool action.

Swimming can be a blast, but with the fun can come a little concern for swimmer's ear. This article tells you all you need to know about swimmer's ear so you can have a fun and stress-free Spring Break!

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What is Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head. This can come from swimming pools, baths, or even showers. It is called swimmer's ear because it is often caused by water that remains in the ear after swimming. It can be a very painful and annoying condition that can quickly ruin the fun.

Who Is Most Affected by Swimmer's Ear?

According to American Academy of Otolaryngology, swimmer’'s ear most often affects children and teenagers, but can also affect those with eczema (a condition that causes the skin to itch), or excess earwax (EarwaxMD can help with that). :-)

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Symptoms

Swimmer's ear symptoms can include:

  • itching
  • pain that worsens when pulling on the ear
  • a feeling that the ear is full
  • decreased hearing
  • fever
  • redness and swelling of the skin around the ear

An ear infection causes pain on the inner ear (behind the eardrum) but swimmer's ear is the outer ear (ear canal). This can sometimes be the main clue to determine what you are experiencing.

Treatment

If taken to the doctor, they will most likely carefully clean out your ear canal, removing any excess fluid. A prescription can be prescribed to fight the infection and reduce pain.

It usually takes about a week for the symptoms to go away and it's best to stay dry! It is also important to keep any objects out of the ear, such as headphones, to keep from pushing the water back any further and causing more damage.

Ways to Prevent Swimmer's Ear

The best way to prevent this is to keep your ears dry! But I know when it comes to swimming, that's a little uncommon. It can be very helpful to purchase ear plugs to wear in the pool and to dry your ears well with a towel or hair dryer when you're finished.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Spring Break is meant for fun, friends and being by the water! Don't let the possibility of swimmer's ear keep you from having a good time, but remember the helpful tips to try and prevent it from ruining your time off.

Click here to learn more about what hearing has to do with your heart!

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