Swimmers ear remedies have been widely searched because of the increasing in occurrence today. Find out about this condition and the home treatment for swimmers ear that you can easily do at home.
What is Swimmers Ear?
This condition called also be termed as “otitis externa” and is known to be a painful infection of the outer portion of the outer ear. The most common type of bacteria that is the cause of this condition are staphylococcus aureus and pseudomonas aeruginosa. We all know that the ear canal is a structure that is cylindrical in shape and extends from the outer portion of the ear all the way to the eardrum. The main function of this canal is to protect our ears from infections and invasion and entry of foreign substances. There is a production of ear wax also for the purpose of protection that helps trap the bacteria in entering into our ears further. There are tiny little hairs also for that same purpose.
Swimmers ear is often caused by the following:
- Water that remains in the ear after swimming or showering because of excessive moisture in the ear canal – this changes the acidic environment of the ear canal which will allow the invasion of bacteria and fungi
- Inserting your finger, cotton tipped swab and other objects (ear plugs, hearing aids, headphones) in the ear that may damage the thin layer of the skin’s lining in the ear canal – any break in this thin skin lining can increase chances of getting an infection
- Chemicals (shampoos, bleaches, hair dyes) that could irritate the ear canal and alter its protective barrier
- A narrowed ear canal (in children) – a narrowed ear canal can easily trap water
- Excessive earwax production
Typical signs and symptoms of swimmers ear are:
- Ear pain that starts over a day. Pain usually involving only one ear and pain seems to increase when it is touched or pulled on
- Ear canal may feel itchy at times
- A red appearance of the outer ear
- Swelling of the ear canal (in severe cases, it may appear to be swollen shut)
- Draining of the ear. The drainage may appear to be clear, white or yellow. Sometimes in more severe cases, bloody with a foul smell
- Crusting of the ear from the fluid that has already dried up
- May have trouble hearing depending on the severity of the condition
- Ringing of the ear (tinnitus) and dizziness (vertigo) for more severe cases
- A low-grade fever, but may not always be present
If swimmers ear isn’t treated properly long-term complications can occur which tend to be more dangerous and harder to cure. These following conditions could arise from not treating swimmers ear as soon as possible:
- Temporary hearing loss
- A long-term infection – the infection is considered “chronic” or long-term when it exceeds more than 3 months.
- Deep tissue infections – if not treated, the infection may spread to deeper layers of the skin
- Cartilage and bone damage
- Widespread infection – it is rare but is life-threatening
Both sexes are equally affected, but swimmer’s ear tends to affect children and teenagers more. This condition has an increasing incidence rate during the summer because of the frequent exposure of the ear to water thus the name “swimmer’s ear.” But do keep in mind that bath or shower water can also give rise to this condition as well.
It is typically easy to cure swimmers ear with the proper home care, but in more severe cases it is best to contact your healthcare professional.
If you have a mild condition, here are some effective and safe swimmers ear remedies:
- Rubbing alcohol and vinegar. This is a great swimmers ear treatment that you can do yourself. Before going swimming, mix one part of white vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol. Pour a teaspoon of the solution into each ear and allow the liquid to drain back out.
- Heat therapy. Instead of taking pain relievers, try getting a warm water bottle and wrap it with cloth and put it against the affected ear.
- Garlic drops. Here is one of the great natural remedies for swimmers ear. Before using garlic drops, make sure that your eardrum isn’t punctured and there is no fluid draining from the ear. Consult with your healthcare professional before using garlic oil in conjunction with other treatments.
- Apple cider vinegar. Here is one of the best homemade home remedies for swimmers ear. If you notice water stopping up your ears, put in 3 to 4 drops of apple cider vinegar diluted in equal parts of water. Do this after showering or swimming. This is a great way to prevent future infections.
- Hair dryer. One of the effective swimmer’s ear remedies there is out there. Make sure that the setting is set to warm and NEVER HOT! Place the hair dryer about an arm’s length away from the ear and slowly move it back and forth. The warm air will let the trapped water evaporate.
- Oil treatment. This is one of the traditional ear infection remedies. Add a drop of lavender oil, tea tree oil and 3 drops of roman chamomile. Apply this concoction to the outer ear and gently in the ear canal. Leave it in for a few days to effectively cure the problem.
- Warm baby oil. One of the helpful swimmer’s ear remedies. Put a few drops of warm baby oil in each ear.
These natural herbal remedies for swimmers ear have been proven effective by many people out there. These are the traditional homemade treatments that can really help out and get rid of swimmers ear. It won’t hurt the budget because most of the natural remedy needs might already be found at home. Try it out these swimmers ear remedies and be amazed by the results.