“Swimmer’s ear” (otitis externa) is infection and inflammation of the ear canal, which can be quite painful and can cause temporary hearing loss. These symptoms often occur as a result of water remaining in the ear after swimming, creating a moist environment for bacterial growth to occur. Cuts or abrasions in the lining of the ear canal (most often from cotton-swab “cleaning”) can also predispose the ear canal to bacterial infection. To treat this problem at home, gently irrigate the ear canal with a solution of equal parts vinegar and alcohol (or select an over-the-counter product). If symptoms persist or worsen, do not hesitate to see a medical professional, who can prescribe antibiotic medication.
P.S. When cotton swabs are used to “clean” the ear canal, it usually results in pushing the earwax (cerumen) deeper into the ear canal, where it becomes compacted and more likely to contribute to an infection.
If you would like to learn about the various ways of safeguarding your hearing from hazards of all kinds, we invite you to ask the people who know, the people who have your best interests at heart—the people at EAR & HEARING CLINIC. Don’t put it off any longer. If you think your hearing abilities are less than they once were, call us to see what we can do for you. Between our commitment to your well-being and our dedicated staff, your hearing is in good hands. Our office is wheelchair accessible.