Introduction to swimmer’s ear
Also known as Otitis externa, swimmer’s ear is an infection, inflammation, or an irritation of the outer ear and the ear canal. The ears protective features work best when they are dry. However, when the ear canals are exposed to excess moisture (for instance, if one swims a lot; that is why it is called “swimmer’s ear”), it is more likely that they will get infected.
This is a common condition, and although males and females of all ages are affected equally, children and teenagers are the ones who most frequently develop this type of ear infection. Up to 10% of the population may develop this condition in their lifetime.
Causes and symptoms
The ear canals have features that are very useful, while they prevent infections. The glands that are situated there secret cerumen (ear wax), whose purpose is to protect the ear from infections. However, if a person gets this condition that means that the defenses of the ear canal have been overrun. The most common causes of swimmer’s ear are: swimming in polluted water, scratching the inside of the ear, some object stuck in the ear, a rash caused by hair products or jewelry, middle ear infection, etc.
The most common symptoms of this condition are: itching in the ear canal, redness, yellow drainage of odorless fluid, ear pain, decreased or muffled hearing, swelling, and scaly skin of the outer ear, etc. It is advisable that one consult a doctor as soon as the first symptoms have presented themselves. The doctor will prescribe the best course of treatment.
Doctors usually clean one’s ear and then prescribe ear drops that will help a person get rid of swimmer’s ear. However, being that they may have side-effects and can be quite expensive, many have opted for natural, home remedies to help them in theirstruggle.
Home remedies are simple, effective, and are completely devoid of any side effects. However, it is advisable that a person consult a doctor before trying them. And, before using any of them, one should also clean and drain the ear canal by rubbing alcohol onto it.
The best home remedies for otitis externa are:Baby oil. One should heat it, and, as it warms, put it in the ears with the help of a ear dropper and then place a cotton ball over it (in order to prevent draining).Apple cider vinegar. Three or four drops of this, diluted with water or alcohol in equal parts should be applied after swimming or showering. This is a great way of preventing future infections.Water, peroxide and white vinegar. Mixed in equal amounts, one should put this mixture for a minute in the ear, and then let it drain. After that, it is advisable that one put cotton ball in their ear. This is best done before bedtime.White vinegar. One should put a few drops in one ear and leave it in the ear canal for about five minutes, and then turn the ear down in order to drain the solution. It is advisable to repeat this two times a day for three days.