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 earsprotective features work best when they are dry. However, when the ear canalsare exposed to excess moisture (for instance, if one swims a lot; that is whyit 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 agesare affected equally, children and teenagers are the ones who most frequently develop thistype of ear infection. Up to 10% of the population may develop this conditionin their lifetime.
Causes and symptoms
The ear canals havefeatures that are very useful, while they prevent infections. The glands thatare situated there secret cerumen (ear wax), whose purpose is to protect theear from infections. However, if a person gets this condition that means that thedefenses of the ear canal have been overrun. The most common causes of swimmer’sear are: swimming in polluted water, scratching the inside of the ear, someobject stuck in the ear, a rash caused by hair products or jewelry, middle earinfection, etc.
The most commonsymptoms of this condition are: itching in the ear canal, redness, yellow drainageof odorless fluid, ear pain, decreased or muffled hearing, swelling, and scaly skinof the outer ear, etc. It is advisable that one consult a doctor as soon as thefirst symptoms have presented themselves. The doctor will prescribe the bestcourse of treatment.
Doctors usuallyclean one’s ear and then prescribe ear drops that will help a person get rid ofswimmer’s ear. However, being that they may have side-effects and can be quiteexpensive, 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 isadvisable that a person consult a doctor before trying them. And, before usingany of them, one should also clean and drain the ear canal by rubbing alcoholonto it.
The best home remediesfor otitis externa are:Baby oil. Oneshould heat it, and, as it warms, put it in the ears with the help of a eardropper and then place a cotton ball over it (in order to prevent draining).Apple cidervinegar. Three or four drops of this, diluted with water or alcohol in equalparts should be applied after swimming or showering. This is a great way ofpreventing future infections.Water, peroxideand white vinegar. Mixed in equal amounts, one should put this mixture for aminute in the ear, and then let it drain. After that, it is advisable that oneput cotton ball in their ear. This is best done before bedtime.White vinegar. Oneshould put a few drops in one ear and leave it in the ear canal forabout 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.