If the outside of the ear canal becomes infected, you may end up suffering from swimmer’s ear. Amongst other symptoms such as a runny nose or cold like congestion, this is not the same as that of otitis media, which is an infection inside of the inner ear. After you take a bath or go swimming, many people wind up with water stuck inside of their ears. As the water begins to aggravate the skin inside of the ear canal, bacteria and fungus can potentially move in and result in an infection.
You don’t have to worry about this form of infection affecting anyone else because it is not contagious, but it is more along the lines of the type of infection you would receive from a scratch. In order to protect yourself from any otitis media, you can create your own blend of alcohol and vinegar, or you can always choose to purchase something from your local pharmacy. Once you are done swimming, you will want to place five to ten drops into your ears. Let the drops sit in there for a few minutes before draining them out and onto a Kleenex.
Vinegar works to destroy any of the harmful bacteria and fungus, while the rubbing alcohol works to help dry the ears out. This procedure works to help keep your child from falling prey to an infection from swimmer’s ear, but it is not meant to serve as a cure if there is already an infection inside of the ear. Another potential remedy for preventing any instances of swimmer’s ear is to make sure your little one is not attempting to place anything into their ears. Even something as simple as a cotton swab can cause a lot of damage to your child’s ears.
Symptoms associated with swimmer’s ear include an itching inside of the ear canal or on the outside part of the ear, hearing loss, pain in the front part of your face in front of the ear and pain after pushing on the small piece protecting your inner ear canal. Pain may not occur in both of the ears at the same time, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t dealing with swimmer’s ear.
If there is anything coming out of the ear that looks like pus, you will want to have that addressed. Anytime you notice any of these symptoms in your child you need to seek attention from the proper medical professionals to determine whether you are dealing with an infection or not. Although it is highly unlikely, if the condition is left untreated, swimmer’s ear might end up affecting the cartilage that surrounds the ear canal. Sometimes a heating pad can help alleviate some of the pain, as well as acetaminophen.
For someone who has a severe infection causing the ear canal to swell up, you are more than likely going to need prescriptions for antibiotics and medicated drops to help take care of the problem. The antibiotic works to kill the bacteria and fungus, while the drops work to treat the irritation in the skin. If the ear is extremely swollen, they may need to use a wick to help treat the condition. Wicks are a small sponge piece allowing the drops to pass through the swollen area and into that of the ear canal. Anytime you receive a prescription for drops, you will want to avoid entering water throughout your prescription duration, which is normally five to ten days.
It is imperative to monitor this condition when found in someone younger. Monitor for any recurring infections, problems with their balance, pain and discomfort in their ears and anything else out of the ordinary that may signal the problem has returned.