Swimmer’s ear happens when the outer ear canal becomes infected through water by swimming in pools or lakes. It’s more common in children due to their smaller ear canals and how often they spend time in the water in the summer. Middle ear infections happen behind the eardrum and are commonly caused by viral infections.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Paramus if you or your child is suffering from an ear infection. Our providers can look at the symptoms and help diagnose the problem. Treatment will be provided to help clear up symptoms and get you back on track. AFC Paramus can also help diagnose and treat additional ailments this summer.

Differences in Infections

Pain

Depending on where the pain is can help you determine the type of ear infection. Since Swimmer’s Ear is within the ear canal, pain may increase when tugging on the earlobe. Middle ear infections happen behind the eardrum. Pain can increase when lying down and can interrupt sleep.

Symptoms

Physical symptoms of Swimmer’s ear infections, aside from the pain, also include:

  • Redness or swelling of the ear
  • A child may scratch at the ear or complain of an itchy ear
  • Drainage from the ear may occur, and it will be foul-smelling

Additional symptoms associated with middle ear infections are often related to illness. They include fever, diarrhea or vomiting, and decreased appetite.

Contributing Factors

Swimmer’s ear can also be caused by using cotton swabs or simply taking a shower or bath. If you or your child have been swimming recently, that can be a telltale sign. Middle ear infections also come with upper respiratory infections, as mentioned previously.

Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear

Pain can be managed with Tylenol or ibuprofen. Be sure to follow the instructions to take the proper dosage based on age. Placing a warm compress over the infected ear can also help. Visit AFC Paramus to receive treatment for Swimmer’s ear. Since it’s caused by bacteria, antibiotic eardrops can be prescribed to clear it up.

Treatment for Middle Ear Infection

Middle ear infections will almost always need to be diagnosed in person. An AFC Paramus provider will likely look into the ear with an otoscope for infection or blockage. If the provider determines that a bacteria is causing the pain, an antibiotic will be prescribed. However, antibiotics aren’t effective for viral infections. In this case, the provider will likely recommend at-home pain relievers and medication for additional symptoms.