Swimmers ear is an infection in the outer ear canal. It can happen due to swimming in pools, lakes, or the ocean throughout the summers. When water remains in your ears, it can create bacteria that lead to an infection. Swimmers ear is not serious, but it’s important to receive prompt treatment to avoid any serious complications. AFC Urgent Care Paramus can provide treatment for Swimmer’s ear and many other infections that may happen throughout the summer. Visit us today if you are experiencing any symptoms of Swimmer’s ear.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear

Symptoms are normally very mild, but it’s important to receive treatment to not develop into something more severe. Symptoms can be divided into mild, moderate, or advanced. 

Mild Symptoms

  • Itching & slight redness inside the ear
  • Drainage of clear, odorless fluid
  • Mild discomfort that is made worse by touching the ear

Moderate Symptoms

  • More intense itching & more pain
  • Excessive fluid drainage
  • Partial blockage of the ear canal
  • Muffled hearing

Advanced Symptoms

  • Severe pain that can spread to the neck & face
  • Completely blockage of the ear canal
  • Fever
  • Redness & swelling of the outer ear
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Causes

Our ears are designed to naturally keep bacteria out and prevent any infection. When Swimmer’s ear occurs, it means that the ear’s natural defenses have been overwhelmed and compromised. Excess moisture from swimming or other water activities, scratches or abrasions, or sensitivity reactions can all impact the ear. Using cotton swabs, hearing aids, or scratching the inside of your ear with your finger can break the skin within your ear and cause an infection. 

Complications

Complications can absolutely occur when there is damage to the ear. They can include temporary hearing loss, a long-term infection, bone or cartilage damage, or a deep tissue infection. 

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent Swimmer’s ear, the most important factor is keeping your ears dry. You can use specific earplugs while swimming or properly dry your ears after swimming. Avoid swimming when bacteria counts are high for that area. Do not put foreign objects in your ears, such as cotton swabs, paper clips, or hairpins. Be sure to protect your hair from other irritants, such as hairspray. 

To treat Swimmer’s ear, your doctor will examine your ear canal to note the damage. If your ear is torn, you may be referred to a specialist. Your doctor may also clean out your ears to help medicated eardrops flow properly. The type of medication prescribed will depend on how serious the infection is. Other medications may be recommended or prescribed for pain.