How to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is also called Otitis externa, is an infection caused to the external ear. This condition can be a result of many situations such as exposure of ears to excessive heat and staying longer in the bacteria-laden water. This infection is much common among the swimmers, hence the name. It can be easily prevented if you know how to prevent swimmer’s ear.

The infection is caused because of the absence or low amount of ear wax on the external ear. This ear wax acts as a protective layer for the external ear. This reacts chemically with the external ear and protects it from the external toxins.

When a person has Swimmer’s Ear, he may complain about sharp and severe pain in the ear, itching, scratches within the ear canal. In advanced stages a person may experience loss of hearing.

Tips to prevent swimmer’s ear:

  • Keep your ears clean and dry. Especially, in humid atmospheric conditions, ears become moist and bacteria are easily attracted towards moist areas of the skin. Therefore, try keeping your ears dry during this time.
  • Ears get moist internally in summers due to humidity in the atmosphere, so keep the internal canal of your ears closed using cotton or ear plugs if you are feeling itchy inside your ears.
  • Whenever you take bath, do not forget to pat dry your ears using a soft cloth or your towel. If water stays in your ears for long time then it can cause infections within the ears.
  • You can also use earplugs to keep water out of your ears while bathing.
  • While swimming, do not forget to wear ear plugs. If water in the pools is polluted or any harmful bacteria are present within it then it can harm you.
  • After you swim or have showered you can add a drop of a mixture of alcohol and white vinegar, in your ear. Mix both the liquids in 1:1 ratio and add it to your ears. This kills the bacteria if present in your ears and also prevents it from any infection in future.
  • Before swimming make sure that the water is not polluted. If it is polluted and dirty, then do not swim is such water.
  • While using chemicals on your hair such as hair colors and hair sprays, cover your ears using some protection such that the chemicals do not harm your ears. These chemicals can destroy the protective layer of wax on the external ear and increase the risk of infection.
  • Do not use ear swabs to clean your ears frequently. They also destroy the protective layer of wax in the internal as well as external ear which can easily provide a favorable condition for the bacteria.
  • Do not insert any object in your ears to clean them. This can injure your internal ear and increase the risk of infection.
  • Apply a coat of petroleum gelly on your ears. They will protect your ears from the bacteria that are present in the air.
  • Avoid exposing your ears to excessive heat. Heat damages the wax coat on the ears. While going out in sun, wear a scarf to cover your ears.

The tips given above will help you in preventing the damage to the protective coat on your ears and thus prevent swimmer’s ear or Otitis externa.


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