How to Treat Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer's Ear — otitis externa — is an infection and inflammation of the outer ear. It typically affects people who swim frequently or otherwise get water in their ears. It is also associated with people who regularly use cotton-tipped swabs in their ears. The ear’s normal acidic environment can be disrupted by constant wetness or the scraping of cotton-tipped swabs, creating conditions that allow bacteria to invade and infect the ear.
Signs of Infection:
In addition to pain and/or itching, there may also be drainage of fluid from the ear, and decreased hearing since the ear is full of infected material. In severe conditions, there may be some redness of the outside part of the ear or the surrounding face.
Most cases of swimmer's ear can be treated with antibiotic ear drops, such as POLYSPORIN® Plus Pain Relief Ear Drops.
Instill one to two drops, four times a day, for 5 to 7 days. You should avoid getting water in the ear until the treatment is complete. Before use, read package insert for more complete information on dosing and cautions.
Consult a doctor before treating children less than 6 years of age for ear infections.
Swimmer’s Ear Prevention Tips:
- If prone to swimmer's ear, wear plugs while swimming or showering.
- Use acidifying drops in the ears a couple of times a week to help discourage the growth of bacteria in the ear canal by maintaining its acidic environment.