All That You Should Know About Swimmer’s Ear And Its Home Remedies
Summer calls for plenty of fun and swimming, be it in swimming pools, rivers, or seas. Swimming is indeed an amazing way to cool off on a hot day and have some exercise outdoors. Several kids and grown-ups enjoy swimming in pleasant water. But, a day in the water can leave you or your child with an earache resulting due to Swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear infections in the middle ear are known as otitis externa, which are common among the kids. So, you should know how to treat it and get it treated in a better way and avoid its complications, as it can be painful and affect your quality of life. Keep reading to learn all about it.
Just as being in the water doesn’t necessarily make everyone suffer from swimmer’s ear. You can even get the swimmer’s ear without swimming. The main cause for the infection the presence of water, which is left in the ear canal after swimming, bathing, or showering, that promote the growth of bacteria. Swimmer’s ear can also affect your child when water gets into his/her ear during hair wash. It imparts the feeling of the presence of a bubble in your ear, and it’s muffled with every sound. Your ear begins to itch, and water goes out. Often, pain in the ears is due to an ear infection. If the infection is produced in the outer ear or ear canal, it is called otitis externa, more commonly known as swimmer’s ear. It is a common type of ear infection that includes the middle ear. Most commonly, these ear infections occur in infants and young children. It affects the outer ear canal, which runs to your eardrum from the outside of your ear.
Children spend a lot of time in the water due to which their ears get exposed to it and the accumulation of moisture occurs, thereby increasing the ear pH. It may cause the removal of the earwax during the process. Once this protective earwax is gone, the canal becomes irritated as the skin begins to breakdown, and water is absorbed by keratin debris, thereby creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. As the infection can result due to several reasons, but swimmer’s ear results due to an excess of moisture in the ear canal which leads to the growth of bacteria. When bacteria begin to grow, the ear canal becomes inflamed and that leads to the pain and discomfort. While swimmer’s ear is most common in children, it can occur in adults too.
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Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear:
Symptoms of an infection in the middle ear include:
- Severe pain is often felt in the ear if touched or tugged
- An itchy feeling inside the ear
- Discharge from the ear that can be blood-streaked or smelly
- Temporary hearing loss in the affected area of ear infection due to the presence of pus.
- Greenish yellowish discharge
- Tender to touch the ear
However, you don’t need to swim to get the swimmer’s ear. Anything that brings about a break in the skin of the ear canal can cause infection. Usually, in this condition, you may experience itching or ear pain, particularly when moving or pulling the head or ear itself. The hearing may be affected as the canal swells, and the infected ear may ooze yellowish pus. Some children may be habituated to swimmer’s ear because of the shape of their ear canals that makes the water more difficult to drain out.
Swimmer’s ear has many impacts during the summer when swimming is prevalent. More advanced infection can lead to severe pain in the face, head, or neck, intense itching, more redness in the ear, a feeling of fullness inside the ear, blocking of the ear canal, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. If you have a swimmer’s ear then consult your so that the problem does not aggravate. It is not contagious. If not treated for a long time, it can cause temporary hearing loss.
What Can You Do To Ease The Pain For A Mild Ear Infection With Home Remedy?
Here are some ways and home remedies for relieving the infection and healing the ear canal.
- Use White Vinegar
The acid in the vinegar helps to kill the bacteria in the ear, thereby cleaning out the infection. Thus, it makes one of the best remedies for swimmer’s ear. In a bowl, add an equal amount of white vinegar and rub alcohol. Lie on your side with face-up in the side of the infected ear. Put 2-3 drops of the remedial mixture in your affected ear by using a dropper. Keep it for five minutes and sit up and then tilt your head to let the fluid drain.
- Apply Warm Compress
Try a warm compress if you see a pus build-up or a fluid discharge from your affected ear. A warm compress against the ear will help the fluid drain and reduce the pain. Start by soaking a clean cloth in the hot water, squeeze out the extra water, then place the compress on the infected ear for two minutes, and then tilt your head to let the fluid drain. Take a break of ten minutes, and do it again if necessary. Another way to do is to wrap a heating pad in a towel and put it on your bed. Lie on the heating pad with your infected ear for a few minutes.
- Put Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide
As the hydrogen peroxide is a natural bacteria-killer, it is a great remedy to dry out fluids in the ear and treat this infection. Take 3% hydrogen peroxide, lie down, and put 3-4 drops in the infected ear using a dropper. Stay in that position for a few minutes. Sit up and tilt your head to allow the fluid to drain off your ear.
- Make Use of Garlic
Garlic is another great way to promote your recovery from an ear infection. This is because it kills the infection-causing bacteria and decreases the pain. Crush some fresh garlic cloves and mix them with two tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the oil until the garlic turns brown. Use 2-4 drops in the infected ear. Do these one or two times a day. Also, you can eat two or three raw garlic cloves a day to promote your recovery from the infection.
- Go for Onion Juice
The use of onion juice is a good way for treating an ear infection. This is because the juice kills bacteria and lessens the pain soon after it is used. Squeeze the juice from one small onion. Heat the juice in the microwave for a few seconds. Put 2-3 drops of warm juice in your ear. Leave it for 5 minutes and tilt your head to let the fluid drain. Do it 2-3 times a day.
- Try Basil
Basil provides a good improvement in the relief in ear infection because it kills bacteria, it helps fight the ear infection and soothes the pain. It also helps treat fluid discharge. Squeeze the juice from 4-5 basil leaves. Heat the juice slightly until it is lukewarm. Lie down and put 2-3 drops in your affected ear. After 5 minutes, sit up, and tilt your head to let the fluid drain out of your ear. You can do this 2 times a day.
Prevention for Swimmer’s Ear
Earplugs can also limit the moisture in your ear while swimming. If your child or you are prone to waxing, removing the affected earwax might help to prevent the blockage and infection. You can also use a low setting hairdryer to help dry out the moisture after swimming. Remember never put objects in the ears, even cotton-tipped swabs.