Patient Comments: Swimmer's Ear - Symptoms

Describe the symptoms you experienced with swimmer's ear. What were your first symptoms?

Comment from: Scuba Diver, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I am a scuba diving instructor and dive on a daily basis in the pool during teaching or in open water. In the last few years I encountered only 3-4 times ear problems, but not severe. Usually it's gone in 3 to 7 days maximum spread over a long time. Lately after a dive I had a feeling of fullness, as if water was trapped in my ear. I was jumping up and down to get the trapped water out, however not much success. Next day, this feeling continued but no pain. So I went diving, making one of my worst health mistakes. During the dive my ear started to hurt, even though I could equalize perfectly, so inside the ear, everything was apparently okay. Next dive, it got worse. I went to the doctor the same day, who explained to me that the ear canal was so swollen that he can't see the eardrum. So no diving for 2 weeks. I'm using Augmentin, and ofloxacin ear drops. First week I had immense pain, second week no pain or just a little. I went to the doctor again, just to get a clearance for diving. Bang! Perforated eardrum, 6-8 weeks no diving. Now I'm on ciprofloxacin and again on ofloxacin ear drops. So I don't know if the rupture was there from the beginning or developed later. If you have any kind of ear anomaly don't go swimming or never ever go diving!

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Comment from: WaterBaby75, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I am a Pisces and a water lover by nature! I recently moved into a lakefront condo with a beautiful swimming pool, so my husband and children and I all took swims on a regular basis, sometimes as often as three or more times a week. I had only heard of swimmer's ear but had never experienced it firsthand. On a Friday evening at around 6, I noticed my ear beginning to itch. The itching went on throughout the night, and by the next Saturday morning, I woke up with crust around the opening of the ear and it felt full like I had water in it. I used Q-tips to try to clear the "water-in-the-ear" feeling (which I can't stand!), but it didn't help. This went on throughout the day. I woke up Sunday morning at around 2:30 a.m. in excruciating pain. The whole side of my right face was swollen and throbbing in pain. I knew it was the ear, but I also felt pain in my head, face, neck, throat, and jaw. It was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life! I ended up in the ER where they informed me that I had otitis externa (swimmer's ear) and prescribed antibiotic and numbing eardrops. I will never ever swim again without earplugs!

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Swimmer's Ear - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including ear drops, do you use for swimmer's ear? What works best?
Swimmer's Ear - Prevention Question: If you're prone to swimmer's ear, how do you prevent it each time you go swimming?
Swimmer's Ear - Children Question: Does your child get swimmer's ear often? If so, what treatments have you found effective?
Swimmer's Ear - Experience Question: Please share your experience with swimmer's ear.

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