Swimmer's Ear - Prevention

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If you're prone to swimmer's ear, how do you prevent it each time you go swimming?

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How can swimmer's ear be prevented?

  1. Decrease exposure to water. If you are prone to infections it is advisable that you use an ear plug when you bathe or swim. Swimmer's ear drops or alcohol drops (Swim-EAR®) used in the ear after water exposure followed by drying the ear with a hair dryer held at arms length will often help keep the ear free of moisture
  2. Do not insert instruments, scratch, or use cotton swabs in the ears.
  3. Try to keep the ear free of wax. This may require visits to the doctor to have your ears cleaned.
  4. You should not attempt to put anything into the ear canal (such as a swab) to try to remove ear wax that is deep within the ear canal.
  5. If you already have an ear infection, or if you have a hole in your eardrum, or if you have had ear surgery or ear tubes, first consult your doctor prior to swimming and before you use any type of ear drop.
  6. A preventative ear drop solution can be cheaply and easily made by mixing equal parts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar (50:50 mixture). This solution will increase the rate of evaporation of water in the ear canal and has antibacterial properties. Using this solution to rinse the ear before and after water exposure can serve as a protective measure against infection.
  7. Mineral oil ear drops can be used to protect the ear from water when a dry crusty skin condition exists.

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See what others are saying

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

I now use earplugs anytime my ears will be anywhere near water! That goes for showering, washing my hair, and, of course, swimming. It hasn't failed me yet.

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