Swimmer’s Ear: New Symptoms and Treatments To Know

Swimmer’s ear can be a very painful condition, and it can lead to many health problems for a person. Swimmer’s ear often occurs as a result of swimming in unclean water, which can be full of bacteria or fungus. A person that is an avid swimmer should know the symptoms associated with swimmer’s ear, since the risk of developing an infection is fairly high. Here are the symptoms a person might notice if he or she has swimmer’s ear, and the treatment options available for him or her according to new research and studies.

swim ear

Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms

A person will likely notice only a few symptoms at first if he or she has swimmer’s ear, but the infection can progress rapidly, which can lead to more serious complications. A person will notice a slight redness in the ear, some itching around the ear, drainage of a clear and odorless fluid, and he or she will notice pain when pulling on the ear. As the infection progresses, a person will notice more severe itching around the ear, the pain will increase in intensity, and there will be a lot of fluid draining out of the ear. a person is also likely to notice that there is pus coming out of the ear, hearing will become distorted or muffled, and he or she will have swelling around the ear canal. If swimmer’s ear has progressed to the advanced stages, a person will notice swelling in the surrounding lymph nodes, and severe pain radiating around the face and neck. The ear canal will be completely blocked by debris or swelling, and the ear will be very red or inflamed. If a person does not get treatment quickly, the infection will progress to the point where he or she cannot hear at all out of the infected ear, and he or she might notice a strong odor coming from the ear drainage.

Swimmer’s Ear Suggested Treatment


The main goal of treatment for swimmer’s ear is to clear out the infection causing the irritation, and also preventing moisture from entering the ear during the recovery process. a person will need to seek medical care so that he or she can have the ear properly cleaned out, which can help eardrops to flow properly through the ear canal. a person will need to get out all of the debris, dry skin, drainage, and pus coming from the ear. Depending upon the seriousness of the ear infection, eardrops will be prescribed that include a combination of different medications. The ingredients in eardrops the doctor will prescribe can include antifungal medication, steroids, antibiotics, and an acidic solution. The combination of these ingredients can help clear out a bacterial infection, reduce swelling and pain within the ear, and can also restore the normal environment in the ear. There are a variety of ways that a person can take the eardrops to treat swimmer’s ear, and it is best for him or her to talk to a doctor to find the right method. A person should have someone help him or her get the eardrops into the ear properly, and he or she should lie down on his or her side, which can help the eardrops flow into the ear completely. Naproxen or acetaminophen might be used to control the pain, and if the pain is severe, a person might be prescribed stronger pain medications.

Impact on a Person

A person that is diagnosed with swimmer’s ear will be impacted by the infection, but the impact will not last long. a person will need to stay out of the water until the infection clears up, which can take up to 14 days. a person will need to make sure to keep the ear dry at all times, including when he or she is taking a bath or shower. During a bath or shower, a person can use a cotton ball lubricated with petroleum jelly, and place it in the ear canal to keep out water. Earplugs, headphones, and hearing aids will also not be allowed during the treatment process, since those products can hinder recovery, and make the infection worse. A person should take all of his or her medications as prescribed, and if the infection and pain has subsided, he or she can resume normal swimming activities. It is important that the person take precautions when swimming after his or her recovery is complete, since the risk of getting another infection is high. Overall the impact on a person is minimal, but he or she should try to keep the ear dry at all times while swimming, which can be achieved by using the cotton balls with petroleum jelly.




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Jeanne Rose
Jeanne Rose lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a freelance writer since 2010. She took Allied Health in vocational school where she earned her CNA/PCA, and worked in a hospital for 3 years. Jeanne enjoys writing about science, health, politics, business, and other topics as well.

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