What Causes Swimmer’s Ear
Several things can make swimmer’s ear more likely, including the following:
- If you swim or shower a lot, too much water can get into your ears. Water removes the protective ear wax, which makes it easier for germs and fungus to grow.
- Cleaning your ears can remove the protective wax layer and lead to infection.
- If you injure the skin in the ear canal by putting your finger or some object in your ear, an infection can develop in the canal.
- Skin conditions that occur in other parts of the body can also occur in the ear canal and cause an infection.
- Bacteria from products you use in your hair can get trapped in the ear canal and cause an infection.
How Long Does An Ear Infection Last In Toddlers
It entirely depends on the extent of the ear infection. Pediatric experts state that some toddlers show improvement, without treatment, within 24 hours while in some cases the infection can last for a week. In most cases, the doctor will wait for 72 hours before administering antibiotics to see if the condition improves on its own .
Remember, ear infections may cause a lot of pain to the toddler, but it is also easily preventable through precautions. If treated early, it is not dangerous. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor right away if you suspect an ear infection. Timely treatment and some home care are all that your toddler would need to come out healthy from an episode of ear infection.
If you have any more preventive tips against ear infections in toddlers, then tell us in the comments section below.
Does Swimming Cause Ear Infections
One of Americas favorite things to do is to indulge in water activities. This can range from swimming, boating, water skiing, or visiting a local water park.
However, aside from the obvious dangers of injuring yourself or drowning, there is another danger that is especially dangerous to both adults and little children.
This danger is an ear infection, and it can be caused by water entering the ear.
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Causes And Symptoms Of Swimmers Ear
Swimmers ear can affect anyone, research suggests that children between the age of 7-14 years are more likely to be affected. Also, nearly 10% of the population will be affected by this infection. If you are one among the 10%, here are a few reasons why you may get this infection :
- Discharge of foul-smelling fluid from the ear
If you notice any of these symptoms, there is no need to be alarmed. You can try a few simple home remedies for swimmers ear that may help resolve the problem or alleviate a few of the symptoms.
Can You Get Swimmers Ear From Taking A Shower Or A Bath
Its rare for showering or taking a bath to lead to swimmers ear in most people. However, since anything that creates moisture in the ear canal can cause swimmers ear, it is possible to get swimmers ear from taking a shower or a bath, for people who are predisposed to it.
Anything that irritates the lining of your outer ear can make you more prone to swimmers ear. For example, ear wax serves as a protective barrier to prevent swimmers ear. If you often aggressively remove ear wax, or have eczema that irritates the skin on your outer ear canal, you may be more prone to developing swimmers ear from regular daily activities.
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Can Swimming Cause Ear Infections In Toddlers
Yes. However, the infection is not of the middle ear, but of the skin of the outer ear canal. The infection does not reach the middle ear and stays restricted to the external ear. For this reason, the condition is called otitis externa or swimmers ear . Otitis externa usually occurs when excessive water enters the ears as the toddler spends too much time in the pool. The wet conditions eventually cause bacterial and fungal invasion leading to an infection.
When Should Someone Contact Gp
NHS doctors stated that it is not necessary to contact the GP immediately. The local pharmacist can always give you an ear drop that will treat your ear pain. However, here are some reasons when you should contact your GP:
- If there is something stuck inside the ear
- Other symptoms include vomiting, hearing loss, sore throat, high fever, discharge from ears, or swelling on the ear
- Earache does not improve within a week after applying an eardrop
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You Dont Pee After Sex
The threat of getting a UTI shouldnt stop you from getting it on. But that doesnt mean resigning yourself to the afterburn.
One simple way to cut your risk: Head to the potty after youve finished your romp. Youll possibly flush out the bacteria that may have made their way into your urinary tract. Urinary Tract Infection. .
Check If It’s An Ear Infection
The symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and include:
- discharge running out of the ear
- a feeling of pressure or fullness inside the ear
- itching and irritation in and around the ear
- scaly skin in and around the ear
Young children and babies with an ear infection may also:
- rub or pull their ear
- not react to some sounds
- be irritable or restless
- be off their food
- keep losing their balance
Most ear infections clear up within 3 days, although sometimes symptoms can last up to a week.
|Inner ear infection
|Middle ear infection
|Outer ear infection
|Can affect both children and adults
|Usually affects children
|Usually affects adults aged 45 to 75
|Caused by viral or bacterial infections
|Caused by viruses like colds and flu
|Caused by something irritating the ear canal, such as eczema, water or wearing earplugs
|Affects parts of the inner ear like the labyrinth and vestibular system, and can lead to labyrinthitis
|Affects the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose
|Affects the ear canal
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Outer Ear Infection In Children
Children, especially those who spend a lot of time in the water, are particularly prone to outer ear infections. Their ear canals are smaller than adults ear canals, making it more difficult for fluid to properly drain out of childrens ears. This can lead to increased infections.
Ear pain is the most common symptom of an outer ear infection. Younger children or children who cant speak may present with symptoms like:
- pulling on or tugging near their ear
- crying when touching their ear
- having fever, in rare cases
- being fussy, crying more than usual, or having trouble sleeping
- having fluid draining from the ear
Remedies For Water In Ear
Water in the ears can cause a feeling of fullness in the ear and impair hearing. This can be an extremely uncomfortable feeling. If suffering with these feelings after a bath or a swim, you should try and remove as much of the water from your ear as soon as possible. This will prevent bacteria build-up. Here are some easy ways in which you can clear the water from your ear.
- Tilt the head, from side to side. If the feeling is present in the left ear, tilt the head to the left and hit the opposite side with your palm. Dry the outer ear well. You can also use a special ear drier.
- Add more water. This may not sound like a good idea, but it works to get rid of excess water in the ear. Lie down and have someone, using a dropper, squeeze a few drops of water into the affected ear. Once done, turn immediately to the other side. You can feel the water pour out of your ear.
- Apply pressure. Lay on the bed with your head hanging off the side of the bed, with the affected ear facing down. Put your palm tight against the affected ear and then let go. This has a suction effect and helps pull out the excess water in the ear.
- Try putting rubbing alcohol. The application of 2 to 3 drops of rubbing alcohol in the ear and turning 3 seconds later to the other side can drain excess water.
- Try over-the-counter medication.
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When To See A Doctor
In some cases of swimmers ear when the infection is very severe, you will need to seek medical advice. The doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and examine your ear canal with an otoscope. Based on the severity of the infection, medication and further treatment will be prescribed.
In case your eardrum has ruptured due to the infection or by inserting foreign objects to remove the water, you will be referred to an ENT specialist. This specialist will further examine your condition and prescribe the next course of treatment.
If your condition doesnt respond to treatment, your doctor will collect a sample of the fluid, debris, or ear wax for analysis. This will help identify the bacteria that is causing the infection and appropriate antibiotics can then l be prescribed to treat it.
In conclusion, swimmers ear is a bacterial infection generally caused due to waterlogging in your auditory ear canal. There are a few swimmers ear remedies like using rubbing alcohol and vinegar or garlic-infused extra virgin olive that may help remove water and prevent infection. You can also try some OTC ear drops, however, you need to check with your doctor before self-medicating. If your symptoms dont reduce after trying home remedies, you may need to seek medical help.
Types Of Ear Discharge
- Pus or Cloudy Fluid. This is the most common type of ear discharge. The main cause is an ear infection. The drainage is from a torn eardrum. The eardrum ruptures in about 10% of bacterial ear infections.
- Ear Tube Fluid Release. Children with frequent ear infections may get ventilation tubes put in. These help the middle ear drain its fluids and become dry. Sometimes, the ear tube gets plugged up. Normal fluids build up in the middle ear until the ear tube opens up again. This can cause some clear fluid drainage from the ear canal for a day.
- Earwax. Earwax is light brown, dark brown, or orange brown in color. If it gets wet, it can look like a discharge.
- Blood. This follows an injury to the ear. Usually, it’s just a minor scratch of the lining of the ear canal.
- Water. Bath water or tears can get in the ear canal. Seeing a clear “discharge” that happens once is likely this.
- Ear Drops. The person who sees the discharge may not know someone else put in drops.
- Swimmer’s Ear Discharge. Early symptoms are an itchy ear canal. Later symptoms include a whitish, watery discharge. Mainly occurs in swimmers and in the summer time.
- Ear Canal Foreign Object. Young children may put small objects in their ear canal. It can cause a low grade infection and pus colored discharge. If the object was sharp, the discharge may have streaks of blood.
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Treatment Of Outer Ear Pain
To treat outer ear pain doctors, give painkillers and ear drops. Most of these are available at your local pharmacies, and you do not need any prescription either.
Furthermore, acute ear infections or pain caused due to bacteria need a special ear spray or drops that need to be prescribed by a physician. If it does no improve within a week, then you need to see the doctor again.
Tips To Prevent Swimmers Ear:
- After showering, hair washing or swimming, help the water run out of the ear by having your child tilt her head to one side.
- Hold a hair dryer, set on low, at arms length away from the ear to dry it.
- Dont use cotton swabs to clean the ear as this can pack the earwax and cause water to get trapped behind it.
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What Else Can I Do For Swimmers Ear
Follow your doctor’s directions carefully and use all of your medicine. Swimmer’s ear can be hard to treat. Here are some things that will help you get better:
- Keep your ear as dry as possible for 7 to 10 days. Take baths instead of showers. Try to keep water out of your ears when you wash your hair. Use a cotton ball to protect your ear from water while bathing . Don’t swim or play other water sports. If you’re on a swim team, ask your doctor before you return to swimming.
- Don’t put anything except the prescribed medicine in your ears. Scratching and rubbing will only make swimmer’s ear worse.
Symptoms are usually much better in 3 days. They should be completely gone in 10 days. If you’re not better by then, call your doctor.
Outer Ear Pain When Touched
Most of the time, outer ear pain leads to swelling or redness of the ear. These are the common signs of earache. Also, most of the time, it is caused due to bacterial infections. Rarely can it be due to viruses, allergies, or fungi.
Furthermore, the outer ear is divided into two parts: the auricle and the outer ear canal. The ear canal leads from the eardrum to the auricle.
In medical terms, outer ear inflammation is called otitis externa, which is mainly caused due to infections.
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Causes Of Outer Ear Pain
Often, an ear infection is caused due to bacteria and sometimes yeast, but it is less common. Moreover, viral infections such as fever or some types of shingles can lead to an ear infection.
There can also be an allergic reaction that might be caused due to a hair oil or shampoo.
Furthermore, it is also called swimmers ear as germs and bacteria can easily get inside the ear when swimming.
Additionally, minor outer ear injuries can cause pain, such as cleaning the ear with earbuds every day or regularly wearing earphones for a long period.
How To Remove Water From Your Pets Ears
The best way to prevent ear infections is to thoroughly dry your dogs ears anytime theyre exposed to water. While theyll likely shake their head and body vigorously after a bath or swim, its difficult for dogs to get water out entirely. You can step in with a towel and a few supplies by following these steps:
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Stabbing Pain In Ear Nhs
NHS is the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. They have shared some of their knowledge on why there can be sudden stabbing pain in ear.
According to the NHS, ear pain is a common problem, mainly in kids. It might be worrying. However, it mostly causes minor infections, and it gets better within a week without any treatment.
Furthermore, the sudden stabbing pain in the ear can be dull, burning, or sharp, which might be constant or come and go. It can affect one or both of your ears.
Can A Toddler Travel By Air With An Ear Infection
No. A toddler should not travel by air in case he suffers from ear infection as the change in air pressure inside the aircraft can cause piercing ear pain . The eustachian tube opens and closes due to cabin pressure causing the pain. A toddler can travel two weeks after complete recovery from the ear infection. The AAP recommends consulting a pediatrician before flying with the toddler within two weeks of the ear infection . If the doctor finds the toddlers ear in a healthy state for air travel, then he may recommend doing so.
What Is The Treatment For Ear Infections
The treatment for ear infections may include any of the following:
- If your doctor thinks the infection is caused by bacteria, he or she may prescribe an antibiotic. It’s very important to follow the directions for giving your child the medicine.
- Pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help make your child feel better and reduce fever. Never give your child aspirin. Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome is a serious illness that can lead to death. Doctors recommend that parents should not give aspirin to children younger than 18 years of age.
- A warm heating pad held over the ear can also help relieve pain from the earache.
- Your doctor may also prescribe ear drops to relieve pain.