If you want to enjoy your summer then this month is the best time to enjoy swimming. But if you are not ready for swimming then it can harm your body, especially ear. Sometimes, swimmers face the body itching problems while swimming. However, such activities can also bring along problems associated with your ears like swimmer’s itch, swimmer’s ear etc.
You can get your ears infected due to the trapping of contaminated water in your ear canal. This is what is known as ‘Swimmers ear’ or as the doctors call it, Otitis externa.
Use Alcohol and Vinegar solution
This remedy is found to be most effective against swimmers ear. A solution of alcohol and vinegar helps you get rid of it as follows:
- Alcohol, being a drying agent, mixes with water and soaks up all the moisture from your ear canal.
- Vinegar, being a disinfectant, kills off the bacterial growth within the ear canal, thereby sterilizing it.
It is recommended that you use this solution after coming from the swimming sessions if you are a regular swimmer.
Note: take isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.
Use Essential oils
This remedy can be used if the swimmer’s ear has progressed to the advanced stage.
- Take a cotton ball and add a few drops of helichrysum or Melaleuca, and basil to it.
- Now, place this cotton ball into your ear opening.
- Replace every 4-6 hours according to your pain and infection.
Note: you should never drop essential oils directly into your ear canal.
Use Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide kills the bacteria by acting as a disinfectant. It mitigates the pain in swimmer’s ear and helps in subsiding the inflammation by relieving the symptoms.
- Put 4-5 drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your affected ear.
- Wait for some time. Now tilt your head downwards to let it drain out.
- Use hydrogen peroxide strictly in a 3% concentration and put it in your ear three times daily for 3 to 4 days.
Note: using a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide can damage your ears.
Use Warm Olive oil
Olive oil, being a natural antibacterial agent, flushes the bacterial growth out of your ear. Moreover, it also treats the dry and flaky skin in your ear canal which causes due to swimmer’s ear.
- Microwave 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 seconds.
- Take it out and let it cool down to a temperature which is warm but not hot and is comfortable for your skin.
- Take an eye dropper and put 3-4 drops of olive oil into your ear canal. The warmth of the oil should instantly soothe your pain.
- Wait for some time. Then tilt your head downwards to drain out the excess olive oil onto a cotton ball.
- Repeat the process twice daily for 3-4 days. Your infection will eventually go away.
Use Garlic Oil
Adding garlic to the olive oil enhances the infection-fighting ability of olive oil and thus, effectively helps get rid of summer’s ear. Garlic contains a compound allicin which has antibacterial properties. The resulting garlic oil drains the water out of your ear and treats the infection at a faster rate.
- Add 2 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped, obviously) and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl.
- High microwave it for 2 minutes. This process makes the garlic release its antibacterial properties into the olive oil.
- Take it out and allow it cool off to room temperature.
- Now, lie down comfortably with the affected ear facing upwards.
- Drop 2-4 drops of garlic oil using an eye dropper.
- Allow the drops to sit into your ear canal properly.
- Now tilt your head downwards and let the excess oil drain out completely.
You can use garlic oil in combination with the warm compress process to also relieve the pain.
Apply Warm Compress
A warm compress can provide you instant but temporary relief from intense pain caused due to swimmer’s ear. You can either use a dry heat or wet heat, whichever is suitable for you.
- Soak a soft cloth, which is woven from wool, in hot water or microwave it. The water should be bearable hot not scalding.
- Wring it and place it on your affected ear.
- Let your ear muscles absorb its heat.
- Again soak the cloth in hot water and apply it on your ear.
- Repeat until your ear pain subsides.
- You can use the warm compress whenever the pain grows in your ear.
Regular swimmers might frequently face the problem of swimmer’s ear. Therefore, they can use earplugs to avoid this from happening by preventing the water from entering the ear.
- Earplugs keep the water off your ear canal and thus keep it dry and protected. This ensures your ear doesn’t turn into a welcoming place for the growth of microbes.
- Earplugs assist in an efficient healing of your ears if you are already suffering from swimmer’s ear. They keep your ears dry and obstruct the entry of water.
Seek medical help
If nothing mentioned above works, you should ask a doctor about its treatment. A doctor would examine your ear and recommend:
- Antibiotics in case your infection has spread
- An antibacterial eardrop
- Surgical cleaning
- Drainage by incising
Explain everything to your doctor and provide all details if you have diabetes, had ear-drum surgery in the past, or are immune-compromised.
What are tips that can help you avoid/get rid of swimmer’s ear?
- Drip 2-3 drops of colloidal silver into your affected ear once or twice a day to relieve the symptoms of swimmer’s ear.
- Chewing and yawning can cause the drainage of excess fluid from your ear.
- You can use a blow-dryer in order to dry out your ears after swimming or showering. Keep the blow-dryer 18 inches from your ear and use it at its lowest (coolest) setting.
- Put cotton balls in your ears whenever you are applying hair products or hair dye.
- Keep your ears clean by regularly visiting an ENT doctor.
- Avoid cleaning your ears using a cotton swab. This does more harm to them than the benefit as it scraps off your thin layer of wax which is necessary for a healthy functioning of your ears.
I have tried these methods without incident, but that doesn’t mean they will always work for others. These are some of the best swimmer’s ear tips listed above. If you are suffering from ear problems due to swimming then use these on a daily basis for faster results.