Summertime is here, and one of the many exciting activities of the season is swimming. Swimming is a great way to stay cool in the summer heat, and is fun for adults and kids alike. But it isn’t fun when your ears get irritated by bacteria in the water while swimming, causing an earache.
Whether swimming in a pool, splashing at a splash pad, or floating on beach waves, swimmer’s ear can happen to anyone. This irritating earache usually causes the ear to feel itchy, painful, and full of pressure. The good news is relief can be found with help from a McAllen ENT. Keep reading to learn more about swimmer’s ear and where you can go to find earache relief.
What Causes Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the ear’s outer layer that is mostly caused by bacteria. Swimming in dirty water is the most common cause, but an infection can also be caused by attempting to remove an obstacle, scratching the inside or outside of the ear, or cleaning the ear with a swab. Even the high Texas humidity can create extra moisture in the ear, breeding harmful bacteria.
What Are the Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear?
Everyone’s body may react a little bit differently when fighting off an infection such as swimmer’s ear. Some people may experience several symptoms, but others may only have one or two. Common symptoms of swimmer’s ear are as follows:
- Itchy ear
- Ear redness
- Pus drainage
- Muffled hearing
What Treatments Are Available for Swimmer’s Ear?
Because swimmer’s ear can spread and cause more problematic infections, it’s important to see an ENT when symptoms of swimmer’s ear begin. Treatment may last 7 to 14 days, depending on the severity and depth of the ear infection. Swimmer’s ear can be treated in a few different ways.
Two types of ear drops may be used to fight the infection. Antibiotic ear drops are commonly used to kill harmful bacteria. You may also be prescribed corticosteroid ear drops to help reduce swelling and itching while the antibiotic works to kill the infection.
Infections that have spread further inside the ear may need a different approach. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed in place of antibiotic ear drops. You may also be given corticosteroid ear drops with the oral antibiotics for optimal earache relief and recovery.
While waiting for the antibiotics to kick in, your doctor might recommend you take an over-the-counter pain reducer. You can also apply a heating pad on the outside of the infected ear to reduce pain. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have about pain-reducing methods.
Find Earache Relief at Glatz Group of Valley ENT
Swimmer’s ear is a pesky type of infection, but it doesn’t have to ruin your whole summer! If you are experiencing an earache in McAllen, don’t spend your summer days suffering.
With the right ENT for you and your loved ones, you can find the help you need to fight that infection. Let the compassionate team at Glatz Group to care for your earache needs today!