As the name suggests swimmers ear is pain in the ears experienced by many swimmers, however the problem is not necessarily limited only to swimmers. It can occur to anyone whose ear canal is exposed to moisture and water very frequently. In this condition the ear canal gets swollen and irritated due to infection. In medical parlance, the disease is called otitis externa.
The ear canal is a cylindrical tube which extends from the outer ear to the ear drum. The length of ear canal is almost 2 to 2.5 cm. Main function of ear canal is to protect the inner ear from foreign bodies and infective organisms, mostly bacteria and fungus.
Normally it is not possible for the bacteria and fungus to invade the external ear canal. But if there is a break in the lining of ear canal, it becomes a favorable ground for the infective organisms to multiply. Even too much exposure to moisture as in case of swimming may alter the inhospitable environment to more favorable one for the microorganism to grow. All these reasons together are responsible for swimmer’s ear. Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas are two bacterial organisms most often responsible for this condition. In few cases the reason for swimmers ear is fungus infection.
Symptoms Of Swimmers Ear
Pain is the first symptom of swimmers ear. In the beginning it is gradual but after a day or two it becomes intense. Mostly one ear is affected. Pain is aggravated by slightest touch. There may be slight itching in the ear canal. Ear canal may get inflamed and red.
There may be mild clear white fluid drainage from the canal. A badly inflamed ear canal may give rise to hearing problems. Fever and ringing in ear are other concomitant symptoms that may be experienced by the patient.
Swimmers Ear Home Remedy
Usually otitis externa is treated with antibiotic ear drops, and anti-inflammatory medicines. However, there are several home remedies that are found to be equivalent to conventional medication. Let us know about them.
- Placing a warm water bottle wrapped in a clean cloth over the painful ear can give relief from pain. It is simplest and easily available home remedy when there is sudden pain in the ear. It is useful in absence of medicines and other curative options.
- White vinegar is also useful in reducing symptoms of swimmers ear. Mix vinegar and water in equal quantities. Instill two to three drops of the prepared solution in the painful ear. Vinegar is known for its anti bacterial and antifungal properties. It kills as well as restricts the multiplication of microorganisms in the external ear canal.
- Warm few cloves of garlic in coconut or olive oil. Let the oil cool down. Not filter the oil with a clean cloth and instill few drops of prepared garlic oil in the painful ear. It is one of the most effective home remedy for treating swimmers ear.
Rubbing Alcohol For Swimmers Ear Remedy
Rubbing alcohol needs a special mention in treating swimmers ear. In order to prevent bacteria and fungus growth in the ear canal, it is important to keep it dry. Due to its drying property, rubbing alcohol can be used safely as long as the eardrum is not punctured. Tilt your head in such a way that the affected ear faces towards the ceiling. Instill few drops of rubbing alcohol in the ear canal with a dropper and let it remain for one or two minutes. Now tilt your head towards the floor to let out the remaining alcohol. It is one of the effective home remedies widely used by many people.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide For Swimmers Ear
Hydrogen peroxide is often used to treat swimmers ear. But many people are not completely accepting it as a home remedy. It is well known that the effervescent quality of hydrogen peroxide helps to soften hard debris and crust. But sometime if the eardrum is perforated it may proliferate deep inside the inner ear and create problems and complications. Therefore if you are sure there is no eardrum perforation than only hydrogen peroxide used for swimmer ear problem.