Swimmer's ear, a common summertime ailment

Back from your beach holiday with ear pain, itch or redness of your outer ear? You have probably enjoyed too much the water and you might have got swimmers ear.

Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is an infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. Otitis externa is five times more common in regular swimmers compared with non-swimmers. Its often brought on by water that remains in your ear after swimming, creating an environment that allows bacteria to develop. The doctor will probably prescribe ear drops that contain an antibiotic to kill the bacteria.

What you need to do to avoid otitis externa?
(1) Check the quality of the bathing water;

(2) After a shower or bath, be sure to dry your ears by draining the ear canal;

(3) Do not use cotton swabs to clean the ear canal but only the pavilion....

Some natural remedies to swimmer’s ear do exist.

(1) Garlic drops can be used in treatment of swimmers ear, but don’t use it if you have a punctured eardrum or if fluid is draining from your ear. You should also inform your doctor about the use of garlic drops if a standard treatment is prescribed to you;

(2) Heat therapy: a covered hot-water bottle or therapeutic heating wrap pressed against the infected ear may help you lessen the ache....