Swimmer’s Ear Prevention

Splish, splash – oops! Looks like you’ve now got Swimmer’s Ear! This doesn’t mean that every time you go into the water you will develop Swimmer’s Ear; however, it is much more common in the summer months, given all that swimming and showering because of the heat.

Otitis Externa, aka Swimmer’s Ear, occurs when moisture within the ear canal promotes the growth of bacteria, causing an infection. Our ear canal skin is very sensitive and some people may be vulnerable to infection. Water can typically move in and out of our ears easily. But when too much water remains in the canal, bacteria may flourish. Other things can cause this type of ear infection as well, like extended wearing of ear buds, or aggressive cleaning with swabs, which can scratch the ear canal. Symptoms of Otitis Externa are usually pain in the ear, feeling that your ear is blocked, and sometimes drainage or crustiness in the ear canal.

  • Keep your ears dry.
    • Use a towel to dry your outer ear
    • Drain your ears by tipping your head to one side, letting the water trickle out
    • Avoid using sharp objects to get water out or scratch an itch
    • Be careful while swimming if you are known to be susceptible
    • Wear a swimming cap
    • Use ear plugs made specifically for swimming
  • Invest in preventative ear drops.
    • At home remedies: Mix together 1 part white vinegar and 1 part rubbing alcohol. This combo helps with pre-drying and prevents the growth of bacteria.
    • Over the counter ear drops can be purchased at a local pharmacy.

AFC Urgent Care Watertown specializes in treating Swimmer’s Ear and is available, with no appointment or referral necessary, to help treat any symptoms or discomfort. Visit us today at 376 Arsenal St. in Watertown, MA or call us at 617-923-2273!


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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