How Long Does it Take for Swimmer's Ear to Go Away?

July 30, 2022

Swimmer's ear is a common occurrence that causes an infection when water gets trapped in the ear canal. It can cause pain, itching, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Mild cases of swimmer's ear can be treated with a prescription of antibiotics, but how long it takes for it to go away varies from person to person. In this blog post, we'll discuss what you can do to speed up the healing process.

AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale provides professional ear cleanings to all patients. A swimmer’s ear can be caused by a buildup of wax, so ear cleanings can help with this process. If you’re suffering from any type of ear pain, visit our center for immediate treatment. 

What is a swimmer's ear?

Swimmer's ear impacts the outer ear canal, causing an infection. It often occurs after water gets trapped in the ear canal, which can happen when you swim, shower, or clean your ears with a cotton swab. This trapped water creates a warm, moist environment that is ideal for bacteria to grow.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of swimmer's ear is pain. It can range from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing pain. You may also feel itching, redness, and a sense of fullness in the affected ear.

What are some of the best ways to treat swimmer's ear if you do get it?

If you have swimmer's ear, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the healing process:

  • Use a warm compress. Apply a warm, wet compress to the ear for 20 minutes several times a day. This will help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Use an ear drop solution. You can buy these solutions over the counter or make your own by mixing equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Apply a few drops to the affected ear several times a day. However, if you have a ruptured eardrum, don’t put any drops in your ear unless your doctor has said it’s okay. 
  • Keep the affected ear dry. Avoid swimming, showering, or getting water in your ear until the infection has cleared up. You may also want to use a cotton ball to keep water out when you shower.
  • Seek medical attention if the pain doesn’t get better, gets more severe, or if you start having drainage from your ear. 


How long does it take for swimmer’s ear to go away?

Most cases of swimmer's ear can be treated at home and will improve within a week. However, some cases may last longer and may require medication. If you have any concerns, be sure to see your doctor.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of swimmer’s ear, it is best to start treatment right away. AFC Hillsdale can help you get relief from swimmer's ear quickly and effectively. We can recommend a variety of treatments that can help soothe the pain and discomfort associated with this condition and speed up the healing process.

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