How Long Does Swimmer's Ear Last?

May 9, 2023

This summer, you may be planning to take some trips to the pool or beach and relax in the water. While swimming can be a fun activity for the whole family, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and causes of swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear is a common condition that occurs when water gets into the ear canal and causes inflammation or infection. Also referred to as otitis externa, swimmer’s ear can cause uncomfortable symptoms that can linger if left untreated.

For same-day swimmer’s ear treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst. Our team of board-certified medical providers specialize in a wide range of acute conditions. Simply walk into the clinic or schedule your appointment online today.

Signs and Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is usually caused by water that remains in the ear canal after spending time swimming. The trapped water can create a moist environment that pushes the growth of bacteria or fungi, leading to infection. The symptoms can vary depending on the severity of infection. Mild cases may only cause slight discomfort, while more severe infections can be moderately painful.

Common swimmer’s ear symptoms include:

  • Ear pain
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fluid drainage
  • Hearing trouble

How Long Does Swimmer’s Ear Last?

Swimmer’s ear can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the severity of infection and treatment regimen followed. Mild cases of swimmer’s ear may clear up within a few days of proper treatment and self-care. However, severe infections can take a few weeks to heal completely. It’s important to note that even after the symptoms subside, it’s possible that residual inflammation or irritation could occur in the ear canal. This also makes it easier to re-infection. Therefore, it’s important to take caution and prevent swimmer’s ear from recurring. After your swimmer’s ear infection clears up, be sure to avoid getting water in the ears for a few weeks post-infection.

Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear

The treatment for swimmer’s ear will depend on the severity of infection. Mild cases are typically treated with over-the-counter ear drops that contain anti-inflammatory medication. More severe cases of swimmer’s ear may require prescription ear drops or oral antibiotics, which can be prescribed at an urgent care center. In addition to medical treatment, some self-care remedies can help alleviate the symptoms and aid the healing process.

To relieve your swimmer’s ear symptoms, make sure to:

  • Avoid getting water in the ear
  • Keep the ear dry
  • Avoid swimming or other water activities
  • Apply a warm compress to the affected ear
  • Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest

Get Swimmer’s Ear Treatment at AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst

Swimmer’s ear  is a common condition during the spring and summer months. Come visit us at AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst for swimmer’s ear care. Our board-certified medical team can examine your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and make the best recommendations for care. The clinic is open seven days a week and accepts most major health insurances. If you have any further questions about swimmer’s ear, or other services we provide, please call us directly at (201) 345-3839.

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