Splish splash, and now my ear hurts. Why?
Swimmer's ear, also known as otitis externa, is a prevalent infection that affects the outer ear canal. It occurs when bacteria or fungi thrive in a moist ear environment. While swimmers are commonly affected, it can also be caused by excessive sweating, humid conditions, or ear canal injuries.
AFC Urgent Care Springfield understands the confusion around swimmer’s ear, and the concerns around getting it this summer. For this reason, we created a comprehensive guide on navigating swimmer’s ear so you can stay cool for the summer.
Step 1: Recognize the Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear
Early recognition of swimmer's ear symptoms is crucial for timely treatment. Look out for these telltale signs:
Ear pain: Intense discomfort, especially when touching or pulling the ear.
- Itching and redness: The affected ear may become itchy, red, and swollen.
- Discharge: Pus-like or watery fluid with an unpleasant odor.
- Hearing difficulties: Temporary hearing loss or muffled sounds due to inflammation and blockage in the ear canal.
- Jaw or neck discomfort: Pain in the jaw or neck area due to swimmer's ear.
Step 2: Seek Professional Care For Swimmer’s Ear at AFC Urgent Care Springfield
When swimmer's ear strikes, trust AFC Urgent Care Springfield for professional care. Our skilled medical professionals provide comprehensive services to diagnose and treat swimmer's ear effectively:
- Thorough examination: Our experienced team conducts a detailed assessment, considering your symptoms and medical history, to accurately diagnose swimmer's ear.
- Ear canal cleaning: Gentle removal of debris and infected material from the ear canal promotes healing and alleviates discomfort.
- Medications: Tailored prescription ear drops containing antibiotics or antifungal agents eliminate the infection and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be recommended.
- Antibiotics if needed: In severe or complex cases, oral antibiotics may be prescribed to control the infection.
- Follow-up care: We offer guidance on proper ear care and schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and ensure complete healing.
Step 3: Practice Safe Swimming With These Preventive Tips
Prevention is key to avoiding future episodes of swimmer's ear. Take these proactive steps:
- Proper ear hygiene: After swimming or showering, gently dry your ears using a towel or a hairdryer on a low setting. Tilt your head to facilitate drainage and prevent moisture buildup.
- Avoid foreign objects: Refrain from inserting cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects into your ears. Such items can damage the delicate skin and increase the risk of infection.
- Use earplugs: Safeguard your ears while swimming or bathing by wearing earplugs to prevent water from entering the ear canal.
- Limit moisture exposure: Minimize prolonged swimming in untreated water and avoid overly humid environments whenever possible.
AFC Urgent Care Springfield Is Your Swimmer’s Ear Expert
If you or a loved one experiences swimmer's ear, AFC Urgent Care Springfield is committed to providing professional and compassionate care. Our knowledgeable medical professionals will diagnose your condition, offer personalized treatment options, and provide guidance on preventive measures.
We offer convenient walk-in services for you to get treated for swimmer’s ear. You don’t have to wait for a doctor’s appointment with your primary care. We’ll take care of you!
Let AFC Urgent Care Springfield be your partner in conquering swimmer's ear and achieving a swift recovery.The best part is that you can also check in and check out in just a few clicks so you can pay your bill on the same day!