Preventing Swimmer's Ear: Know The Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options!

July 5, 2023

Young guy getting his ear checked by a provider at AFC Urgent Care Worcester

Swimmer's ear, known as otitis externa in the medical world, is a common infection that affects the outer ear canal. It typically occurs due to exposure to moisture, making it a frequent concern for swimmers and those in humid environments. To help you stay informed and protect yourself from this uncomfortable condition, we present this comprehensive guide to preventing swimmer's ear.

What Causes Swimmer Ear?

Swimmer's ear is primarily caused by bacteria or fungi entering the ear canal. Prolonged exposure to moisture provides the perfect breeding ground for these microorganisms to flourish. Swimming, bathing, excessive sweating, and even minor trauma to the ear canal can increase the risk of infection. Recognizing the underlying causes is crucial for effective prevention.

Symptoms Of Swimmer’s Ear 

Early identification of swimmer's ear symptoms can help you start treatment right away. Look out for the following signs:

  • Ear Pain: Swimmer's ear often presents with significant pain, especially when the ear is touched or pulled.
  • Itching and Redness: The infected ear may become itchy, red, and swollen.
  • Discharge: Pus-like or watery discharge, accompanied by an unpleasant odor, may be present.
  • Hearing Difficulties: Inflammation and blockage in the ear canal can lead to temporary hearing loss or muffled sounds.
  • Jaw or Neck Discomfort: Swimmer's ear can cause referred pain in the jaw or neck area.

Swimmer’s Ear Prevention Tips

Take proactive measures to reduce your risk of developing swimmer's ear. Follow these preventive strategies:

  • Keep Ears Dry: After swimming or showering, gently dry your ears using a towel. Tilting your head from side to side can help facilitate drainage.
  • Avoid Foreign Objects: Refrain from inserting cotton swabs or other objects into your ears, as they can damage the delicate skin and increase the risk of infection.
  • Use Earplugs: Consider wearing earplugs specifically designed for swimming or bathing to keep water out of the ear canal.
  • Limit Moisture Exposure: Minimize extended periods of swimming or diving in untreated water, and avoid overly humid environments whenever possible.

AFC Urgent Care Worcester Can Treat Swimmer’s Ear

If you experience symptoms of swimmer's ear or need professional guidance, AFC Urgent Care Worcester is here to help. Our dedicated team of medical professionals specializes in providing comprehensive care for swimmer's ear and other common medical conditions. When you visit our facility, you can expect:

  • Thorough Evaluation: Our experienced healthcare providers will conduct a comprehensive assessment, examining your ears and reviewing your medical history to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Treatment Options: We offer effective treatment approaches tailored to your specific condition. This may include ear cleaning to remove debris and infected material, prescription ear drops to combat the infection, and pain management strategies to alleviate discomfort.
  • Follow-Up Care: Our team will provide guidance on proper ear care and advise you on when to schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and ensure complete healing.
  • Expert Advice: We prioritize patient education, providing valuable insights and recommendations on preventive measures to help you minimize the risk of swimmer's ear recurrence.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or visit our walk-in clinic for timely care. And don’t forget, with just a few clicks you can check in and check out with our new online bill pay option.

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