Swimmer's Ear Treatment

What is a Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is a common condition affecting the outer part of the ear canal which results from an inflammation, often bacterial and it leads to ear pain, blockage, and ear discharge. It usually happens when water, sand or dirt gets trapped in the outer ear canal often in swimmers. 

Factors contributing to Swimmer’s ear:

Most common cause of Swimmers ear is increased moisture or trapped water in the ear canal which helps for normal inhabitant bacteria in the ear canal to multiply and that leads to infection and irritation. Common conditions leading to swimmers’ ear are:

  • Bathing in hot tubs and polluted water.
  • Excessive cleaning of the ear canal using Q-tips/ cotton buds.
  • Underlying skin conditions like eczema
  • Damage or cut in the skin of the ear canal following ear syringing by the doctor.

Tips for preventing Swimmer's ear:

  • Use swim cap or ear plugs to keep your ears dry while swimming.
  • Avoid swimming in polluted water, make sure pool facility regularly disinfects and checks pH level of the water.
  •  Use dry tissue or towel to wipe off and clean your ear canal. Avoid using Q-tips to remove water from deep part of the ear canal.
  • A thin layer of ear wax in your ear canal usually acts as a protective barrier for infection and avoids water entry inside it. Avoid cleaning excess ear wax if its not causing any discomfort.
  • Avoid using objects like pencil, cotton swab, pen, key to scratch and clean your ears, as it might cause microlaceration and tear in the delicate ear canal skin leading to infection.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s ear:

  • Ear Pain
  • Ear Blockage, discomfort, decreased hearing
  • Ear discharge
  • Fever
  • Redness and swelling in the ear canal skin and surrounding region

Swimmer’s ear treatment:

  • Keep affected ear dry, avoid scratching or cleaning with Q-tips
  • If infection is mild, then your ENT doctor will prescribe only antibiotics containing ear drops and infection will get better in few days
  • Anti-inflammatory pain killers to treat ear pain and swelling in the ear canal.
  • Oral anti-biotics are needed for 7-10 days when there is severe ear canal infection with redness and swelling of the ear pinna and the ear canal.
If seeking swimmer’s ear treatment in Dubai, consider consulting Dr. Mustafa Kapadia, an expert in otolaryngology. With specialized knowledge in ear conditions, Dr. Kapadia offers effective remedies, including medicated ear drops and antibiotics, tailored to alleviate discomfort and resolve infection swiftly, ensuring a swift return to aquatic activities.