Ear Pain After Swimming

Ear Pain

On image: Ear Pain

Pain in ear after swimming normally will represent one thing: swimmer’s ear. This is an infection that develops when bacteria go into the ear canal from the water and might emerge a number of days after swimming. This condition can impact a swimmer of any age, but is more typical in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ear pain after swimming requires antibiotic treatment. Speak with a physician if you suspect an ear infection or get an earache after swimming.

What Causes Ear Pain After Swimming

Otitis externa or external otitis is the medical term for ear pain after swimming or swimmer’s ear. The pain is due to pressure and possibly a sore simply inside the ear canal. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a type of common bacteria found in both soil and water that causes the infection. When water sits inside the canal, the number of bacteria present increase with time. This is one reason an earache might develop days after the swim. Symptoms of ear pain after swimming consist of pain, itch inside the ear, swelling outside the ear and a sense of fullness. There may be a reduction in hearing.

Also read: Why does My Ear Hurt When I Chew

Treatment for Ear Pain After Swimming

Treatment of Ear Pain After Swimming includes antibiotic drops for 7 to 10 days. Use a heating pad, set to low, to the outside of the ear to minimize pain. Your doctor may suggest an over the counter pain medication too. It is vital that you do not scratch inside the ear canal. This might spread the infection.

Keep the ear dry if possible and avoid swimming until the infection clears. When you bathe, dip a cotton ball in petroleum jelly and place it over the opening of the canal. Do not force the cotton inside; the petroleum jelly will assist it abide by the skin.

How to Prevent Ear Pain After Swimming

Tip your head from side to side when you are out of the pool. This assists water drain from the canal. The American Academy of Family Physicians advises a hair clothes dryer set low to dry the ear. Hold the dryer numerous inches away from your ear. If you are prone to ear ache after swimming, think about ear plugs to keep the water out when you swim or bathe.

Factors to consider

Swimmer’s ear and a middle ear infection are not the exact same thing, however may have comparable symptoms. One method to tell if you do have otitis externa is to pull on your ear lobe. Pain in ear after swimming will increase if you have swimmer’s ear.

It is vital to get treatment for any ear infection. An infection can aggravate and cause damage to the fragile structure of the ear. Severe infections may rely on meningitis or infect the brain and become dangerous. If you have chronic infections, ask your doctor what you can do to minimize exposure.


Last modified: August 30, 2017

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