Swimmers Ear Home Remedies - Symptoms, Relief and Prevention

Swimmers ear (also called otitis externa) is a painful inflammation of outer part of the ear canal (outer ear) suffered by swimmers, scuba and snorkel divers and surfers that can be treated and prevented via homes remedies to address the symptoms.

It is relatively common in young children and teenagers who spend a lot of time swimming or surfing. Up to 10% of the population may develop this condition in their lifetime.

Competitive swimmers and adults that swim regularly can be affected as well but many of these regularly use ear plugs as a preventative measures.

It can be made worse by fungus and other infections.

This article provides a guide to the symptoms of swimmers ear and tip for the many home remedies to relief and prevention of swimmers ear.

Swimmer's Ear Symptoms

Usually, swimmer's ear is easy detected, easy to prevent and easy to treat in mild form with home remedies.

If necessary, people afflicted by swimmers' ear over long periods of time, or with fever or sever pain or swelling should visit to a health care professional.

Over exposure the water and chronic swimmers' ear can lead to narrowing of the ear canal and several serious problems potentially affecting hearing.

The common symptoms of swimmers ear are:

When to Seek Medical Care for Swimmers Ear

Seek professional medical care immediately in the following circumstances:

What are the Causes of Swimmers Ear

The lining the ear canal and outer ear normally provides an effective guard against infection from fungi and bacteria, which is enhanced as the skin lining is generally slightly acidic. The lining also provides a barrier that protects against the effects of excessive moisture.

However, with prolonged exposure to water the ear canal defenses can get overwhelmed. Bacteria and fungi thrive in the moist and wet conditions and can infect the skin causing inflammation as the body tries to fight the invasion.

Any physical break in the skin lining cause by abrasion from cotton buds and other things used to try to dry the ear can provide a site for infection.

Excessive water in the ear canal changes the acidic environment of the ear canal, and allows for the invasion by fungi or bacteria or both.

Surfers may get sand and other debris in the ear which may cause abrasion.

Chemicals such as hair dyes, bleaches, and harsh shampoos may get in the ear canal and alter its protective properties. An infection develops leading to swimmers ear.

Generally, the inflammation is caused by bacteria or fungus or both, which complicates the treatment as different chemicals such as antibiotics are required to treat these different types of organisms.

Home Remedies for Swimmers Ear

Like most things prevention is far better than trying to develop it once it has developed into an infection.