Ear - Swimmer's
See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one):
- An infection or irritation of the skin that lines the ear canal
- The ear canal is itchy or painful
- Caused by lots of swimming or using cotton swabs
- Starts with an itchy ear canal
- Ear canal can become painful
- Pain gets worse when the ear is moved up and down
- The ear feels plugged or full
- Ear discharge may start as the swimmer's ear gets worse
- No cold symptoms or fever
- When water gets trapped in the ear canal, the lining becomes wet and swollen.
- This makes it prone to an infection with germs (swimmer's ear).
- Wax buildup also traps water behind it. Most often, this is caused by cotton swabs.
- Ear canals were meant to be dry.
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- Swimmer's ear cannot be spread to others. No need to miss any school or child care.
When to Call for Ear - Swimmer's
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Call Us Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
Call Us During Weekday Office Hours If
Parent Care at Home If
CARE ADVICE FOR MILD SWIMMER'S EARWhat You Should Know:
- Swimmer's ear is a mild infection of the ear canal.
- It's caused by water getting trapped in the ear canal. Ear canals were meant to be dry.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Rinse the ear canals with half-strength white vinegar. Mix vinegar with equal parts warm water. (Exception: ear tubes or hole in eardrum.)
- Start by having your child lie down with the painful ear upward.
- Fill the ear canal.
- Wait 5 minutes. Then, turn your child's head to the side and move the ear. This will remove the vinegar rinse.
- Do the other side.
- Continue twice a day until the ear canal returns to normal.
- Reason: Restores the normal acid pH of the ear canal and lessens swelling.
- To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
- If pain is moderate to severe, use a heating pad (set on low). You can also use a warm wet cloth to outer ear. Do this for 20 minutes. (Caution: Avoid burns). This will also increase drainage.
- Try not to swim until symptoms are gone.
- If on a swim team, it's usually okay to continue.
- Swimming may slow your child's recovery, but causes no serious harm.