Health Care

How to Avoid Swimmer's Ear This Year

Little girl swimming in pool

Many Florida families enjoy spending time splashing around in the water year-round — whether it’s at a pool, lake or beach — in order to keep cool and have fun. And our team often treats cases of otitis externa, or “swimmer’s ear,” which can develop after time spent in the water.

Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Physician and Facial Plastic Surgeon, Joseph Derbyshire, DO, is here with helpful information on symptoms of swimmer’s ear, how to avoid getting it and how to treat it. We can treat swimmer’s ear and other common ear infections all year long whenever you need us.

Signs to Watch For

Swimmer’s ear is an infection that can develop when water gets trapped in the ear canal, usually after swimming or bathing. Dr. Derbyshire explains, “Unlike a middle ear infection, which is hard to see from the outside, some signs of swimmer’s ear are very noticeable.” Symptoms include:

  • Foul-smelling drainage
  • Itchy outer ear
  • Pain when the earlobe is pulled
  • Redness and swelling

How to Steer Clear of Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is most common in children, but anyone can get it. Dr. Derbyshire advises, “To help prevent a case from developing, you can try swimming with a bathing cap or earplugs, use a towel to dry your ears after being in water and slowly tilt your head to each side to let water drain out of your ear canal.”

Treating Swimmer’s Ear

If you experience swimmer’s ear, you can ease your discomfort by holding a warm compress to the area and taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen or Tylenol. “Antibiotic ear drops can also help clear up the infection if needed,” says Dr. Derbyshire.

When You Visit Us, We’re All Ears

At AdventHealth Dade City, we’re always ready to help with ear pain and infections, or other uncomfortable symptoms you may be experiencing.

Learn more about how we can help you feel your very best here.

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