As the weather gets warmer in Atlanta and you start heading to the pool or lakes for a few hours of swimming, make sure you're taking good care of your health. Swimmer's ear is a common problem during the warm weather months and is caused by germs entering the ears while swimming. When these germs grow and multiply, the ear canal can become infected and may require treatment. Fortunately, this type of infection can be prevented.
Here are some useful tips for preventing swimmer's ear this spring:
- Clean out ears thoroughly after a swim: Whether you're swimming in a pool or enjoying a dip in the ocean, make sure you're keeping the ear canal as dry as possible by cleaning out your ears thoroughly. You can do this just by tipping your head to one side until the water runs out and drying the area with a clean towel. This not only prevents swimmer's ear, it can also improve hearing.
- Clean out ear wax regularly: Avoid using a cotton swab or any type of small instrument to clean out ear wax. This can damage the ear canal and increase the risk of infection. Instead try ear candling. It is a safe and natural method for removing ear wax.
- Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect ears: You can use a few drops of rubbing alcohol before or after a swim to clean out any bacteria and prevent an infection that may lead to swimmer's ear. Mix equal parts of alcohol and white vinegar. Then put the solution in a dropper bottle for easy dispensing. Just avoid excessive use of rubbing alcohol as this can cause dryness and inflammation of the skin in and around the ear. If you need a lubricant instead, a few drops of olive oil can help calm the skin. Talk to a dermatologist if you have any excessive dryness or inflammation of the skin.
If you or someone in the family has swimmer's ear or is showing symptoms of this common problem, set up an appointment with an Atlanta doctor as soon as possible.