Taking care of your ears is critical, and if you’re experiencing symptoms associated with swimmer’s ear, it’s essential to act right away.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to help alleviate the condition, like using an over-the-counter ear drop formulated for swimmer’s ear, drying the ear canal completely after swimming, and increasing humidity using a humidifier, especially at night.
If symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to contact your local urgent care clinic for professional medical attention.
What Is Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear canal caused by bacteria, water, or fungus that causes inflammation.
Swimmer’s ear occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal during swimming or showering, creating a favorable environment for bacteria to grow.
Symptoms of swimmer’s ear often include itching, pain, redness, and discharge from the affected area.
Left untreated, severe swimmer’s ear may cause hearing loss and disrupt your daily activities like sleeping or even working.
Go to an Urgent Care Clinic or a Doctor
If you think you may have swimmer’s ear, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic for treatment.
Your doctor will diagnose your possible swimmer’s ear and provide treatment accordingly.
Treatment typically involves prescription medications like antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications help reduce inflammation and kill off any bacteria that may have entered your ear canal.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to ensure that you heal.
How is Swimmer’s Ear Treated?
The primary goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and dry up any excess moisture that may have built up.
So, your doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic ointment, steroid drops, or acidifying solution that can help reduce irritation. They may also recommend over-the-counter pain medications to manage any persistent discomfort.
Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms
Some common symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:
- Pain when moving your head (like nodding)
- Itching inside your ears
- Swelling around the outside of your ears
- Fluid drainage from one or both ears (which may be yellowish-green)
- Muffled hearing
- Fever if you have a bacterial infection
If you experience these symptoms after swimming or bathing, consider seeing a doctor immediately. That way, they can properly diagnose and treat the underlying cause of these symptoms.
Can Swimmer’s Ear Heal on Its Own
Unfortunately, swimmer’s ear cannot heal without any medical intervention.
If left untreated, the infection can worsen over time, leading to more severe complications like hearing loss or permanent damage to your inner ear. So, seeking medical attention is crucial if you suspect you may have swimmer’s ear.
Swimmer’s ear is a common and treatable condition that affects many people.
It’s important to take steps to both prevent the condition from developing and treat it promptly if you experience the symptoms.
Keeping your ears dry when swimming, wearing ear plugs or other waterproof protection, and consulting with a doctor if you think you have swimmer’s ear may help protect your ears.
Don’t put off seeking medical attention for a potential case of swimmer’s ear, and remember that prevention is key.
Common services provided by urgent care centers include in-person & virtual care for ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, physical examinations, and more.