Acute otitis externa, commonly known as swimmer’s ear, is contracted most often during the summer time, because children will spend an extended amount of time in the water. Swimmer’s ear is not a severe illness, but it can cause a great deal of pain. This pain can lead to a visit to the doctor, but in some cases, the pain is so intense an emergency room visit is required.
Swimmer’s ear is caused when too much water gets trapped inside the ear. As a result, the ear will become red, swollen and itchy. The patient could experience temporary hearing loss, but it will return when the infection clears. Children with especially narrow ear canals have a higher risk of getting swimmer’s ear. Bacteria from the water usually cause the symptoms, and if the infection gets left untreated for an extended period of time, the infection could get spread to other parts of the body.
Treating swimmer’s ear includes taking antibiotic ear drops for at least seven days. Most doctors recommend a healthy dose of ear drops until the pain and discoloration goes away, and for few days after the symptoms subside. It is imperative that the patient suffering from swimmer’s ear avoids submerging their head in water during treatment. While taking a shower, the patient can use ear plugs to prevent water from getting inside.
Preventing swimmer’s ear is fairly simple. All you need to do to avoid swimmer’s ear is to keep the outer ear as dry as possible, without taking measures that could further damage the ear. This means that cotton swabs should not be used to dry the ear. After swimming or bathing, ears should be dried thoroughly using a towel. If there is water in the ear canal, tilt your head to let the water run out. Sometimes it won’t come out easily, but moving your ear lobe in different directions will help push the water out.
If the water is still not coming out of your ear, it is safe to use a hair dryer. Use the lowest heat and lowest speed possible to move air within the ear canal. It is very important that the hairdryer is a few inches away from your ear, any closer and you could damage your ear drum.
Another method for removing water trapped in your ear canal is the use of preventive ear drops. This is an alcohol based liquid that frees water from the ear. However, it is recommended that you discuss this with a doctor before using.
If you are experiencing symptoms of swimmer’s ear, it is important that you get it treated in a timely manner. You can go to a Las Vegas Urgent Care for immediate treatment. You won’t have to schedule an appointment. The doctors and nurses at Urgent Care facilities strive to maintain short wait times while providing quality care. For more information about Las Vegas Urgent Care clinics, contact 702.852.2000.