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Thread: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

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    Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    I just discoverd this researching an ear problem that has nothing to do with the pool, but I thought people here would be interested:

    "Generally, outer ear infections are caused by a bacterial infection of the skin of the ear canal, although occasion ally it may be due to a fungus or yeast.
    The skin can become so swollen that the ear canal closes, causing temporary deafness, and there can be some discharge from the ear. It occurs commonly in people who
    suffer from skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis but also in people with narrow ear canals or who swim a great deal.

    One of the most common causes of this condition is swimming in pools which have not been maintained to a high standard or have a higher percentage of
    chlorine in the water than is advisable.
    "

    http://www.deafnessresearch.org.uk/fact ... ctions.pdf
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    That's interesting but I wish they said why having a higher amt of chlorine than advisable is a a problem. You'd think it would help. Also wonder what value they consider to be "higher than advisable".
    10,000 gallon inground, gunite, 500lb sand filter. Brand new to this pool thing.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    Sounds like hogwash to me

    I can not picture how too much chlorine would cause an infection ... too little allowing something to grow in the water certainly. And who decides what FC % is advisable? Does that take the CYA into account?
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    High FC doesnt constitute a sanitary pool. As the saying goes a good set of test numbers and you can probably solve this "mystery" as well. I second the HOGWASH comment
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    By far the largest cause of outer ear infections is getting water in your ear that stays there after you are done swimming, nothing to do with chlorine levels.

    There is a link to high chlorine levels, but we are talking astronomical active chlorine levels (which you do run into sometimes in indoor pools with zero CYA). Very high chlorine levels will slowly break down the oily/waxy material in the ear. If you swim enough (lots and lots) and FC is high enough, you can break down all of the protective wax and allow infectious agents direct access to the skin, which increases infection rates. But for this to be an issue you need very high active chlorine levels (way above what we recommend) and lot and lots and lots of swimming.
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    Ah, mystery solved! That makes sense. Almost seems to me that swimming that much anyway would eventually wash away protective oils.
    10,000 gallon inground, gunite, 500lb sand filter. Brand new to this pool thing.

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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    What JasonLion says makes sense to me. Another possibility that occurred to me after I posted the info is that it was a typographical error and they meant to say "lower percentage of chlorine" rather than higher.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
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    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    What JasonLion says makes sense to me. Another possibility that occurred to me after I posted the info is that it was a typographical error and they meant to say "lower percentage of chlorine" rather than higher.
    Nah, just your typical sensationalism in a scientific paper with little grounds for the statement, and the even worse cherry picking of statements by the media. There may be a slight correlation between ear infections and high chlorine levels, but the operative statement is not the one highlighted, it is the one before that which links the infections to poorly maintained pools. The conjugate correlation is that chlorine levels are high because the pool owner is shocking the system but still allowing bathers. go figure...
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    Last year with pH7.2 (in order to lower TA from 180) nobody had any problems with ear infections. This year with pH7.7 1/2 people that went in my pool developed swimmer's ear and nasty ones too. FC was Always above target for myCYA never hadCC over 0.5 water crystal clear and perfectly balanced. I say keep pH on the low side....
    20,5 gallon, inground plaster/tile ,overflow canal and reservoir, 0,75hp pump, sand filter to which I add DE ,salt- SWG, auto pH regulator, tft test kit

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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    I have always maintained my own pool at a pH of about 7.8 to 8.0. My children, and now my grandchildren never get ear infections.
    I also maintain the chlorine from 6 ppm to 12 ppm with a CYA of about 90 ppm.
    As a child in 1960, I used to get ear infections until my father learned about CYA and began using the same chemical program.

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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    Heeveryone.
    So today I had an ear infection too....
    Here are the numbers:
    Last night :
    FC 4.5
    CC 0
    SWG OFF for Overnight test (Ironically I do it once a week just to be 100% sure)
    This morning :
    FC 4,5
    CC 0
    CYA 55 (added some 2 days ago dont expect it to show yet)
    TA 190
    CH 360
    BORATES 30
    SALT 3200
    pH 7.2 (trying to lower my high TA which I got from refill water after an issue with a fine dirt mess last week) so I guess pH is indeed irrelevant as OnBalance pointed out...
    SWG back on
    This evening:
    FC 5
    CC 0 rest same as above.
    The water looks better than ever....
    Is it possible that some bacteria of fungi is living in my water!?
    I have never SLAMED the pool since last year that I bought the house and filled it up, because I never had to following pool school and forum advice. My water was always balanced.
    This swimmers ear issue though, is making me look very bad
    as you can imagine. I only had one or two dives today and I do dive a lot usually. Funny thing is that last year nobody ever had any problems. In fact last summer I was running FC at 2-3 all season with no problems.
    Does anybody have any idea what's happening?
    Should I raise my FC to shock level as a precaution or is the higher FC of this summer causing the problem ?
    20,5 gallon, inground plaster/tile ,overflow canal and reservoir, 0,75hp pump, sand filter to which I add DE ,salt- SWG, auto pH regulator, tft test kit

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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    I have always had problems with ear aches after I swim. I assume it's the shape of my ear canal or something. My mom has the same problem. Now my kids are having the same problem. I learned a trick a long time ago. I take a cap full of rubbing alcohol and pour in my ears then dump it back out. It displaces the water and dries my ears so there is no water left to cause an ear ache.
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    My son had it twice this year. I suspect it was either from my SIL's not so balanced pool (both times he had swam there) or swimming too close to bedtime and going to sleep with a bit of water in the canal. Or both, who can really tell! He swam there again yesterday evening, if it happens again, I will know it was indeed her water, as he hasn't been in our pool for at least a week.
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    I've never had any ear problems, but I do swim with ear plugs.
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    Re: Too much chlorine in the pool can be bad for your ears

    I swam an hour a day, 5 days a week for a year in the gym's pool...you could smell the "chlorine" most days. Each time I purchased a new swimsuit, it would be bleached out within a month. So, there were lots of things that were not right about that pool but I never got an earache or infection. Sometimes, my ear would feel "uncomfortable" but I would use Auri Dri and that would help the trapped water evaporate. I do keep a higher than "normal" level of chlorine in the home pool due to the 92 degree water temp and the quick algae outbreaks. One of my daughter's has no issues but the other one sometimes complains that her outer ear is painful. I put warm olive oil in and she is fine within 30 minutes.
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