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Thread: Earaches

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Northern Kentucky


    Hello everyone,
    I had a pool party last weekend and my water never looked better, sparkling clear, and all my numbers were great except for the ph was high at 7.8. But a few days later 4 of us developed earaches. Could my water have caused this or is it just a coincidence that us 4 got earaches from the same swim session? I'm really stumped on this one and any advice would be apreciated.
    27 ft. round AG pool with 54" walls, 18,065 gallons, 22inch Sparco sand filter with 2.0 HP 2 speed pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Eastern Pennsylvania

    Re: Earaches

    Sounds like Swimmer's Ear. If you Google it you'll find all sorts of information about causes and cures.

    Swimmer's Ear is also mentioned in one of the articles in the Pool School, see link above in the logo. The article is Common Swimming Pool Myths Dispelled where it's Myth #4.

    From my training in microbiology I know that Swimmer's Ear can have a variety of causes. The origin can be bacterial, fungal, or parasitic. The latter sometimes occurs when swimming in lakes and rivers containing amoeba or certain algae. Bacterial or fungal infections happen when water is trapped in the ear canal, providing a warm, moist environment for germs to grow. It does not necessarily mean that they are in the water. It can just be an overgrowth of normal flora.

    Your water's pH of 7.8 is on the basic side and changed the acidic environment of the ear canal. This would allow normally harmless bacteria and fungi to take hold and cause the ear infection. Work on bringing down the pH.

    There are ear drops available, over the counter, which are mostly alcohol and also contain a mild fungicide. Alcohol binds with the water inside the ear and acts as a drying agent. The drops are applied after swimming to help prevent Swimmer's Ear.

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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