Earplugs, little or reduced times diving. My DH gets it and it seems to be more often when he jumps or dives in - force? He still gets it sometimes when he doesn't but more when he does. Painful! He does try the earplugs and they help.
My 13yr old daughter gets it every year it seems. She has been using the vinegar/alcohol drops and they seem to help but once the pain starts the doctor needs a call for antibotics. The sooner the better.
Funny, I was actually going to post on this topic myself. It is better now, but I had a BAD earache for a while. My jaw was actually hurting on that side. . . I bought some earache drops at Wally World and they helped. Never had any swelling or drainage, but it was quite painful.
I also bought earplugs but don't always remember to use them. I do use the vinegar-alcohol mixture on those occasions.
Swimmer's ear isn't necessarily from bacteria in the pool; just the moisture in your ears makes them a very appealing place for bacteria from other sources.
DD6 gets swimmers ear frequently. The alcohol/vinegar mixture helps avoid it, but don't try that if the ear is even slightly sore, it won't be a happy event! Her doctor also says to carefully dry her ears with a warm blow dryer after swimming. Once you get swimmers ear, it's time for antibiotic drops to clear it up. The pain of swimmers ear is miserable.
Yep, the doc told DH that ANY water in his ear can cause bacteria that naturally exists in there to flourish and some people are just more likely than others to suffer from it. Does not have so much to do every time with the bacteria in the water, but the water feeds the bacteria in your ear.
NWMNMom is correct. Swimmers ear is a result of bacteria that is always present on skin surfaces being able to overgrow in the warm, moist environment of the ear canal. If you take measures to dry the ear canal, the bacteria don't multiply as readily. My daughter got swimmers ear from bathtub water before we ever owned a pool.
I have had it for 3 solid days now. Just went to the Dr. today as it got worse. Have to say the pain is bad, but the ITCHING IS MURDER!!!!!!! feels like a creepy crawly in there and its all I can do to not start digging for it.
Oh well, get to watch the family enjoy my hard work from the sidelines for a week.
Oh, and lay off the ipod buds for sure. Also disinfect them before using again.
I got it regularly, starting a few years ago, and frequently in the winter when pool was closed. Antibiotics were of limited help and plugged up the ears. I leaned that putting in hydrogen peroxide (like an inch in a dropper) for 5 min. on each side twice a day clears it up pretty well. This year I have been swimming almost every day since May and have not had it once. I think the peroxide scared it away.
I've had ear infections pretty much all my life even from showering. I had an old country doctor tell me once to put peroxide in it as soon as it started feeling funny (not really hurting yet) and it'd clear it up. I've been doing that for a long time and it works great. I'm very careful now to dry my ears after getting them wet so it only happens rarely now but the peroxide still works.
It feels funny when you put it in there but it doesn't hurt any more. Once you try it you'll never use anything else. Just be sure to dry your ears by laying on your side till it all drains out. A warm blow dryer works after the peroxide treatment too.
All of these suggestions are good and I've used all of them. The main thing is to do something after after water exposure. I, too, have been plagued most of my life with ear aches. My mother always had to use cotton in her ears when showering. I inherited her ears I think.
When I need to get going somewhere after being in the water I use the "Swimmers Ears" that I have to use for the dogs daily. I have my own bottle for me that I keep in the bathroom separate from the dog cabinet in kitchen. It is an antiseptic drying gel (and deodorant --- mostly needed for dogs of course). Vet told me to NOT use the dog drying powders. He told me why but I can't remember.
The three floppy eared dogs have had two bouts of ear infections from not drying them well (it is really hard to do since dog ear canals are so deep and they are in and out of the pool from early morning till dusk) after being in and out of the pool. I'm supposed to do it twice a day but I get lazy. That laziness can be expensive. The infections are really expensive to treat (we get the antibiotics cheap but the antibiotic ear drops are very expensive) and it sometimes takes a couple of months to totally clear up. BTW.... Vet warns to NOT use the Swimmers Ear for the dogs if there is any indication of infections starting.
Vet's tech also told me that they have a hard time getting it in the winter so to be sure to stock up in fall. The dogs still swim in Oct. Not me though. :lol:
I had some fancy ear plugs, custom made, and cute swirly colors. After two years I still can't get into the habit of using them. My ear canals are real narrow and deep (I'm part dog) so the adult OTC ones are too big and the children's ones are usually too little. :grrrr:
Man am I glad I found this thread, I got swimmers ear a few years ago swimming in a hotel swimming pool with the kids and it always seemed to come back occassionally but only in the left ear. The last few days it came back with a vengeance and was so bad last night I couldn't sleep, I had been using antibiotic ear drops to clear it up but was thinking I need to see a doctor TODAY because of the pain.
Since I couldn't sleep last night I found this thread and decided to try the hydrogen peroxide, the hissing and popping while it worked was a bit unnerving but today I am pain free and slept for 5 hours this afternoon.
To me this is like a miracle cure, absolutley amazing how fast and well it worked!
DH has on and off bouts and he rarely gets water in his ears. He says the itching is what drives him the craziest. He orders prescription drops at the drugstore. The tiny bottle runs around $70 but at least there is no doctor's office visit cost. Thank goodness the bottle lasts a long time and it doesn't take as much for a human ear as it does for doggie ears.
(I think I need to seriously look into doggie medical insurance.)
The doggie prescription drops run $44 for 15 grams. I use a little >1 bottle per dog per week per dog for weeks (the two bouts the three floppy eared dogs had were 8 weeks the first time and 6 weeks the second) along with oral antibiotics (relatively cheap). DH's 5 gram bottle lasts for over a month. BTW.... it is really difficult to keep the doggies out of the pool for any length of time. Ear infections would clear much faster staying away from water.
Prevention is the best treatment even if it is a hassle.