What would an ideal summer day look like? Most of us would agree that it would be spent in the pool or by the beach, with lots of splashing and playing, the sun playing hide and seek, and the chirpiness of friends and kids. Now add to this, the terrible tragedy of infecting your ear, causing you immense pain. That’s when you’ve been struck down by the swimmer’s ear.
What is Swimmer’s Ear?
An infection that affects the outer canal of the ear, the swimmer’s ear is caused by bacteria and at times, due to fungus. It occurs when water is trapped in your ear, making it conducive for bacteria to grow and reside in the space. Otitis externa, another term for the disease, gives a feeling of being full, a failure to swallow or clear one’s ears. It can cause severe to mild pain and is often accompanied by redness and itching in the ear.
While there are many over the counter medications available that will help you fight the swimmer’s ear, there are certain home remedies that are sure to provide you immense respite.
1. Dry Your Ears
After bathing or swimming, make sure you have dried your ears. Use a soft piece of cloth or towel to slowly wipe your outer ear. To drain the water off your ear canal, tilt your head towards one side and shake your neck in a light manner.
2. Vinegar and Water
Create a mixture of white vinegar and water. It helps to release the pressure off your ear and clear it. Take half water, half vinegar (about a teaspoon), and pour it into your ear. If the pain isn’t very bad, hold a cotton ball gently in place.
3. Warm Garlic Oil
Take a bowl. Pour a decent amount of olive oil in it. Take some grated garlic pieces and soak them in the oil. Allow the garlic pieces to get soaked overnight, and strain them the very next morning. In order to make the oil move easily through your ear canal, remember to warm it a bit. Use a dropper to pour about 3 drops of oil in your affected ear.
4. Heat Therapy
Place a hot water bottle wrapped in thick towel on your affected area. It will instantly relieve earache. You can also apply a heating pad if needed. Just remember to keep the temperature normal.
5. Mineral Oil
Squeeze in mineral oil (just a few drops) in your ear to prevent getting infected. You can do so before you go for a swim.
6. Put on a Swim Cap
Before taking a plunge in a water body, don a tight swimming cap. This protects your ears and prevents excess moisture from seeping in.
7. Don’t Use Foreign Objects in the Ear
If you feel like scratching your ear or wish to take out the earwax, make sure you do not use any harmful (but otherwise routine) items for the same. A few examples can be a hairpin, paper clip, cotton swab, etc. These objects can further irritate your skin, cause breakage or push the troubling material deeper in your ear.
These precautions and home remedies are effective against the swimmer’s ear infection. But if you feel the problem growing, it will be more than wise to see a doctor for taking advice.