The sneaky infection of a middle ear canal.
This is the canal where all the nasty things are collected and usually the canal where you put your dirty fingers in and clean it with cotton swabs. By the way, this is the wrong way to do it if you want to avoid the painful infection.
Your skin in the ear canal is very delicate and it is important for the production of earwax. If the production of earwax is high then the infection can occur.
This is very important for the swimmers and other water enthusiasts to know. They are mostly the ones who are suffering from the condition called Swimmer’s ear.
The main reason for it is water. Especially water which is colder than 68 degrees. With the cold water, the worst nightmare can start known as external auditory exostosis (EAE). This is a condition where bony growth in the eear starts. Then the water gets stuck in the ear where it warms to body temperature and horrible infection is here. Which is hard to cure. Usually with the operation.
Anyway, the water can easily enter inside of an ear already while showering. This gives you a feeling of fullness in the ear. Of course, the bacteria, fungi and small insects start to collect.
More moisture it is, more bacterias there are.
Infection OTITIS EXTERNA (Swimmer’s ear) can be very painful. But still, there are things you can do before you get it.
Use custom earplugs while being in the water to avoid water entering inside of an ear. Especially avoid swimming in waters which are very dirty.
2. Dry your ears
After a swim or a water session, it is important to dry your ears. Use your clean towel and gently rub it over the ear. Rub only the outside of an ear. Some people also use a hairdryer. If you’ll use it make sure it is on the lowest setting. And do not point the hairdryer directly in the ear canal.
Tilting and shaking your head to the sides, to your shoulder can help water run out of an ear.
Don’t dry your ears with cotton swabs, hair pins or paper clips. Don’t even clean them with your fingers. This will only push earwax- cerumen deeper in the ear canal. There is a high chance you will rupture an eardrum.
3. Remedies: ear irrigation, Elephant Ear Washer, Ear Endoscope etc.
Of course, you can buy them in the pharmacy, but you can also make them by yourself. The best tools to remove ear wax are:
Wax RX: click here for more info
Elephant Ear Washer: click here for more info
Ear Irrigator: click here for more info
Endoscope Ear Pick: click here for more info
Smart Swab: click here to read the review
How to make your own ear drops?
In the bottle with an eye dropper mix white vinegar with rubbing alcohol. Those ingredients will dry out the ear and prevent the growth of fungi and bacterias.
Use them before and after the swim. Tilt your head and pour the solution in the ear canal. Wait for 10-15 minutes. Repeat on the other side.
Don’t do this if you have ruptured eardrum!
4. Are you a hairdresser?
Your customers will be thankful if you put soft cotton balls in their ears while hair spraying and dying their new stylish haircut.
5. Check up with your doctor
If you are a lot of time spending in the water then you should regularly pay a visit to your doctor. He will check your ears with an otoscope in just a few seconds. It is very easy to spot the infection or excessive earwax.
Sings of having a Swimmer’s ear
If you already feel for few days that water is trapped in your ears then this is how it begins. The pain will start soon and it will get worse and worse. You should know that infections are spreading very quickly.
1. stage symptoms
- slightly swollen ear (feeling of fullness)
- itching in the ear canal
- some drainage of clear color dripping out of the ear
- pinching and pulling your ear hurts
2. stage symptoms
- itching, itching and more itching
- redness of an ear on the outside
- the feeling of the blocked ear, because of fluid and swollen ear canal
- saying Huh?- a lot
3. stage symptoms
- pain that can extend to the other parts of the head (ear, neck, jaw)
- very red ear on the outside
- lymph nodes in the neck possibility of fever (not necessarily)
Go to the doctor if you already have 1. stage symptoms.
And don’t forget that it is for sure something wrong with your hearing if…
LOUDER YOU SPEAK. LESS YOU HEAR.
You are lucky if…
THE QUIETER YOU ARE. THE MORE YOU CAN HERE.
Stefan Grasic (Dipl.-Jur) A researcher with considerable experience in health related niches. While he was studying in Netherlands he used to be a part time writer for Health~Holland on-line magazine.