With temperatures on the rise, one sure-fire way to cool off this summer is to take a dip in a pool! Spending the day at the lake or swimming at your local pool is a fun summer activity that the whole family can enjoy, but all that fun can be quickly ruined by swimmer’s ear.
Swimmer’s ear is a common outer ear infection that can be quite painful. It develops when water gets trapped in your ear canal and creates the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow! There are an estimated 2.4 million cases of swimmer’s ear every year in the United States!
The key to defending yourself against swimmer’s ear is to have a good offense. These tips from Dr. Nikki, a hearing specialist in Omaha, can help you to avoid this painful condition:
1. Get some custom ear plugs
Now these ear plugs are different from the ones that you put in to go to sleep! Getting custom ear plugs requires a visit to a hearing specialist in Omaha so that they can get an accurate measurement and model of your ear. They then turn around and use this model to create custom silicone ear plugs that repel water and create a tight seal to prevent anything past the outer ear. You can get your custom ear plugs in your favorite color, or swirl two of your favorites together!
2. Avoid putting unnecessary things in your ear
If it’s not an ear plug, then you should probably avoid putting it in your ear! It can be annoying to feel like water is trapped in your ear, but sticking a q-tip in or stuffing cotton inside your ear can actually do more harm than good. If you feel like water is trapped, a good alternative can be to gently pull down on your earlobe and lean your head to the side. This can help to drain the area. Another option is to use a hair dryer on a low setting and blow it around a foot from your ear.
3. Consider using ear drops
Before using ear drops, you should contact a hearing specialist in Omaha, like Dr. Nikki, to see if this is an appropriate action for you to take. Using ear drops with a ruptured eardrum, or if you have recently had ear surgery can be a terrible idea and make the whole situation worse. If you’ve been told your ear is safe for drops by a physician or audiologist, these swimmer’s ear drops are an over-the-counter solution designed to help dry your ear out and kill any bacterial infection that may be forming.
4. Keep your ears dry
When at all possible, keep your ears dry and be wary of external forces that could introduce water into your ear. Avoiding water while swimming in the lake or pool is basically impossible without the help of earplugs, but there are other ways that moisture can come into contact with your ear that you do have more control over. For example, when applying sunscreen, make sure you are not spraying it directly into your ear canal. Another big culprit behind water in your ear is sweat! Wearing a sweat headband when it is particularly toasty out is another great preventative measure to keep in your back pocket.
Dr. Nikki is a hearing specialist in Omaha who is prepared to get you summer ready! Contact us to get your custom ear plugs made so you can spend all day swimming in the pool!