Earning its name from one of the common ways that you can get it, water entering the ear canal while swimming, swimmer’s ear is actually an infection of the outer ear. Though irritating and at times painful, swimmer’s ear is also treatable with assistance from ear nose and throat doctors. So, it’s important to seek medical assistance from an ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor if you’re concerned that you may be suffering from this infection.
Here are three warning signs that you might just have swimmer’s ear.
Just like most infections, you’ll notice that your ear is irritated first in the case of swimmer’s ear. This includes redness around the irritated area, which may also be itchy and painful. This irritation will primarily be within the canal of your ear, and not on the lobe or outer ear. With that being said, pulling on the outer ear and having pain within the ear canal is exacerbated is another symptom of swimmer’s ear.
With these symptoms you should be in contact with a doctor, preferably an ENT doctor.
Drainage from the Ear
Another symptom of swimmer’s ear is drainage in the ear canal. This is a progression from mild symptoms like irritation, and you should schedule an appointment with an ENT immediately. This drainage is an odorless, clear liquid and can range from very mild to heavy. Typically, when the drainage becomes heavy it is a sign that the infection is worsening. This liquid drainage is associated with another symptom, a feeling of fullness in the ear. This fullness or blockage can then lead to having trouble hearing out of the affected ear.
Fever and Ear Pain
Once you have hit this point, most ear nose and throat doctors would recommend going to the emergency room. That’s because if the pain becomes severe or fever develops you may be experiencing a severe infection. This is why you want to take care of swimmer’s ear at the early signs of infection. After all, ENT doctors are well equipped to handle this type of infection if caught early. Letting it affect your health to such an extreme that you’d develop an infection is unnecessary.
As long as you’re treated properly by ear nose and throat doctors, swimmer’s ear is not a major issue and will clear up in about a week. However, if ignored it can become a much larger issue than it needed to be. That is why it important to be aware of the symptoms and seek out an ENT doctor’s advice.