Swimmer’s Ear: Exploring Causes and Proper Treatment

Ear infections come in many different types and severities, but one of the most common types of infections is swimmer’s ear. Typically, swimmer’s ear clears up within seven to 10 days, but the key to a swift recovery is recognizing when there’s a problem as soon as possible and proceeding to seek proper care. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of swimmer’s ear as well as its treatment process.


Swimmer’s ear occurs when water essentially gets trapped within the ear canal. This, in turn, causes bacteria and/or fungus to multiply and infect the opening of the ear. While swimming in a pool or any body of water is the most probable cause, the condition can also arise after taking a shower or soaking in a bath or hot tub. However, contrary to popular belief, water isn’t the only cause of the condition — it can also result from irritation relating to a wound within the ear.

“Sometimes swimmer’s ear develops not from trapped water but from a cut or scrape just inside the ear canal. Overly aggressive cleaning with cotton swabs tends to cause it; if the swab scratches the skin inside the ear, bacteria can thrive and trigger an infection. People with excessive ear wax or the chronic skin condition eczema, which causes itching and redness, are also more likely to develop swimmer’s ear, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,” writes Cathie Ericson on Health.

Treatment Plan

Swimmer’s ear may resolve itself on its own in minor cases, but if irritation persists for more than a few days, it’s important to see an ENT to get a proper diagnosis and receive antibiotics, which may be administered through eardrops or tablets. If you can’t get to a doctor right away, you can treat the pain temporarily with an over the counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen. But make sure to take some course of action, as the pain can be excruciating in severe cases.

Ultimately, understanding this vital info about swimmer’s ear can help you seek proper treatment from an ENT doctor in Plano and make a swift recovery. For more information about finding the right ear nose and throat doctor in Plano, contact Ear Nose and Throat Associates of Texas PA.

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