What Is Swimmer’s Ear and When Should You See an ENT?
In normal cases, swimmer’s ear will clear up within one week or ten days. However, there are certain times when the condition may persist and cause more pain and discomfort. When you feel that the pain is abnormally excessive, you should see an ENT in Frisco for swimmer’s ears treatment. An ENT doctor will recommend the best treatment plan for the condition and help prevent other adverse ear complications.
What Is Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the ear canal that occurs when the ear is exposed to excessive water. As the name suggests, swimmer’s ear is mostly caused by spending a lot of time in the water, but you can also get it while outdoors. Frequent exposure to strong winds and rain may also cause swimmer’s ears. While swimming, some water gets into the ears and makes them moist and damp, especially when it is trapped in the ear for a long time. This gives room for bacteria to grow in the ear and cause an infection to the ear canal.
Typically, the ear relies on earwax to protect it from bacteria. However, when the earwax is wiped off by the excess water, it is unable to function properly. Therefore, bacteria easily enters your ear and causes an infection. This infection is what is widely known as swimmer’s ear, although the medical term is acute diffuse external otitis.
Are There Other Causes of Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimming or long exposure to water is not the only cause of swimmer’s ear. People who spend most of their time outdoors, such as farmers, are at risk of getting the infection. Additionally, scratching the ear canal with a cotton swab may also result in swimmer’s ear. When you are cleaning your ear using a cotton swab, pen caps, hairpins, or fingers, you might scratch the skin or rub away the protective earwax. This creates a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive.
Having an existing skin condition such as psoriasis, acne, or eczema also causes swimmer’s ear. Having a small ear canal, wearing a swim cap, and long-usage of a hearing aid may also cause swimmer’s ear. An ENT in Frisco is best suited to detect and treat swimmer’s ear at the early stages. Ear nose and throat doctors recommend that you avoid the conditions and places that are likely to cause swimmer’s ear.
Signs and Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear
When you visit an ENT in Frisco, the ENT doctor will check for certain symptoms to ascertain if you are suffering from swimmer’s ear or other ear complications. Using an otoscope, the ear nose and throat doctor will check for inflammation, scratches on the eardrum, redness, and scaly skin. Additionally, your doctor will ask if you are experiencing constant earache, ear drainage, muffled hearing, and also if you’re feeling like your ear is stuffed. It is advisable not to self-diagnose and instead have an ENT in Frisco check your ear out because the signs may be indicative of other more serious ear complications.
Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear
If you suspect that you have swimmer’s ear, don’t worry over undergoing painful and complicated treatments, as the infection is easily treatable. Upon diagnosing and confirming that you indeed have swimmer’s ear, your ENT in Frisco will decide the best treatment option. While some people may be tempted to self-diagnose using over-the-counter drugs, you should avoid following that path. Why put your health at risk, while you could visit an ENT in Frisco and get the right treatment?
ENT doctors are specially trained to treat any complications on the ear, nose, and throat. Our eardrums are so delicate that any foreign intrusion may cause heavy damage to them. That is why an ENT in Frisco takes time to examine the ear, to prevent more complications. For the most part, swimmer’s ear is easily treated. However, it takes an experienced ENT in Frisco to ascertain that the infection will not result in further damages to the ear.