“Mommy, my ear hurts.”

Along with the giggles, splashing, and a fun game of marco polo, you may also hear one of your kids say they have ear pain after spending time in the water. No doubt about it your kids love to swim! If your child experiences ear pain after swimming or gets water in his ear canal, CommunityMed Family Urgent Care’s online check-in is just a touch or click away!

A common thing we are treating right now at our clinics is swimmer’s ear. What is swimmer’s ear and what causes it? Swimmer’s ear is an inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal. When water gets trapped in the ears, the lining becomes wet and swollen. This may provide a source for bacteria to grow. Putting fingers, cotton swabs or other objects in your ears also can lead to swimmer’s ear.

Tips for Preventing Swimmer’s Ear:

  • Keep the ear canal dry
  • Avoid using cotton swabs to clean the ear as this can pack the earwax and cause water to get trapped behind it
  • After showering, swimming, or washing hair, have your child tilt their head to one side so the water runs out of the ear
  • Hold a hair dryer, set on low, at arm’s length away from the ear to dry it
  • Don’t use alcohol in the ear. Instead, we suggest using olive oil or baby oil to bring the water to the surface and to prevent infection.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear:

  • Pain that increases when the ear is moved up or down
  • Pain when pushing on the front of the ear
  • Itchiness
  • The feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear
  • A clear fluid leaking from the ear
  • Redness or swelling of the outer ear

Swimmers of all ages can get swimmer’s ear, but it is more common in children because of their shorter ear canals that are more prone to trap water. It’s not contagious so no worries about getting it or giving it to someone.

When preventative measures don’t protect you or your kids from swimmer’s ear and there are symptoms of swimmer’s ear involved, please do not hesitate to get that ear checked-out! If left untreated, swimmer’s ear can turn into a very painful infection. Getting treatment quickly can stop an infection from getting worse and relieve the pain. At CommunityMed, we’re open daily until 8pm, even on Saturday and Sunday, and we get you in right away and typically out within 30 minutes or less. Come see us today!

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