Swimmer's Ear

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Swimmer's Ear is a non-contagious infection in the ear canal. In medical language, it is called otitis externa and results from the skin in the ear canal weakening, allowing bacteria and fungi to grow. The most common cause for swimmer's ear is the lurking presence of water in the ear canal, which may cause the skin to weaken.

The most common symptom of swimmer's ear is pain around the earlobe. The motion of chewing can also aggravate the infection, sending jolts of pain through the ear. Other symptoms may include itching inside the ear canal, a cloudy discharge, or pus, draining from the ear or a reduction in hearing. This reduction in hearing is caused by the presence of pus in the ear canal.

Treatment is available in the form of antibiotics. If treated quickly, swimmers ear can be cured quickly, but intense cases or a lengthy infection can result in some hearing damage. Luckily, though, that much damage is rare.

Protection from Swimmer's Ear

There is an easy, inexpensive, and effective form of protection from Swimmer's Ear. Ear plugs specially designed for swimmers are available online and in stores, and range widely in shape, comfort level, and price. Swimming ear plugs range in effectiveness as well, but as long as water is kept out of the ears, risk of contracting swimmer's ear is low.

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