Swimmers Ear Plugs

Written by Amy Hall
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Swimmer's earplugs can be a big help at keeping water from entering the ears in the first place. Water in the ears is not necessarily going to lead to an outer ear infection, though it can and will if it becomes "stuck." When water becomes trapped it weakens the delicate skin of the ear canal, causing tiny tears in the skin that bacterium and fungi can invade. Keeping the ear dry is of the utmost importance in preventing swimmer's ear.

When bacteria and fungi take hold, the result is an infection of the outer ear canal. Some people with swimmer's ear do not notice pain but instead complain of incessant itching. Other people have both itching and intense pain, in addition to a pus-like discharge that can have a foul odor. Fever is usually not present in people with swimmer's ear. Touching the earlobe or chewing can exacerbate the pain associated with otitis externa.

If you are prone to swimmer's ear, your doctor may recommend that you wear earplugs while showering or swimming as well drying your ears thoroughly afterwards. Silicone putty molds are good because they literally mold to the contours of your ears, sealing out water better than standard earplugs. You can purchase swimmer's earplugs online or at traditional pharmacies and grocery stores. You may also find earplugs through homeopathic stores on the Web or at traditional brick and mortar homeopathic shops.

In terms of drying the ear, there are some newer products on the market that are proving to be quite effective. Ear canal dryers, similar in appearance to ear thermometers, channel warm air into the ear canal, drying the passage and preventing any bacteria from taking hold, effectively stopping any ear problems before they start. The best ear dryers will be able to closely match your body temperature in order to provide the most comfortable experience.

Preventing Swimmer's Ear

The best prevention from swimmer's ear is to keep water outside of the ear canal. If you do get water trapped in your ear, an ear dryer can eliminate that moisture completely. All it takes is one minute and the cool air flow causes the trapped water to completely dry up, thus reducing any chances of inflammation or infection.

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