Water In The Ears

Written by Amy Hall
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Getting water in the ears does not necessarily mean an ear infection will occur. In fact, most of us get water in our ears on daily basis after washing our hair or taking a bath. However, it is best for the general health of your eyes to ensure that they are dry after showering, bathing, or swimming. Sometimes water can become trapped in the ear, and stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria. Water that becomes trapped can lead to an infection because bacteria in the water mixes with ear fluid and inflammation can be the final outcome.

Many people seem to know the "best" way to keep ears dry. Some people use ear drops, while others insist that hairdryers are effective. In reality, the safest way to prevent ear infections due to water in the ears is through an ear canal dryer. These products typically blow a gentle stream of ear into the ear, drying it quickly and safely.

If you have water in your eyes, it is important that you do not use a cotton swab. Pushing a cotton swab in your ear is more likely to compact wax rather than remove unwanted water and wax. Also, in terms of ear safety, it is best not to use a hairdryer, since they can burn the skin around the ear, especially in children. While it is vital to keep water out of the ears to prevent ear infections, drying the ears must be done safely in order to be effective. Too often, ad hoc solutions often end up compounding the problem, which is why ear canal dryers are becoming more popular among swimmers, surfers, and those simply prone to ear infections.

The Symptoms of Ear Infections

Depending on what type of ear infection you are dealing with, otitis media (an infection of the middle ear behind the eardrum) or otitis externa (an infection of the ear canal), there will be different symptoms. In both cases, pain is present. With otitis media, the eardrum may look inflamed and have pus and fluid trapped behind it. Fever may be present and the child may tug on his or her ear. A fullness in the ear is a common feeling, and trouble sleeping is typical.

With otitis externa, there is usually inflammation in the ear canal or a boil located on the thin membrane of the canal. Antibiotics are necessary to clear up this type of infection, and in most cases doctors will prescribe medication for a middle ear infection as well. A doctor will look inside the patient's ear with an instrument called an otoscope to determine what type of infection is present.

If antibiotics are prescribed, the sufferer will need to be rechecked within two weeks to ensure that the infection has indeed cleared up entirely. If the infection is still present, a stronger antibiotic will be prescribed. In stubborn cases where the ear infection does not clear up with several rounds of antibiotics, surgery may be necessary to prevent hearing loss or further complications.

Causes of Ear Infections

Genetics also seem to play a role in who gets ear infections and who does not. Basically, a child will likely get more ear infections if one or both of his or her parents also suffered from recurring ear infections as children. Although children are much more likely to get ear infections, adults can also succumb to this medical condition.

This makes it important to find an ear drying method that is safe for both adults and children. Since many children do not use ear drops properly for them to work effectively, ear canal dryers are usually a better option. However, if you plan on using a dryer with more than one person, be sure to purchase a model that allows you to switch heads. This is because it is crucial that any device inserted in the ear be clean.


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oops

Dear Amy:
"it is best for the general health of your eyes"

You meant "ears" didn't you?