It is that time of the year again when the Lacey Parks and Recreation Aquatics center will be full of people swimming and enjoying their summer vacation.
Swimming is an inexpensive activity wherein your children and you can have fun with family and friends, while staying cool. Unfortunately, this is also the season when they can be commonly plagued by an infection called swimmer’s ear.
What is swimmer’s ear?
Also known as otitis externa, it is an infection of the ear canal brought about by trapped water. This usually happens to swimmers, hence the name. But it can also happen to anybody who comes in contact with water, even through showering or bathing.
The most common victims of swimmer’s ear are children and young adults who like to swim a lot, specifically in places where there is a high potential of the presence of excessive bacteria (i.e. public swimming pools).
Children afflicted with this ear infection usually complain of intense pain that may spread from the ear, all the way to their neck and sides of the head. Some patients can also experience watery, bad-smelling yellowish discharge, high fever, and slight to severe hearing impairment.
How can it be treated?
Since no parent would want to see their child suffer from swimmer’s ear, you can bring your child to Lacey urgent care facilities to get immediate treatment and relief.
Treatment usually involves antibiotics, topical ear remedies or drops, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Luckily, in most cases, your child’s ear infection will eventually clear up around 24 hours after treatment has been provided.
How can swimmer’s ear be prevented?
As the saying goes, prevention is better than needing to provide a cure. To avoid your child from being afflicted with swimmer’s ear, you can make your child wear a swimming cap while he/she is in the water.
An earplug may be used but it has the potential of increasing the number of bacteria already residing in your child’s ear. When worn too deep, earplugs can cause the bacteria to go more deeply inside the ear canal and irritate your child’s ear. This can create a wide opening for an ear infection. Thus, it is only recommended if you can’t get them to use swim caps instead.
Also, help them dry their little ears properly with a soft cloth or towel while slightly tilting their head downwards. This allows the water or moisture to be effectively removed with the help of gravity.
With a deeper understanding of swimmer’s ear, you can help your children enjoy their summer vacation without pain or discomfort. If symptoms persist, it is best to consult with urgent care professionals in Lacey to get the necessary remedies.
Swimmer’s Ear, EntNet.org
Swimmer’s ear: Symptoms, treatment and prevention, WebMD.com
Swimmer’s Ear, eMedicineHealth.com