What is otitis externa? It’s just the fancy sounding medical name for the inflammation of the outer ear, commonly referred to as an earache. Swimmers ear is one of the more prevalent forms of earaches. It gets its name from the fact that it often afflicts swimmers, as it is caused be excess moisture in the ear.
While it’s true swimmers are probably the most likely to suffer from this type of infection, anybody can get it if the right conditions are there. It often appears repeatedly, making it painfully inconvenient, not to mention the expense of doctor’s visits each time it happens.
Due to how many people come down with this irritating affliction, it’s no surprise that there’s an interest in home remedies for swimmers ear. However, because of the wide variety of home remedies, the question is: which of them is the best? There is no one correct answer. It depends on how severe it is, and which remedy works the best for your situation.
Even though these home remedies have been proven effective time and time again, it’s still best to see a trusted medical professional at least one time if you believe you have an ear infection. You’ll need a proper diagnosis, and there’s always a chance that it could be something more serious.
On the other hand, if you’ve had a previous diagnosis of swimmers ear, then you should be reasonably safe in trying a home remedy when you get another earache. Buying over-the-counter ear drops from your local pharmacy is one option that’s available to everybody. They are able to treat and reduce the pain associated with swimmers ear, and they are inexpensive and easy to use.
There is also a good chance that you’ll be able to use ingredients that most people normally have at home to treat your swimmers ear. One method that may work is to apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the troublesome ear. This will prevent the infection from getting out of control. Tilt your head to make applying the drops easier. If you like, you can try pulling gently on your ear to further open the ear canal. Then squeeze no more than a drop or two into the ear. You can also shake your head a little bit to help agitate the drops. Let the alcohol set for a few moments, then gently rinse your ear with warm water.
Similar methods for treating an earache include the use of other ingredients you have at home. For example, a mixture of half water and half vinegar (using the same technique mentioned above for rubbing alcohol) should work well for killing of the bacteria that are multiplying in your ear.
As with many other medical conditions, the best way to handle swimmers ear is by preventing it in the first place. The idea here is to keep your ears dry so the ear canal isn’t friendly to the bacteria that cause the problem. You can wear a swimming cap or earplugs to keep the water out. If you find those uncomfortable, you can dry the ears with a hair dryer after you’re done swimming. Move the hair dryer back and forth several inches from the ear and set it at the coolest temperature to avoid burns.