JOPLIN, MO – Summertime generally means more time spent cooling down in the water.
But all that fun can come with a higher risk of swimmer’s ear.
“Swimmers ear is what we call it when you get an infection in the external ear canal. So swimmers ear presents with pain, decreased hearing and drainage from your ear.” Says Dr. Hallie Baker, ENT Physician.
It can be caused by bacteria or a fungus.
“I tend to think that like lake, river stream those kinds of bodies of water are worse for it but it could happen even just by being in the shower or sweating a lot. In this summer so you know the ear canal is a warm dark, moist environment so it is the perfect setup to be, you know, getting an ear infection, and once it gets kind of takes root it can kind of go out of control.” Says Dr. Baker.
And that can create the potential for long term damage to your hearing.
Treatment is generally medicated drops applied directly to the ear.
“They’re 1000 times more concentrated the way you can take by mouth, so they work really well on. However, there is an occasion where the ear canal is so swollen that you cannot get the drops in to treat the infection. And so in that case it can be beneficial to see an e and t, your nose and throat physician who can clean out the debris, and the dead skin and the mucus and the infection from the ear canal, so that you can more readily apply drops to that area.” Says Dr. Baker.