Summer has arrived and with that comes many visits to the physician’s office (Thank you for supporting myÂ lovely children.) for that earache afterÂ swimming. It is called “swimmer’s ear” for a reason–because many swimmers come down with it.
What’s happening? As people head for their favoriteÂ swimming hole, they tend to get pool or lake water in the external ear canal. This is simply the passage way between your ear drum and the outer part of the ear that we all see. You know, the part that surprisingly doesn’t allow someone to fly since it sticks out from their head so far.Â
Bacteria start growing in thisÂ stagnant water and infects the outer ear canal. That hurts. You will needÂ antibiotic ear drops to ward off the infection and you are welcome to see me for that prescription. Please bring a credit card or hard cash.
Pushing on theÂ tragus (that little knob)Â or pulling on theÂ pinna (that big flap)Â causes pain and this helps distinguish anÂ outer ear infection from anÂ inner ear infection.
But wouldn’t itÂ be better to avoidÂ an infectionÂ in the first place?Â You can purchase special ear drops or you can make your own by mixing equal amounts of alcohol (not beer) and water. After swimming, simply place a few drops of this mixture in each ear to help evaporate away the stagnant water. You’ll be happy you did. Yes, I will make a little less money but I’ll get over it.