For almost every condition that we suffer, there is a home-based remedy to treat it. We need to explore natural remedies first because they are safer and more efficient.
When you suffer an illness, try organic products, as they contain nature’s best ingredients. Swimmers Ear is one of these conditions. You can use easily available products to get rid of it fast.
Instead of going to the doctor for pills, injections and other medications, why not solve the problem yourself? I recommend you to find out what Swimmers Ear is, what causes it and ways to prevent it.
After that, obtain natural treatment that will not cause side effects.
What Actually is Swimmers Ear?
During summer, many people head to the beach, swimming pools and other water fronts. As they have fun, Swimmers Ear is one of the most common conditions that they are exposed to.
According to Mayo Clinic, this is an infection that affects your outer ear. In scientific terms, it is referred to as otitis extrena.
Its main cause is moisture building up in the ear. In addition, damage to the skin on the outer ear causes inflammation and ultimately leads to Swimmers Ear. The condition derives its name from the fact that it affects swimmers more than other people.
This is because they spend the better part of the day in water. However, it can affect people from all walks of life as well. The infection is usually very painful and sufferers are often unable to sleep well.
Children and swimming learners are often victims of the condition. This is because they have not yet learned the art of avoiding water from entering the ears. When you injure the skin on your outer ear, bacteria and other infection-causing microorganisms invade it.
Additionally, the excessive use of cotton swaps and earphones can make your ears susceptible to Swimmers Ear. According to Medicinenet, symptoms include pain, itchiness, discharge of fluid and swelling.
In very severe cases, you may lose your sense of hearing.
Swimmers Ear Vs. Mid-Ear Infection
We need to distinguish Swimmers Ear and infection of the middle part of the ear. The former affects the outer ear while the latter is common when you suffer cold and related illnesses. Mid ear infection is called otitis media and is also very painful.
You know you have Swimmers Ear if your ear canal is painful or swollen. The ear canal runs from the eardrum to the outside. When you try to stick a finger inside the ear, you experience excruciating pain.
On the other hand, you can tell mid ear infection if you have pain inside the ear when talking, laughing or swallowing. It is often caused by physical damage to the inside of the ear.
Since these two types of ear infections are different, medical professionals handle these differently. Here, we discuss 19 home remedies to treat Swimmers Ear. Also, discover ways to prevent this condition.
How to Prevent Swimmers Ear
The statement ‘prevention is better than cure’ perhaps applies to this condition more than it does anywhere else. It is easier to prevent the condition than to treat it once it affects your ear. Therefore, observe these prevention measures.
Keeping the ear dry is the basic approach to prevent Swimmers Ear. According to Wellness Mama, you should dry your ears carefully and completely after swimming and showering.
In addition, avoid removing ear wax every day because the wax actually prevents infections. Use an ear plug for each ear when swimming or taking part in any other water activity. Ear plugs are especially useful when you swim in lake or pond water, where bacteria abound.
If you suffer from the condition, explore the following home remedies:
19 Home Remedies for Swimmers Ear
1. White Vinegar is the Most Common Remedy
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Vinegar is a common home-based remedy for numerous infections and diseases. Use it to treat Swimmers Ear and also to prevent it.
Pour ¼ of a cup in a small basin and use a cotton swab to apply it gently on the affected area. Avoid pushing the swab too much into the ear as this might cause more trouble.
2. Alcohol Causes the Moisture to Dry Out
Home-based alcohol is known to treat infections caused by bacteria. Add a ¼ of a cup in a small basin. Soak a piece of cotton in the alcohol and gently wash the infection.
Avoid scrubbing vigorously as this might cause the skin to corrode. Use a mixture of alcohol and vinegar if you suspect the condition comes after swimming in a pond or a lake.
3. Place Garlic Over Infected Part
Garlic treats not only Swimmers Ear, but also other infections of the ear. Take fresh raw garlic and crush it into small pieces. Place a small piece inside the ear and remove after 10 minutes.
Secure the piece with some medical tape. Do not use garlic oil, as it may block moisture from accessing the infected part.
4. Apply a mixture of Essential Oils
Measure a tablespoon of each of these essential oils. After mixing them up, rub the mixture on the entire ear canal, paying special attention to the infected part.
5. Use Hydrogen Peroxide Dry Out Moisture
- 32-fluid ounce bottle of first aid antiseptic
- First aid to help prevent risk of infection from minor cuts, scrapes and burns
- Active ingredient: 3% hydrogen peroxide (stabilized)
According to Home Remedy Shop, applying 4 or 5 drops of hydrogen peroxide everyday is suitable to treat Swimmer’s Ear.
Leave the drops to sit inside the ear for a couple of minutes. After that, tilt your head downwards to allow the peroxide to exit. Repeat this procedure two times a day until you are healed.
6. Heat Therapy Soothes your Inflammation
Dip a clean washcloth in hot water and place the cloth next to your infected ear. Alternatively, fill a small water bottle with warm water. Place it next to your ear.
The warmth of the water actually reduces pain and inflammation. Some people consider sleeping on the hot water bottle at night to afford better sleep.
7. Mineral Oil has Antiseptic Properties
- One gallon of 100% food grade mineral oil USP certified and NSF approved (certificate available upon request)
- Food safe, prevents absorption of food odors
- Colorless/odorless, helps keep food products fresh and crisp
Mineral Oil is more of a preventive remedy than a curative therapy. Pour three or four drops of mineral oil inside both ears before going swimming.
Its antiseptic properties prevent the accumulation of harmful bacteria. Therefore, use mineral oil whenever you swim in dirty or un-sanitized water as well as at the public beach and swimming pool.
8. Ice Pack Cools Off the Pain
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To reduce the excruciating pain that often comes with Swimmers Ear. Use an ice pack. Wrap three or four ice cubes in a polythene bag and place a thin cloth over the pack.
Place the pack next to your ear to calm the nerves on the infected part. Use this remedy especially at night so that you may sleep in some peace.
9. Introduce Hot Air With a Blow Dryer
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According to Midnight Remedies, this remedy might sound outrageous but it actually works. Set the dryer on low and warm then switch it on.
Direct it towards the infected ear but keep it at an arm’s length away. The dryer creates such a hostile environment that bacteria cannot live, but does not injure your ear. Therefore, do this twice in a day until the problem goes away.
10. Vicks Vapor Rub Is a Quick Remedy
- Receive 2 Packs (12 oz. total)
- RELIEVES COUGH. Use on chest and throat to temporarily relieve cough due to the common cold
- PAIN RELIEF. Use on muscles and joints to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains
Sometimes the pain from Swimmers Ear can be so much that it is unbearable. All you need is a quick remedy to relive yourself.
Apply a little Vicks Vapor Rub on a cotton stick. Add a little cinnamon and gently pad the infected parts. Twist the stick gently as you apply.
11. Saline Water Draws out Moisture from Wound
According to Mother Nature Network, saline water is a remedy for Swimmer’s Ear. The fact that it is available on every kitchen is an advantage.
Mix a tablespoon of ordinary table salt in a cup of warm water. Soak a clean cotton swab in the solution and wash the surface of the infected ear.
12. Rubbing Alcohol Works Instantly
- 16-fluid ounce bottle of first aid antiseptic
- Contains 99% isopropyl alcohol
- For technical use
Do you want instant relief from ear pain and inflammation? Apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol gently on the infected ear without putting it onto the inside.
Its fast acting relief from pain is perhaps the reason why rubbing oil is common in first aid kits. You will most likely find it among leading swimming coaches.
13. Onion Juice has Antiseptic Properties
Take a whole onion and grind it finely, extracting the juice. Onion contains antiseptic properties that help in drying the wound. These properties are the one that make you tear as you cut onions.
Place several drops of the onion juice over the infected area. This might sting at first, but you will get used to it. Repeat the procedure every day until the problem eventually clears.
14. Place a Few Drops of Vodka
Just like rubbing alcohol, vodka dries out the infected part, leaving you pain-free while the inflammation subsides. For best results, use undiluted vodka.
Apply three or four drops of vodka directly on the wound caused by Swimmers Ear. Let the vodka sit there for 10 minutes than bend your head to dislodge it.
15. Sleep on a Salt Pillow At Night
This remedy is synonymous with the older generation. Make a salt pillow from a clean white cloth and add about half a cup of ordinary table sat. Pour the salt onto the cloth then sew up the cloth to make a small pillow.
After that, warm the salt on a shallow kitchen vessel. Place the pillow on the problematic ear especially at night. Salt draws out extra moisture.
16. Apple Cider Vinegar Has Controlled Ingredients
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an ideal solution to Swimmers Ear because it contains controlled ingredients. The yeast in ACV disrupts the ideal ground for growth of bacteria and fungi.
To make the remedy more effective, mix one part ACV and one part alcohol. Use three or four drops of the solution before and after swimming for maximum protection.
17. Over-The-Counter Medication for Better Healing
When most of the natural remedies do not seem to bring relief to your problem, try over-the-counter remedies (OTC). After all, most of these are also made from natural ingredients.
Examples here include topical ear remedies, ear drops, antibiotics, antiseptics, anti-inflammatory drugs and acidifying treatments. Most of these work best when combined.
18. Stop Swimming When Affected
According to eMedicine Health, you should stay at home whenever you suffer from Swimmers Ear. Avoid further water contact on the infected ear.
You see, swimming pools, lakes, ponds and the beach are full of bacteria and fungi. Exposing your infection to these will only exacerbate the problem. Restrain infected children too.
19. Use a Swim Cap to Prevent Dirt
- Amazing stretch for comfort
- Resistant to snagging and tearing, Extra durable
- Quick and easy to take off without snagging hair
This is a preventive measure that all professional swimmers and beginners should adhere to. A cap keeps water and other foreign bodies from flowing into your ears.
It is ideal for children because they may get injuries as they play with their friends in water. A tight fitting swim cap also prevents your hair from coming in contact with water.
My Final Thoughts About Swimmers Ear
When you suffer from Swimmers Ear, avoid scratching your ear whether on the inside or the outside. This only worsens the condition.
In addition, quit swimming until you have healed completely. When you resume swimming, observe the preventive measures described above.
Any of the above 19 remedies are tried and tested. You can choose whichever you deem more efficient. If the condition does not improve, try a different remedy.
However, see the doctor if there is too much flow of fluid or when the pain and swelling worsens. Different people suffer Swimmers Ear differently. Therefore, feel free to contact us and describe your condition.
We can provide you with added information. Meanwhile, watch the video below to understand how you can get rid of the problem using home remedies.
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