Swimmer's ear

  • Alternative Names

    Ear infection - outer ear - acute; Otitis externa - acute; Chronic swimmer's ear; Otitis externa - chronic; Ear infection - outer ear - chronic


    Prevention

    Protect ears from further damage.

    • Do not scratch the ears or insert cotton swabs or other objects in the ears.
    • Keep ears clean and dry, and do not let water enter the ears when showering, shampooing, or bathing.
    • Dry the ear thoroughly after exposure to moisture.
    • Avoid swimming in polluted water.
    • Use earplugs when swimming.
    • Consider mixing 1 drop of alcohol with 1 drop of white vinegar and placing the mixture into the ears after they get wet. The alcohol and acid in the vinegar help prevent bacterial growth.

    References

    Guss J, Ruckenstein MJ. Infections of the external ear. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 137.

    Pfaff JA, Moore GP. Otolaryngology. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 70.