Don’t let ‘swimmer’s ear’ get you down this summer

(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

Kids all across the region have been staying busy at the beach, pool, or water parks during the summer months — the prime environment for outer ear infections, or “swimmer’s ear.”

RELATED STORY: Here’s a list for water fun on the Southside that doesn’t include the beach

In a recent video posted to their website, specialists at Eastern Virginia Medical School are helping parents identify the common summertime condition.

Dr. Cristina Baldassari is an associate professor for EVMS’ ear, nose, and throat surgeons. She said swimmer’s ear occurs when bacteria grows on the outer canal of the ear.

“For those kids, it hurts when you pull on their ear and they also can have some kind of drainage and whitish looking debris in their ear as well,” she said.

Unlike a traditional ear infection requiring oral antibiotics, Baldassari said swimmer’s ear can be treated with antibiotic drops in the ear and can be easily prevented.

“Actually, white vinegar works well if you put a few drops in the ear after swimming, also just wearing earplugs works as well,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more ways to prevent swimmer’s ear, including refraining from removing ear wax which protects ear canals from infection.

The CDC’s website also listed more signs of swimmer’s ear including:

  • Itchiness inside the ear.
  • Redness and swelling of the ear.
  • Pus draining from the infected ear.

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