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Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's ear or Otitis Externa is an infection of the ear canal, not a middle ear infection.  This is caused by irritation of the canal, most often from water while swimming.  The symptoms are ear pain, which is worsened by pulling on the ear (trigonal pain), and smelly discharge from the canal.  It is not associated with other cold symptoms or fever.

Initially the treatment is pain relief.  You can use oral pain relievers, like motrin and tylenol.  Laying on a warm rag may also help.  Because it is a canal infection, it is treated with drops. There are multiple home remedies.  The most common is mix 1 oz of  rubbing alcohol and 1 oz of vinegar.  More often we prescribe antibiotic/steroid drops to treat the condition.  

The best thing is to prevent it.  You can put some rubbing alcohol in each ear after swimming. You can also use a blow dryer to help dry the ear.  You should not return to swimming until treatments is complete.

If you think your child has a swimmer's ear or have other concerns, please call and make an appointment.

For more information see  http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/swimmer-ear.html?ref=search#