A day out at the beach can be fun, or even taking the kids to the pool, but after all the fun has passed, some complications may develop. This becomes especially true if you do not take the necessary precautions to protect you and your family when you are planning to go to the beach or go swimming elsewhere. The sun is often the first topic that is discussed when we talk about going to the beach – a sun protective lotion or cream is essential to help protect your skin from the sun. One less commonly discussed issue, which we will take a look at in this post, is water that gets into your ear. This can cause earaches and even more harmful complications.
The Impact Of Water In Your Ears After Swimming
Swimming can be a fun activity, and even a professional sport for some people, but the water that gets stuck in your ear following your swimming session can be potentially hazardous to your ears and even your health. There are many possible complications that you need to be aware of if you frequently swim, whether for fun or professionally, as well as when your family regularly participates in swimming activities.
One study explains that swimmers are especially prone to certain conditions that affect their ears, with acute diffuse otitis externa, a condition often referred to as “Swimmer’s Ear,” is a very common condition. Other possible complications that may develop include:
- Traumatic eardrum perforation
- Inner ear barotraumas
- Middle ear infection
Some pathogens can also enter the ear and cause an infection. The most common type of pathogen that causes complications in swimmers is Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
These complications make it essential for individuals to recognize the symptoms and act accordingly. Possible symptoms that may indicate a complication has developed due to water being trapped in the ear include itchiness and conductive hearing loss. Other symptoms may include otorrhea, vertigo, tinnitus, and otalgia. This is especially important if you have recently taken a swim in water that may be polluted or contaminated.
Another possible complication that may be the result of swimming is a condition known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This condition affects the vestibular system that is contained within the inner area of the ear.
Effective At-Home Options For Getting The Water Out Of Your Ear
After you get out of the ocean or out of the swimming pool, it is essential to follow some initial steps to ensure you get as much water out of your ear as possible. The first thing to do is to jiggle on your earlobes, while also pointing your ear toward the ground. This will help to get most water out of your ear. You can also choose to lie down on each side until the water has escaped from each ear. While lying down on your side, you can also use the palm of your hand to make a cup over your ear to form a “seal.” Push back and then forward repeatedly to suck the water out of your ear.
Other techniques that are also helpful in removing water from your ear after swimming include:
- Using a hot compress, which is especially useful if some of the water gets trapped in the eustachian tubes within your ears.
- A blow dryer can be used to evaporate trapped water in your ear. Do not hold the blow dryer too close to your ear and switch it to its lowest heat setting.
- You can also combine some vinegar and alcohol and use the solution as eardrops to evaporate water and loosen earwax that may trap the water.
- Another effective method for removing water from your ear is to use steam.
If all else fails, then a visit to your local pharmacy may be a more appropriate option. There are different kinds of eardrops that contain the right combination of ingredients to help evaporate water in your ear. Some of the eardrops that are available as over-the-counter treatment options at a pharmacy also include additional components that can help to reduce levels of moisture in your ear and assist with killing any bacteria that might have entered your ear. This will assist in lowering your risk of developing a complication after you have gone swimming.
What To Do When Symptoms And Complications Develop
When water gets trapped in the ear after swimming, it is essential to get it out as soon as possible. Looking out for potential symptoms that may signal a complication is also essential. This can help you obtain treatment quickly and avoid the complication from becoming more serious. We have provided an overview of the possible complications and symptoms to look out for above. If these symptoms do become present, then there is a chance that the water you swam in was not clean, or you did not get all water out of your ear afterward.
To address these problems, it is usually best to see a physician. A thorough examination of your inner ear canals will be required if you wish to approach the matter appropriately. Since different complications may develop, a physician will need to examine you and ask you some questions about your symptoms. This will help them identify the particular complication you have developed and will allow them to provide you with the most appropriate treatment plan.
After swimming, there is always the possibility that some water may be left behind in your ear. This can not only be unpleasant and cause you to experience impairment in your hearing but can also lead to a number of complications if you do not remove the water. In this post, we provided some helpful tips to ensure you can remove all water from your ears and reduce your risk of experiencing a complication after swimming, such as an earache or a more serious adverse reaction.