Summer’s heating up, and the Santa Ana Family YMCA Sports and Aquatics Center is sure to be a hit with locals looking to cool down. An abundance of water fun can be had at the YMCA, from swimming lessons to water polo, and even Lifeguard Training. However, Santa Ana urgent care warns swimmers of all ages to take precautions to avoid swimmer’s ear, a painful condition that can worsen if not addressed quickly. Understanding this condition, and how to prevent and care for it, will help you stay healthy and safe every time you go for a swim at the YMCA.
Swimmer’s Ear Defined
Also called acute otitis externa, swimmer’s ear affects the outer ear canals. It results from infection, inflammation, or irritation of these areas. These symptoms appear when water gets trapped in a person’s ear, which then creates a moist environment that fuels the spread of fungal organisms or bacteria. Swimmer’s ear commonly affects teens and children, but it can also occur in individuals with excessive earwax or eczema. Swimming, showering, bathing or prolonged exposure to damp environments can lead to this condition.
A few simple measures can help you avoid swimmer’s ear. For example, consider wearing earplugs while you’re in the pool at the YMCA to keep water out of your ears. Ensure they fit snugly and are the right type for water use, as opposed to foam ear plugs intended to equalize ear pressure or keep out noise. In addition, dry and clean your ears thoroughly after swimming. Tip your head from side to side so that water comes out And wipe your ears with a soft towel, or you can use a hairdryer at the lowest setting to completely dry the outer ear canal. Afterwards, gently swab some rubbing alcohol inside your ears to disinfect them. Overall, proper ear hygiene will inhibit bacteria buildup in your ears.
In case you get swimmer’s ear, seek urgent care in Santa Ana. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may include careful cleaning of your ear canal, then the use of eardrops that reduce inflammation and inhibit fungal or bacterial growth. More severe cases may require antibiotics that will be applied directly to your ears. Pain medication may also be prescribed as necessary. Follow-up checkups are also essential to monitor your condition and to perform any other needed procedures.
Swimmer’s ear is a common infection that one can get at the pool. Urgent care clinics urge swimmers to maintain proper ear health for prevention of this condition.
Understanding Swimmer’s Ear — Prevention, webmd.com
Swimmer’s Ear, entnet.org