General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection? Rss Feed  
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2010-03-03 10:20 AM

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Subject: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
So, I was sick which included my ears being a little blocked up.  I'd been swimming w/ ear plugs since becoming sick, but I was also signed up for a swim clinic over this past weekend and didn't wear the ear plugs so that I could hear the instructors.  So, I spent all day Sat & Sun in the water, and now my one ear is starting to hurt. 

Is there any good over-the-counter brand of eardrops you can recommend for ear infections? 

I'd like to nip this in the bud before I need to drop $200 on a doctor visit and prescription drops.

Thanks!


2010-03-03 10:29 AM
in reply to: #2704606

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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
I went through this last fall, and I did have to get prescription drops to clear up one bad case.  Fortunately, my insurance covered all of it.

Since then, I go with preventive medicine...

At any pharmacy section out there, you can buy OTC ear drops for clearing ears after a swim, but they are really just a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water (50/50 mix, I think?), so just make your own for much cheaper  

A doctor friend of mine also recommended putting just a bit of white vinegar in that homebrew solution to help break down "bad" bacteria.

For the pool, I use the alco/water mix every time after a swim, and I use the vinegar mix when I do OWS.  Both work well for me.

Cheers, Chris

2010-03-03 10:53 AM
in reply to: #2704606

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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
Ear ache doesn't necessarily mean ear infection. Only a doc can tell by exam.

For ear ache, I use Ryland's earache drops. You can find it in kids section of natural food stores.

Ditto on alcohol/vinegar drops in ears after each swim.

Doc's pro plugs solved ear problems I was having--vertigo while swimming, to the point of upchucking, and constant ear aches.
2010-03-03 12:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?

I was traveling (SCUBA Diving in a foreign country) and got an earache and thought it was either swimmers ear or early stages of an ear infection.   A bit of drug store 99 cent hydrogen peroxide poured into each ear a few times a day for a day or two and it was all cleared up.  Let it fizz for a about a minute and then just lift your head and let it drain.  It saved the vacation.  If it lasts more than a few more days I would definitely go to the doc. 

2010-03-03 5:42 PM
in reply to: #2704606

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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
X3 (or whatever it is now) on the alcohol/vinegar drops.  Cheap and effective.  Studies done with Navy divers found that water in the ears caused the infection, and the 50/50 drops worked best to prevent problems.  You should leave the drops in each ear for 5 minutes for best results.  When I see people put in a couple of drops and then immediately shake them out, I know they are not really doing themselves any good.
2010-03-04 9:27 AM
in reply to: #2704606

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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
I think we are mixing two issues here.  Prevention and cure.  OTC ear drops may help with prevention of swimmers ear by cleaning the water out of your ear basically.  If you have a true infection, Otitis Externa (swimmer's ear) or Otitis Media (classic middle ear infection) the OTC drops are unlikely to help much.  As in everything, benign neglect may work and lead you to believe that the OTC drops solved your problem, but I would suggest that either you really didn't have a true infection to begin with, or possibly a viral Otitis Media that resolved itself.  The problem with waiting is that Otitis Externa can get pretty impressive and painful if let go.  The ear canal can swell shut making it difficult to get the needed medicine to the infection.  If you are having ear pain that isn't improving fairly quickly, do yourself a favor and get it checked out.   


2010-03-04 9:30 AM
in reply to: #2704606

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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
I got chronic ear infections when I swam in High school, and even worse when I was younger and just swimming for fun all summer.

The nonRx stuff is basicly rubbing alcohol diluted. It forces any water stuck in your ears to evaporate. Once it evaporates it can't grow any infection causing bacteria. If you let moisture just sit in there, it will grow stuff. You can buy it at any drug store or mix your own. And they're all about the same.

And yes, you need to lay on each side for like 5 min to get to go all the way down into your ear. If you get up right away it will run out and do you no good. THAT was fun for my parents - getting a squirmy 8 yr old to sit still on a couch for 10 min stuck insdie w/ all my friends/cousins still out in the pool. Especially since I was the swimmer of the bunch!

Since that's evaporating the water in your ear right after a swim, it will prevent ear infections, but won't do you any good on an infection you already have.

If it's just an ear ache - treat it like a headache and go on w/ preventing future ones. If it's an ear infection, you basically need antibiotics to celar it up.
2010-03-04 9:38 AM
in reply to: #2704606

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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
Sorry - I posted at the same time as the guy before me. Much more qualified I'm sure, and far more susinct.

The only thing I Wanted to add is that if you were sick, it's more likely to be an ear infection rather than just an ear ahce. Your Ears, Nose, and Throat are all connected. The infection that made you sick can spread to your ears. If you were sick you KNOW you had an infection. If you swam you KNOW you got water in there that provided the breeding ground for the bacteria.

I know it's not the answer you wanted, but you probably need to go to the doctor for the antibiotics.
2010-03-04 8:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Good over-the-counter drops for ear infection?
I Use similisan ear drops with my kids. Works great for the pain and discomfort.
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