General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swimmer's Ear Rss Feed  
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2013-10-10 9:43 AM

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Meridian
Subject: Swimmer's Ear
As I sit here I realize that I should have learned to type better because every time I look down I get a stab of pain in my ear. After my 0430 swim yesterday, my left ear became worse and worse. A WebMD check says that I probably have swimmer's ear. They suggested ear drops and 7-10 days out of the pool . I was hoping that this community would have some suggestions on how to get rid of and how to prevent swimmer's ear.


2013-10-10 10:14 AM
in reply to: nojogray

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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear

Originally posted by nojogray As I sit here I realize that I should have learned to type better because every time I look down I get a stab of pain in my ear. After my 0430 swim yesterday, my left ear became worse and worse. A WebMD check says that I probably have swimmer's ear. They suggested ear drops and 7-10 days out of the pool . I was hoping that this community would have some suggestions on how to get rid of and how to prevent swimmer's ear.

If it's that bad or is worse than an outer ear infection, you may need antibiotics and/or antibiotic ear drops.

That said, while you're waiting (or if it/you do not keep getting worse), I've done really well with a white vinegar/rubbing alcohol combo diluted (or even not, just the dilution they come in from the store) with 10%-30% more distilled (or not, also) water. Fill 'er up, slosh 'er around (tip forward and back, up down) then dry out really well.

Few times a day of that ... I have had outer ear infections and continued swimming using the treatment/prevention. I'm not sure I'd recommend continuing to swim (since I'm an idiot when it comes to not training).

I also do that with my ears nearly every time after swimming, helps prevent swimmer's ear.

My best friends are also earplugs. I like the silicone/putty kind; others do well with the mini-Xmas-tree looking kind.

2013-10-10 10:20 AM
in reply to: nojogray

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312
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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear

I had it once in my youth and remember wearing something like these for a few weeks at practice.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/8239.htm#color=213

 

2013-10-10 11:13 AM
in reply to: Goggles Pizzano

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Regular
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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
I use a product, or the generic of, called Swim-EAR (http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Ear-Ear-Water-Drying-Aid-29-57/dp/B0002700W4) after every swim.  Haven't had any issues.  You can make up your own version of it at home (http://hip2save.com/2013/07/16/video-how-to-make-swimmers-ear-drops-using-just-2-ingredients-save-as-much-as-97/), just buy the commercial stuff the first time to get the bottle, then mix up your own going forward and refill the bottle.
2013-10-10 11:20 AM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
I use rubbing alcohol in my ears if I sense that water is trapped in there. Just a few drops and I then tip out. The water comes out with the alcohol. This is preventative, not really a treatment for an existing infection. Smells a bit, but it seems to keep my ears happy.
2013-10-10 11:21 AM
in reply to: nojogray

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Champion
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Puyallup, WA
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear

Lots of products out there do the same thing: Auro-Dry, various swimming-geared products... Alcohol and vinegar, basically.

I use Q-tips after every swim and shower as prevention. I have the drops for when I feel it starting.



2013-10-10 12:07 PM
in reply to: rustymom

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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
Originally posted by rustymom

I use rubbing alcohol in my ears if I sense that water is trapped in there. Just a few drops and I then tip out. The water comes out with the alcohol. This is preventative, not really a treatment for an existing infection. Smells a bit, but it seems to keep my ears happy.


X2 and no issues. It also gets the water out immediately so there is no sloshing sound for hours afterwards.
2013-10-10 3:04 PM
in reply to: Trbilbao


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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
Had it once in college, and it was annoying. I still remember how good it felt when they inserted a "wick" and drained the water out! I use a q-tip after every swim and shower, too, and have not had a problem since. I think I got it from a lake swim - not my pool.
2013-10-10 7:54 PM
in reply to: jbrookscga78

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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
I use a combo of 50/50 vinegar and aloe vera juice.
2013-10-16 5:00 PM
in reply to: nojogray

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San Jose
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
I have had ongoing issues with swimmers ear. Purchased a bottle of drops for after swim, and later read the ingredients ... Isopropyl alcohol! Refilled with drugstore variety Isopropyl Alcohol, and use the silicone putty earplugs. The alcohol evaporates much faster than water, which helps. I think a nice side effect of the ear plugs is the difference it makes to what you hear while swimming, you have to do it to understand but its like you hear your movement in the water :-)

If the pain doesn't subside, go get it checked before it gets to be a bigger problem!
2013-10-16 10:22 PM
in reply to: nojogray

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Pro
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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
If it's that bad at this point, you probably need prescription ear drops to clear it up. And as others have said, prevention with rubbing alcohol/white vinegar solution after every swim works well for most people. 50/50 solution of that mixture is a good place to start.


2013-10-16 10:25 PM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear

Originally posted by TTom I use a product, or the generic of, called Swim-EAR (http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Ear-Ear-Water-Drying-Aid-29-57/dp/B0002700W4) after every swim.  Haven't had any issues.  You can make up your own version of it at home (http://hip2save.com/2013/07/16/video-how-to-make-swimmers-ear-drops-using-just-2-ingredients-save-as-much-as-97/), just buy the commercial stuff the first time to get the bottle, then mix up your own going forward and refill the bottle.

We use the same.....4 drops in each kid's ear nightly after practice.  Never had an issue.

2013-10-17 7:31 AM
in reply to: nojogray


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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
After you clear up the issue I would suggest ear plugs. No better prevention then to not let water get in there in the first place.
2013-10-18 10:46 AM
in reply to: USAFR

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Master
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Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
My experience.

Use Swim Ear until clear.

My daily after swim routine... And yes, I know it is dangerous.

1 - Hair-dryer in the ears.
2 - let a Q-tip hang out at the opening of the canal for a few minutes. I always worry about forgetting that they are there and doing something stupid. But the capillary action pulls the water out.
2013-10-18 10:46 AM
in reply to: USAFR

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Master
2434
200010010010010025
Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
My experience.

Use Swim Ear until clear.

My daily after swim routine... And yes, I know it is dangerous.

1 - Hair-dryer in the ears.
2 - let a Q-tip hang out at the opening of the canal for a few minutes. I always worry about forgetting that they are there and doing something stupid. But the capillary action pulls the water out.
2013-10-18 10:46 AM
in reply to: USAFR

User image

Master
2434
200010010010010025
Oceanside, California
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
My experience.

Use Swim Ear until clear.

My daily after swim routine... And yes, I know it is dangerous.

1 - Hair-dryer in the ears.
2 - let a Q-tip hang out at the opening of the canal for a few minutes. I always worry about forgetting that they are there and doing something stupid. But the capillary action pulls the water out.


2013-10-18 5:55 PM
in reply to: eabeam

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Elite
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Alturas, California
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Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
Good earplugs under a single or double swim cap can keep the ears dry while you heal up. You can put the alcohol drops in to dry them out once you are healed up. Sometimes it has to do with the quality of the water you swim in. In a lake I swim in I will get swimmers ear within a month of swimming in it if I don't use ear plugs. In the pool I am pretty much fine for 6 months before I have to use the plugs for a week or two and then be fine for a while again.
2013-10-18 8:03 PM
in reply to: nojogray

New user
119
100
Green Bay
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
if it hurts I would get it checked. preventative measures probably aren't going to help if you have acute otitis externa (swimmer's ear) right now. I wouldn't wait too long if it feels like it is getting worse, it can get nasty.
2013-10-18 11:32 PM
in reply to: nojogray

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New user
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25
Shreveport, Louisiana
Subject: RE: Swimmer's Ear
Ever since I started swimming I've gotten a stabbing pain in my ears. It's not like an uncomfortable feeling of water being in there, and I have to drain it out when I'm done, it's a downright pain. I've tried those swimming ear plugs that are made out of silicon or whatever but I could never get them to mold to my ear, so the only thing I've found that works for me is the foam earplugs that are typically meant for blocking sound. They fit nicely, don't feel uncomfortable, and most importantly they keep the water completely out. The only downside is that it's tough to hear what the coach is yelling at you, but a cool side effect is that swimming almost becomes like a sensory deprivation session.
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