School is out, suitcases are packed for summer vacations, and spending time in the water is just one of the perks of hot weather. But when you spend all day in a pool, lake, or ocean, you may come home with more than a sunburn.

Although it typically it drains by itself, water can become trapped in the canal and lead to an infection marked by redness, itchiness, swelling, and pain called Swimmer’s Ear.  

Swimmer’s ear is easily treated with antibacterial ear drops, but it’s also easily preventable. Below are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control to help prevent an unnecessary doctor visit this summer.

  • Keep your ears dry while swimming by using a swim cap or ear plugs.
  • Ask the pool operator if chemical levels are tested daily. Pools with improper disinfectant and pH levels are more likely to spread germs.
  • Thoroughly dry your ears with a towel or cotton ball.
  • If the previous tip doesn’t work, tilt your head down and gently pull your earlobe in different directions to help the water escape.
  • Don’t use a Q-tip or other small object to remove water, as you can damage your ear drum or canal.
  • Don’t remove ear wax yourself. Wax is a protective barrier, it prevents germs and debris from invading your ear. If the wax is blocking your canal, contact our office in Mason City, Iowa and a member of our staff can help remove it for you.

Remember: If your ears are itchy, flaky, swollen, or painful, or if you have drainage from your ears, contact your general physician as soon as possible.

To prevent a painful infection and a trip to your doctor, follow these helpful tips. If you are unable to remove the water, contact Hearing Associates in Mason City, Iowa for professional assistance. 

Source: http://www.cliftonhearing.com/blog/protect-your-ears-while-swimming.html