Getting rid of this problem is often done by most people with a visit to an EENT specialist or an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor. Other people opt to use alternative sources for their medication, and these home remedies are just examples of these other alternative cures that people use for their otitis externa problems.
- Garlic is pretty good at reducing swelling and has antiseptic properties as well. Just peel a few cloves of garlic and grate these into a bowl. Once all of the garlic is grated, add some olive oil just enough to cover the grated garlic pieces. Cover and keep overnight. In the morning, strain the oil and place this in a dropper bottle. Use three drops of this oil in your ear when you suffer from otitis externa.
- A mixture of alcohol and some vinegar can help cure your ear of the itching that comes with swimmer’s ear and can also help disinfect the ear canal. Mix together a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and some rubbing alcohol in a dropper bottle.
Swimmer’s Ear Diet
When you want to get well fast from an ear infection like swimmer’s ear, you will need to adopt a diet that is made for healing such infections fast. Some people suggest that increasing your intake of vitamin-C-rich foods like oranges and lemons can help toward the healing of such infections, especially if your otitis externa is caused by a wound or abrasion in your ear. Here are a few more suggestions you might want to try:
- Eat a healthy diet that consists of lots of fruits and vegetables to speed up the healing process and to help increase your immunity to further infections. You can mix fruit juices and vegetable juices into your diet as well for easier absorption of nutrients for healing.
- Some of the vegetables that you should include in your diet are the ones that have high beta-carotene content like dark green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Yellow foods like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes are also good sources of beta carotene.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and eating substances that can cause your more harm than good like junk foods, greasy foods, fried foods, and foods that are heavy in toxins that can make healing slow and sluggish.
Swimmer’s Ear Prevention Measures
- Try not to clean your ears harshly or with the wrong kind of cleaning equipment. Your fingers are not ideal cleaning tools for your ear and may cause you to have wounds due to your fingernails. They can also introduce bacteria into your ear if you insert them in your ear while they are dirty or unsterilized.
- When you notice that water often enters your ears when you swim or when you bathe, try to use earplugs when you do these things. Try to make sure that the earplugs you use are clean and free from bacteria as well by washing these with alcohol before using them. Another alternative to earplugs are shower caps or swimming caps.
- Should your child complain about water in their ears after swimming, ask them to jump on one foot while their head is tilted to the side. This should all be done on the same side of the ear that has the water in it.
- After swimming, you can also put some vinegar and alcohol drops into your ear or your child’s ear as a preventive measure for otitis externa. Drain out the excess fluids after doing this.
Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms
How does one identify otitis externa from other forms of ear infections? There are some symptoms that are common to all ear problems like pain and even some hearing loss, but there are some symptoms that can easily point you in the direction of swimmer’s ear. Here are some of these symptoms:
- A person with otitis externa may feel that their ear canal is itchy, and they will feel like it is filled with either wax or some other substance. You can also tell if the earache you are feeling is otitis externa if the pain increases when you pull your ear lobe downward or when you touch the ear.
- You can also tell if you are suffering from swimmer’s ear when you see fluid draining out of your ear. The fluid you see may be clear, yellowish, white, or it may be somewhat bloody if there is a wound in the ear canal. The fluid that flows out of your ear may also smell foul and sometimes you will see a crusting of this fluid happening at the entrance of your ear.
- Some people will experience vertigo with otitis externa.
- Another thing that they may notice with this ailment is that they hear a ringing in the infected ear. This symptom is called tinnitus.
- Dizziness is also another possible symptom that you may have with swimmer’s ear.
Otitis Externa Ear Causes
There are a few ways that a person can get swimmer’s ear or otitis externa. One of the ways is when you go swimming and you do not remove the water that enters your ear during such an activity. This is usually the case with children and teenagers, which is why they are seen as the most prone to this kind of an ear problem.
- Sometimes when a person showers, water accidentally enters the ear from the shower’s stream of water. Other times, water from a soak in the tub can also enter the ear and create the ideal moisture that bacteria can grow in.
- The most common bacteria that cause this ear infection are the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the Staphylococcus aureus. There are times however when fungus growth can be blamed for otitis externa.
- Inserting foreign objects in your ear can also cause otitis externa. Examples of such objects include earplugs, headphones, hearing aids, and even hands-free mobile phone ear sets. Other objects that can also be cause for irritation when inserted in your ear are your fingers and ear cleaning materials like cotton swabs.
- When you are fond of having your hair treated in salons, chances are, you may have experienced otitis media from these hair treatments. Hair dyes, perming solutions, and professional conditioning serums that are placed onto your scalp and hair can drip into your ears and cause an infection.