9 doctors weighed in:

Will swimming aggravate an ear infection?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronda Alexander
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

If it's an outer ear infection (otitis externa), you definitely shouldn't swim. If it's middle ear infection (otitis media), it's not likely to be an issue.
The inner ear is another matter altogether since this affects your balance & orientation. Check with a local ENT to see which type of infection you have & get specific advice.

In brief: Depends

If it's an outer ear infection (otitis externa), you definitely shouldn't swim. If it's middle ear infection (otitis media), it's not likely to be an issue.
The inner ear is another matter altogether since this affects your balance & orientation. Check with a local ENT to see which type of infection you have & get specific advice.
Dr. Ronda Alexander
Dr. Ronda Alexander
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Dr. John Thaler
Dentistry - Prosthodontics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Probably

You should not be in the pool with any active infection -- rules against this are posted.
Common sense dictates that you don't get any water -- especially pool water-- in an infected ear. I would include ocean and lake water in this rationale. Be patient -- let it get cleared up before going in . Good Luck.

In brief: Probably

You should not be in the pool with any active infection -- rules against this are posted.
Common sense dictates that you don't get any water -- especially pool water-- in an infected ear. I would include ocean and lake water in this rationale. Be patient -- let it get cleared up before going in . Good Luck.
Dr. John Thaler
Dr. John Thaler
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Dr. Sanford Archer
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Outer ear infections

Only if you have an outer ear infection, also know as swimmer's ear.
Then you must keep it dry or it will get worse.

In brief: Outer ear infections

Only if you have an outer ear infection, also know as swimmer's ear.
Then you must keep it dry or it will get worse.
Dr. Sanford Archer
Dr. Sanford Archer
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Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends

If it is an outer ear infection (swimmer's ear), yes swimming can aggravate the infection.
If it is a middle ear infection with a perforated ear drum... Yes it can aggravate that as well.

In brief: Depends

If it is an outer ear infection (swimmer's ear), yes swimming can aggravate the infection.
If it is a middle ear infection with a perforated ear drum... Yes it can aggravate that as well.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
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Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management

In brief: Not recommended

it's often brought on by water that remains in your ear after swimming.

In brief: Not recommended

it's often brought on by water that remains in your ear after swimming.
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin
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