8 doctors weighed in:
Will swimming aggravate an ear infection?
8 doctors weighed in

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
Thank
Dr. Ronda Alexander
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees
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
Thank
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
Thank
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
Thank
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
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Jonathan Jassey
Board Certified, Pediatrics
13 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors