8 doctors weighed in:

What causes swimmer's ear, and what's the best treatment?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Astrachan
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
6 doctors agree

In brief: Bacterial infection

Warm dark wet spaces such as a wet ear canal make an ideal breeding ground for bacteria such as pseudomonas and staph and these cause swimmers ear. Antibiotic / steroid drops are most effective in treating it.
It is more common in people who clean their ears with qtips as wax protects the skin from infection. Another reason to not clean your ear canals. Only the very outside should be touched.

In brief: Bacterial infection

Warm dark wet spaces such as a wet ear canal make an ideal breeding ground for bacteria such as pseudomonas and staph and these cause swimmers ear. Antibiotic / steroid drops are most effective in treating it.
It is more common in people who clean their ears with qtips as wax protects the skin from infection. Another reason to not clean your ear canals. Only the very outside should be touched.
Dr. David Astrachan
Dr. David Astrachan
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1 comment
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Swimmers ear is common in the beginning f the spring/summer swim season. It is preventable by using a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and alcohol after swimming (or after showers if you take long and frequent showers). It dries the excess water in the canal that leads to the problem. Use 1-2 drops each ear after swimming.
Dr. Dennis Diaz
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Swimmer's ear

It is usually due to a disruption of the normal protective environment of the ear canal (cerumen, sebaceous oil, hair) from swimming, humidity, maceration of the ear skin, dermatitis and local trauma (use of cotton-tipped applicators or other foreign bodies).
Avoiding water and acidifying the ear canal are good preventatives. Make sure ear drum is intact before placing any drops in the ear.

In brief: Swimmer's ear

It is usually due to a disruption of the normal protective environment of the ear canal (cerumen, sebaceous oil, hair) from swimming, humidity, maceration of the ear skin, dermatitis and local trauma (use of cotton-tipped applicators or other foreign bodies).
Avoiding water and acidifying the ear canal are good preventatives. Make sure ear drum is intact before placing any drops in the ear.
Dr. Dennis Diaz
Dr. Dennis Diaz
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