6 doctors weighed in:
What can I do to prevent an ear infection?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Anifat Balogun
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Ear Infections
If you mean external ear infection, then the best way to avoid one is to keep your ears dry while bathing and swimming.
Also don't use q-tips or other devices to clean ear canals. Middle ear infections can't be prevented per se. They can occur during or after a cold, or during flare up of allergies. They can occur for no clear reason. In general, the better your overall health, the lower the risk.

In brief: Ear Infections
If you mean external ear infection, then the best way to avoid one is to keep your ears dry while bathing and swimming.
Also don't use q-tips or other devices to clean ear canals. Middle ear infections can't be prevented per se. They can occur during or after a cold, or during flare up of allergies. They can occur for no clear reason. In general, the better your overall health, the lower the risk.
Dr. Anifat Balogun
Dr. Anifat Balogun
Thank
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
Outer ear "swimmer's ear": avoid getting water in the ear canal or make sure you get any water out.
For middle ear infections - otitis media: usually caused by dysfunction of the eustachian tube and a viral infection (cold) or flying can predispose use. If you get a cold, use afrin nasal spray (< 3 days), saline nasal spray and avoid flying if you have a cold if you can. If frequent - see your ent.

In brief: Depends
Outer ear "swimmer's ear": avoid getting water in the ear canal or make sure you get any water out.
For middle ear infections - otitis media: usually caused by dysfunction of the eustachian tube and a viral infection (cold) or flying can predispose use. If you get a cold, use afrin nasal spray (< 3 days), saline nasal spray and avoid flying if you have a cold if you can. If frequent - see your ent.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
Thank
Dr. Christopher Rathfoot
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No q-tips
There are inner (middle) ear infections and outer (external) infection.
Middle infections occur most often with colds and to prevent these hand washing is the key. For outer infections keeping some wax in the ear is crucial. Q-tips remove the wax as does alcohol and peroxide. Keep these out!

In brief: No q-tips
There are inner (middle) ear infections and outer (external) infection.
Middle infections occur most often with colds and to prevent these hand washing is the key. For outer infections keeping some wax in the ear is crucial. Q-tips remove the wax as does alcohol and peroxide. Keep these out!
Dr. Christopher Rathfoot
Dr. Christopher Rathfoot
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
23 years in practice
171K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors