Q:

What is a home treatment for swimmer's ear?

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Quick Answer

An at-home, preventative treatment for swimmer's ear is a mixture of equal amounts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol, according to Mayo Clinic. Other preventative treatments include drying the ears after swimming and avoiding putting foreign objects in the ear. If the infection develops, it requires medical treatment.

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Full Answer

Swimmer's ear is a bacterial or fungal infection of the outer ear canal between the eardrum and outside of the ear. It often occurs after swimming in polluted water. Prompt medical attention is necessary to prevent swimmer's ear from developing into a more serious condition or conditions, explains Mayo Clinic. If the swelling is severe, the doctor places a wick inside the ear canal to facilitate drainage and ensure the eardrops reach the ear canal. In advanced cases, patients require oral antibiotics. Heat helps to reduce the pain.

Medical treatment for swimmer's ear includes the doctor cleaning the ear canal to allow the medication to reach its entire length and use of eardrops containing a combination of an acidic solution, antibiotics and steroids. If the infection is fungal in nature, an antifungal medication replaces the antibiotic, notes Mayo Clinic. The acid restores the pH of the ear canal to its normal antibacterial environment, while the steroid reduces swelling.

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