Swimmer’s ear is an ear infection of the outer ear canal. It happens in the tube which connects the opening of the ear to eardrum. The medical term of this infection is otitis externa. The water entering inside the ear canal after showering, bathing or swimming becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which is the main cause of an outer ear infection. Also it can be caused by virus or fungus but this is less common cause. Also there are other causes for Swimmer’s ears such as an allergy or irritation from hair dyes, hair spray, jewelry, excessive use of headphones or a hearing aid or aggressive cleaning of the ear canal. Mild symptoms of Swimmer’s ears are muffled hearing, itching, pus or fluid discharge, pain or discomfort, redness and swelling. Moderate or advanced progression of the infection can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes, blockage of the ear canal, feeling of fullness inside the ear, more extensive redness in the ear, head or neck along with more intense itching and severe pain in the face. The Swimmer’s ears is not contagious infection and usually it is not a serious issue if it is treated promptly. But any delay in the treatment can lead to complications such as cartilage damage, bone damage, deep tissue infection, a long – term infection and temporary hearing loss. If you have mild Swimmer’s ears infection, then there are many simple home remedies which can help to reduce the infection and allow the ear canal to heal. If you have noticed that you have the signs and symptoms of Swimmer’s ears, then you should talk with your doctor. You should use the mentioned home remedies only as an adjunct treatment. You should avoid swimming in pools where there may be a high bacterial content. If the water has entered your ear, you should turn your head from side to side to help it drain out. You should not put headphones, hearing aids or earplugs during the treatment.
Home remedies for swimmer’s ear
Breast milk: This is one of the most popular home remedies for ear infections. It has natural antibodies which can help fight the infection quickly. It can alleviate pain and swelling. You should lie down on your side with the infected ear facing upward. You should use a dropper and put with it a few drops of breast milk into the infected ear. You should wait for a couple of minutes, then you should tilt your head to drain out excess fluid. You should repeat every few hours as needed.
Garlic: This is also a very effective home remedy for fighting off the ear infections. It has natural pain – relieving qualities and antimicrobial properties which can help kill the bacteria which is responsible for the infection and it can reduce the pain that is associated with it. You should crush a few garlic cloves and then you should add them to two tablespoons of olive oil. You should heat this oil until the garlic turns brown. You should strain it and then allow this oil to cool. You should put two to four drops of this oil in the infected ear. You should do this natural treatment once or twice per day. Also you can consume two to three raw garlic cloves every day because this will speed up the healing process. You should not consume this garlic oil if fluid is draining from your ear.
Hydrogen peroxide: This is also a very effective home remedy which you can try as your natural treatment for Swimmer’s ears. It is natural antibacterial agent which can help to dry out the fluid in the ear and it can eliminate the infection. You should get 3% hydrogen peroxide from the market. You should lie down and use a dropper to put three or four drops of it into the affected ear. You should remain in this position for a couple of minutes. Then, you should tilt your head to allow the fluid to drain out of your ear. You should repeat this natural treatment a couple times per day.
Natural treatments for swimmer’s ear
Warm compresses: If there are signs of pus formation or fluid discharge from the infected ear, then you should try with the warm compress. The heat will promote the flow of fluid and it can ease the pain. You should soak a washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess water. You should put moist washcloth over the infected ear for two minutes. Then, you should tilt your head to promote fluid drainage. You should take a break for ten minutes and then you should repeat this process as much as needed. Also you can put a heating pad wrapped in a towel on your bed. You should lie down and then you should put the infected ear on this heating pad in a period of few minutes at regular intervals.
Keep ear dry: It is very important to keep your ear as dry as possible whether a severe infection or ear discharge is. Any moisture in your ear will serve as a breeding ground for the bacteria. To fight off this infection, it is very important to keep the growth of bacteria in check. After exposure to moisture from bathing or swimming, dry your ears thoroughly with cloth or a soft towel. Tilt your head to the side to help water drain out of your ear canal. Also you can use a blow dryer to dry your ears. You should put the blow dryer on the lowest setting and hold it at least one foot away from your ear. If you want to prevent getting water in your ear canals when bathing, then you should coat two cotton balls with petroleum jelly and put one in each of the outer ears.
White vinegar: This is one of the most effective home remedies for Swimmer’s ears. It has slight acidic nature which will help to fight the infection by cleansing your ear and removing traces of bacteria. You should combine equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in a bowl. You should lie on your side with the infected ear facing up. You should use a dropper to put two or three drops of this home remedy into your ear. You should wait five minutes, then get up and tilt your head to allow this home remedy to drain out of your ear. You should repeat this home remedy two or three times per day.
Holy basil: This is also a very effective Ayurvedic remedy for Swimmer’s ears. It has antibiotic nature which will fight the infection and it can provide a relief from the pain. Also it is good natural cure for treating fluid discharge. You should extract the juice of four or five basil leaves. You should heat this juice slightly so it is lukewarm. You should lie down and you should use a dropper to put two or three drops into the infected ear. You should wait five minutes and then you should tilt your head to allow the fluid to drain out. You should repeat this home treatment two times per day.
Onion juice: Onion juice is a good treatment for the Swimmer’s ears according to Ayurveda. This juice acts as an effective disinfectant and it can provide you a relief from the pain within a short time after use. You should extract the juice of one small onion. You should heat the juice in the microwave for a few seconds. You should put two or three drops of this warm juice into the infected ear. You should wait five minutes and then you should tilt your head to drain out the fluid. You should use this home remedy two or three times per day.
Humidifier: This can help you a lot when you suffer from ear infections as well as upper respiratory tract infections. The low humidity can aggravate a middle ear infection by causing nasal swelling and reducing ventilation of the Eustachian tube. This can increase the fluid secretion. If you want to reduce this problem, then you should place a humidifier in your bedroom. A cool moist humidifier is recommended also for your office and home. Also you can buy a portable humidifier which you can easily move from one room to another.
Avoid phlegm – producing foods: If you want to reduce the pus and fluid discharge, you should keep an eye on your diet and you need to eliminate phlegm – producing foods. These foods can worsen this condition and they can delay the healing process. Potatoes, cabbage, corn, bananas, cheese, yogurt, milk, lentils, sugar, barley, rye and milled rice are some of the phlegm – producing foods. Also you should avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol. You should try to eat more foods which relieve phlegm such as bell peppers, broccoli, berries, leafy greens, parsley, onions, celery and garlic. Also you should include Omega – 3 fatty acid foods such as walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds and fatty fish in your diet because this can help you to reduce the inflammation which is accompanying the infection.