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Swimmerís Ear Treatment


First instill 4 drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear canal and let it foam and fizz.  Then dab out some of the remaining water with a Kleenex.  Then put the prescription drops into the ear canal.  You do not have to put cotton in the ear afterward. 


Call if not better in a few days.  They can go back to swimming when the ear does not hurt when you wiggle the outer ear lobes.  If they are still using the drops, put an extra dose of the medicine in the ear after they swim.


Swimmerís Ear Prevention

 To prevent Swimmer's ear you can do two things.  Some prefer one and some do both.  If your child does not ever get swimmerís ear, then donít worry about it.  Some childrenís ears are resistant and just donít get infections.  They are more likely to get infected with swimming in lakes and oceans.

It was discovered that the pH of the ear is acidic.  The swimming water makes the pH more basic or alkaline.  The bacteria and fungus grow in alkaline areas.  So just putting alcohol in the ear to dry it out did not work very well.  ENT doctors now recommend some acid in the ear to restore the pH to acidic so the germs do not grow.  The drops that you buy in the stores (ie Swimear, Eardry, etc) do not have acid.  They just have alcohol with some glycerin in it.  So make your own:

1.Put a mixture of 1/2 rubbing alcohol and 1/2 white vinegar.  Then put 3-4 drops in their ears after they swim or even if it is late that night.  It is not the drying out of the ear as it is restoring the pH to acid.  This will restore the pH of the ear to acidic so the germs do not grow.

If you have a bottle of store bought ear drops with alcohol, you can add an equal amount of white vinegar to the solution that is in that bottle. 

2. The second method to prevent swimmer's ear is to coat the ear canal with oil to repel the water out of the canal.  It acts like a liquid ear plug.  You can put it in there in the morning and help it even if they do not swim until later that day. 

Put 3-4 drops of olive oil in their ears before swimming.  Wipe up any oil that runs back out.

Do not do these two preventive methods if the ear is infected.  It is infected if there is pain on moving the ear lobe.  Call for an appointment to get medicated drops.

Dr.  Knapp