Health Tip: Prevent Swimmer's Ear

-- Swimmer's ear occurs when water builds up in the ear, causing an infection of the outer ear canal. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, redness and draining pus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests how to help prevent swimmer's ear:

  • Keep water out of your ears while swimming by using ear plugs or a bathing cap.
  • Thoroughly dry your ears when you're finished swimming. Tilt your head in each direction, pull gently on your earlobe and pat dry with a towel.
  • Never insert anything (such as a finger or cotton swab) into the ear.
  • Use a blow-dryer on its lowest setting to completely dry your ears.
  • Don't try to remove any ear wax yourself. Seek the help of a physician.

Posted: June 2011


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