In general, swimming with a middle ear infection (while under treatment) is not a problem, according to Natalie Roberge, M.D., an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist at Cook Children’s. However, a child should stay out of the water for some time while experiencing swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa.
Can you swim with an ear infection?
The good news for parents and kids eager to get to the pool is that even with a middle ear infection, swimming is not out of the question.
What happens if you get water in your ear with an ear infection?
You may also not be able to hear as well or only hear muffled sounds. Usually, the water drains out on its own. If it doesn’t, the trapped water may lead to an ear infection. This type of ear infection in the external auditory canal of your outer ear is called swimmer’s ear.
Can swimmer’s ear turn into middle ear infection?
There are two main types of ear infections: acute otitis media (a middle ear infection) and otitis externa (swimmer’s ear). A middle ear infection occurs behind the eardrum, whereas swimmer’s ear occurs in the ear canal.
What is the difference between swimmers ear and an ear infection?
With swimmer’s ear the pain is located in the outer ear canal, or the area near the ear opening, and increases when you pull on the earlobe. In a middle ear infection, pain is located in the inner ear, near the ear drum and will often increase with lying down, which can also cause trouble sleeping.
How should you sleep with an ear infection?
Resting or sleeping sitting up rather than lying down can help fluid in your ear drain. This could ease pressure and pain in your middle ear. Prop yourself up in bed with a stack of pillows, or sleep in an armchair that leans back a bit. Mayo Clinic: “Ear Infection (Middle Ear).”
What side should you lay on if you have an ear infection?
The skinny: How you sleep can affect ear pain. Rest with your head on two or more pillows, so the affected ear is higher than the rest of your body. Or if the left ear has an infection, sleep on your right side. Less pressure = less ear pain.
How do you open a blocked ear?
If your ears are plugged, try swallowing, yawning or chewing sugar-free gum to open your eustachian tubes. If this doesn’t work, take a deep breath and try to blow out of your nose gently while pinching your nostrils closed and keeping your mouth shut. If you hear a popping noise, you know you have succeeded.
How do you get your ear to drain?
Reach around the back of your head and tug gently on the outer portion of your ear with your opposing hand. This will straighten out the ear canal and allow water to drain out. The Chew and Yawn Technique. Moving your mouth and jaw help equalize pressure in the Eustachian tubes.
How do I flush out my ears?
Use warm water. After a day or two, when the wax is softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently squirt warm water into your ear canal. Tilt your head and pull your outer ear up and back to straighten your ear canal. When finished irrigating, tip your head to the side to let the water drain out.
How bad can swimmer’s ear get?
Swimmer’s ear usually isn’t serious if treated promptly, but complications can occur. Temporary hearing loss. You might have muffled hearing that usually gets better after the infection clears. Long-term infection (chronic otitis externa).
How long does it take to heal from swimmer’s ear?
How Long Does Swimmer’s Ear Last? If it’s treated with prescription ear drops, swimmer’s ear is usually cured within 7 to 10 days. The pain should lessen within a few days of treatment.
Will swimmer’s ear go away by itself?
With proper treatment from a healthcare provider, swimmer’s ear often clears up in 7 to 10 days. Treatment may include: Taking ear drops to kill bacteria (antibiotic ear drops) Taking ear drops to help reduce swelling (corticosteroid ear drops)
Does swimmer’s ear need antibiotics?
Symptoms can range from mild itching to severe pain and blocked ear canals. Thankfully, swimmer’s ear is usually successfully treated with ear drops and/or oral antibiotics.
How long does it take to get over an outer ear infection?
How Long Do Ear Infections Last (outer ear)? With proper treatments an outer ear infection should clear up in 7 to 10 days. If ear drops are used they are usually applied for a slightly longer period of time, 10 to 14 days.
Can I shower with an ear infection?
Keep your ear as dry as possible for 7 to 10 days.
Take baths instead of showers. Try to keep water out of your ears when you wash your hair. Use a cotton ball to protect your ear from water while bathing (but don’t stuff the cotton into the ear canal). Don’t swim or play other water sports.