I was born and raised in Southern California. When I was 8 years old we moved into a house with a pool. As wonderful as that was…from that point forward, I was in a constant battle with “Swimmer’s Ear”. I guess that’s what you get when you spend most of your time in the pool UNDERNEATH the water pretending you are a mermaid. :-)
Swimmer’s ear is an EXTERNAL ear infection that affects the ear drum in the ear canal. When water get stuck in the ear canal after swimming or bathing, the water can irritate the skin of the ear canal which then gets invaded by bacteria. This infection will fester until it builds up enough to cause pain.
To help prevent swimmer’s ear, you can make and use your own Swimmer’s Ear Drops. Although these won’t cure an existing infection, they are very effective at making sure you avoid future ones.
Even parenting expert and pediatrician, Dr. William Sears, recommends making and using your own Swimmer’s Ear Drops.
He points out that you can BUY swimmer’s ear drops in the drug store, but they do not have any advantage over plain white vinegar and alcohol.
I only WISH I had known about these drops back in the day! Might have saved me many a painful experience….not to mention trips to the doctor’s office!
1. Pour equal amounts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a small bottle with a dropper lid. Close and shake the bottle gently to mix the ingredients.
2. Tilt your head to the side and gently pull the ear lobe down. Place 5 to 10 drops of the mixture into the ear. Keep your head held to the side for a few minutes so the ear drops don’t drain out.
3. Hold a towel of some sort up to your ear. Raise your head up and allow the drops for swimmer’s ear to drain out. Wipe off any drops that run out of your ear.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on other ear.
Important – do not place alcohol into an already sore or infected ear. This will be very painful for an already hurting child. If your child has a swimmer’s ear, and gets water in it, then use just white vinegar.
As a former FREQUENT Swimmer’s Ear sufferer….I sincerely hope this helps the little swimmer’s out there this summer from having to go through all that unpleasantness and pain….and the parents who have to deal with it. :-)