Swimming pool otitis is an inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa). It’s an inflammation of the outer skin of the ear canal. The disease is often very painful and unfortunately often also lengthy. The disease is usually triggered by bacterial infections.
Anyone who spends a lot of time in the water can easily contract an inflammation of the ear canal. Bacteria are usually the culprit. In medicine, one then speaks of the so-called swimming pool otitis, bathing otitis, swimmer’s ear, or also the diver’s ear. This is why we often deal with this diagnosis in our practice, especially during the summer months.
In the case of an ear canal infection (otitis externa), the skin in the outer ear canal between the pinna and the eardrum becomes inflamed. An ear infection can affect one ear or both ears.
What is the cause and how does it happen?
By nature, the ear is well-armed against pathogens. The greasy earwax lies like a protective layer over the outer part of the ear canal and keeps the skin there supple. It ensures that dirt and water are repelled by an acid barrier. It also contains substances that fight bacteria and keep insects away. If this protective layer is removed, for example through frequent washing or extensive swimming and diving, pathogens can enter the ear. Chlorine, which is used in swimming pools for disinfection, and seawater dissolve the protective layer of fat even faster. The use of cotton swabs can also cause small injuries in the skin of the auditory canal and then make it easy for pathogens.
How do I notice swimming pool otitis?
Usually fast. It starts with itching and also a sensitivity to touch of the ear. The pain sets in no later than two days after infection. The pain increases very quickly.
What can I do myself?
As a soothing first measure, it is advisable to take a painkiller and cool the outside of the ear a little. It is very important to see an ENT doctor’s office immediately.
How is swimming pool otitis treated?
In all cases, thorough cleaning or rinsing of the ear is recommended. This should definitely be carried out by an ENT doctor, otherwise injuries can occur that aggravate the disease. Anti-inflammatory ointment strips are also placed in the ear canal. It is important that these are placed correctly by the ENT doctor so that the pain does not get worse. The ointment strip is changed daily. With this treatment, the inflammation should usually heal within a week. After that, nothing stands in the way of your next visit to the swimming pool. 🙂
Tips for preventing swimming pool otitis
– Never clean your ears with cotton swabs, as this removes the skin’s protective layer of fat
– If you have sensitive ears or if you are a diver, it is advisable to rinse your ears with clear fresh or drinking water after you have been in the water
– Put a drop of olive or baby oil in your ear after swimming to moisturize the skin
– In the case of frequent inflammation, it makes sense to replace the oil with glycerol-alcohol drops, also known as “diving drops”, which have both a caring and disinfecting effect
– A simple and practical solution for the onset of mild inflammation is to mix water and vinegar drops in a ratio of 10:1, which also have a disinfecting effect
Quelle : https://hno-praxis-in-buer.de/ Roberta Udrescu