Swimmer's Ear Prevention with Ear Plugs

Keep the water out of your ears

swimmer's ear
How to stop Swimmer's Ear. Getty Images

Note - If you have already developed symptoms of an ear infection, have a history of ear ache problems, perforated eardrums, ear tubes, or other possible complications, consult a physician. If in doubt - consult a physician.

We all know about the common swimmer injuries: swimmer's shoulder, pulled muscles and tendons, knee injuries, groin injuries, and more. What about the pain and injuries going on inside your head?

I am not talking about concussions; I want to talk about Swimmer's Ear.

What is Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal. It is usually caused by irritation from the ear being wet for too long. Some swimmers can't dry their ears well enough, and the water that got into the canal while swimming stays there. The canal becomes irritated and sometimes this leads to an infection - swimmer's ear!

What to Look for: Symptoms of swimmer’s ear can present itself by a small amount of odorless liquid or puss, mild discomfort, redness and itching.If it goes untreated, stronger symptoms can occur, especially elevated pain and hearing difficulties.

Swimmer's ear can be so painful that some swimmer's cannot train until it is healed. Why not prevent it before it happens?

Tips for Preventing Swimmer's Ear

How can you prevent it? One way is to use ear plugs to keep water out. Some swimmer's don't like to use them, but if you have a history of swimmer's ear, I suggest you give them a few test runs.

One of my favored brands of earplugs is Mack's, but most silicone-type earplugs will do the trick!

Trying to prevent swimmer's ear? Instead of staying out of the water, give earplugs a try.

Another item that could help is the EarDryer, great for after swimming to make sure all the water is out.


Updated by Dr. John Mullen on February 29, 2016