The treatment of swimmers' ear consist of ear drops containing a combination of;
- Antibiotics such as gentamicin
- Antifungals such as acetic acid (vinegar)
- Steroids to reduce inflammation
These need to be prescribed by a doctor or other medical practitioner and usually start to work in 24-48 hours. Swimmer's ear is also known as otitis externa. Without treatment swimmers ear may progress to become middle ear infection. This can cause eardrum rupture, pain and altered hearing. Otitis externa usually requires oral (tablet or liquid) antibiotics as well as drops to treat it. Avoid immersing your ears in water, particularly soapy or dirty water, such as sea water. Try to keep them dry and keep fingers and pen lids out. The temptation to scratch the sore and inflamed skin can be irresistable but can damage the delicate tissue. This the infection worse.
Prevention is better than cure. Non-porous antibacterial ear plugs stop the water penetrating the protective waxy skin of the ear canal. This helps to prevent swimmers ear. The ear plugs are individually molded for comfort and effectiveness. They work by stopping water entering the ear and breaking down the protective waxy layer. This allows water-logging and damage to the skin lining the ear canal. The antibacterial properties can also help to reduce the risk of infection.