Swimmers' ear is a common condition. It consists of superficial infection of the skin after exposure to water. Usually this is after repeated exposure. Susceptible individuals may develop the condition after only one episode.
How to prevent swimmer's ear? Via the regular use of ear plugs for swimming. These should be be waterproof and antibacterial as well as being tight fitting. Connection on a strong cord will also be beneficial to the user. A bright colour will make the plugs easier to find on the floor or in the pool if they are dropped.
The warm waters of tropical seas are more likely to cause infection as the number of bacteria is much higher. Chlorinated pool water can cause irritation to the skin. It can also cause breakdown of the protective layer of wax and epithelium in the ear. Ear plugs will protect the ears and keep them healthy.
Anything which causes inflammation of the ear canal can predispose to otitis externa and swimmer's ear. This is because inflamed skin loses it's ability to defend against bacteria. They pass through to the underlying dermis where they cause infection, pain, discharge and muffled hearing. This is as a result of the build-up of debris along the canal.
Antibacterial ear plugs such as ZenPlugs are ideal for reducing the bacterial load in the ears. They kill MRSA, pseudomonas and other types of infection inducing bacteria. If you think you may have an ear infection you should visit your doctor for treatment with ear drops and possibly liquid or tablet antibiotics.