Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer part of the ear canal that can be caused by exposure to bacteria from swimming in polluted water, or by water becoming trapped in the ear, which causes the germs normally found there to multiply. People that swim in pools (rather than lakes or oceans) tend to get swimmer’s ear more often, since the chlorinated water can kill off a lot of the protective bacteria in the ear, allowing the infectious bacteria to grow.

What Is Swimmer’s Ear?

Otitis externa or swimmer’s ear is an inflammation of the ear canal. Its common name comes from the fact that it often occurs in people who swim frequently. However, any kind of dampness in the ear canal can lead to irritation and chafing, a condition similar to diaper rash. This inflammation of the ear canal can sometimes lead to an infection that can be very painful, which can cause muffled hearing (hearing loss).

Just know you don’t have to be a swimmer to get swimmer’s ear. It can be caused by excess moisture in the ear from things like showering or washing your hair.

What Are the Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear?

The symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:

Some tips to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear

Call Your Doctor About Swimmer’s Ear If:

Although earplugs seem like a natural choice for prevention, many doctors don’t like them because they can trap bacteria in the ear canal and have the opposite effect. They suggest the steps above. A little ear care can keep Swimmer’s Ear something that you only heard about. See your nearest BC Hearing Services clinic to learn more.

New Westminster Hearing Aids

North Vancouver Hearing Aids

Surrey City Aids Hearing Aids

Hearing Clinic Cloverdale