Some home treatment can help swimmer's ear. But it is important to see a doctor first. If your doctor says it's okay, you can try the following:
Gently rinse the ear using a bulb syringe and warm saline solution or a half-and-half solution of white vinegar and warm water. Make sure the flushing solution is body temperature. Inserting cool or hot fluids in the ear may cause dizziness.
If your ear is itchy, try nonprescription swimmer's eardrops, such as Swim-Ear. Use them before and after swimming or getting your ears wet. Read and follow all instructions on the label, and learn how to insert eardrops safely.
To ease ear pain, apply a warm washcloth or a heating pad set on low. There may be some drainage when the heat melts earwax. For more information about earwax removal, see the topic Earwax.
Do not use a heating pad when you are in bed. You may fall asleep and burn yourself.
Do not use a heating pad on a child.
Do not use ear candles. They have no proven benefit in the removal of earwax or other objects in the ear and can cause serious injury.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
Aspirin (also a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), such as Bayer or Bufferin
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.