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Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer's ear is usually not a dangerous condition and often clears up within a few days after starting treatment. However, if untreated, it can become extremely and surprisingly painful. In rare cases, especially in diabetes patients or anyone with problems with their immune system, the infection may be more difficult to treat and can spread and damage underlying bones and cartilage, requiring hospitalization.

Your doctor may gently clean your ear canal with a cotton-tipped probe or a suction device to relieve irritation and pain. Also, antibiotic ear drops such as ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone (Cipro HC Otic), ofloxacin or finafloxacin (Xtoro) are necessary to treat this problem. But if there is too much swelling or drainage from the canal, drops may not go in. If so, your doctor will most likely put in a small wick, a skinny one inch-long piece of dehydrated sponge or gauze, that will go in past the blocked area. When drops are applied to the wick, they will be able to seep into the canal and pass the blockage. This will provide quick relief, usually within six to eight hours.

Recommended Related to Ear Infection

Understanding Ear Infections -- the Basics

An ear infection, or otitis media, is the most common cause of earaches. Although this condition is a frequent cause of infant distress and is often associated with children, it can also affect adults. The infection in the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum where tiny bones pick up vibrations and pass them along to the inner ear) very often accompanies a common cold, the flu, or other types of respiratory infections. This is because the middle ear is connected to the upper respiratory tract...

Read the Understanding Ear Infections -- the Basics article > >

You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics to take by mouth for deeper infections as well as pain medication, if needed.

Keep water out of the infected ear during the healing process. If the infection does not improve within three or four days, the doctor may prescribe different medications.

 

 

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on June 14, 2015

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