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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.

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Understanding Ear Infection -- Prevention

Because bottle-fed babies are more likely to get ear infections, it is better to breast feed your infant for the first six to 12 months of life, if possible, to prevent ear infections. Remove as many environmental pollutants from your home as you can, including: Dust Cleaning fluid and solvents Tobacco smoke Also, reduce yours or your child's exposure to people with colds, and control allergies. Taking steps to prevent colds and flu as well as other illnesses can prevent some,...

Read the Understanding Ear Infection -- Prevention 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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