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  • Dr. Robert Nilles

Dive into the Facts: Swimmer's Ear

Kids laughing and cheering in the pool. The sun rising to its highest point. Parents lounging by the water. Ideal imagery of a hot summer day at the pool. However, when a child experiences ear pain, parents may wonder how it happened.


Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is a bacterial infection in the outer ear canal. The canal is a tube-like structure that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head; and this is where water can become trapped after swimming. Water makes it easier for germs and bacteria to enter the ear and grow inside. Swimmer’s ear can occur from scratches in the ear canal, along with sensitivity reactions. It would not appear just because of excessive moisture in the ear.


Signs to look for, if you or your child are experiencing swimmer’s ear, is if there is redness or swelling in the area, mild discomfort, drainage and/or pus coming out the ear.

Fortunately, we have the solution. To help heal swimmer’s ear, parents can do the following:

  • First, you will need 2 tbsp. of rubbing alcohol, and 1 tbsp. of white vinegar.

  • Next, put 1-2 drops of each into the infected ear(s).

  • Repeat the process until the condition is healed.


So long as their ears are kept dry, kids can go back to swimming and playing water games, and families can continue enjoying the beautiful summer season.

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