Combating 'swimmer's ear' before it starts

Updated: Jul. 20, 2017 at 8:41 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - As Summer continues to heat up, you might find yourself taking a dip in the pool. Don't let that pesky ear infection interrupt your summer fun.

Swimmer's ear can happen in any season, but it becomes more common during warmer months.

Despite its name, you don't have to spend time at a beach or pool to pick up the infection. Trapped water inside the ear, even from showers or baths, can cause bacteria to multiply in the ear and lead to infection.

Swimmer's ear is more common in children than adults because they have narrower ear canals, but adults are still very much at risk. Symptoms include redness, itching, swelling of the ear and moderate to severe pain.

Cases left untreated can lead to discharge or fluid leaking from the ear and even temporary hearing loss. You can treat swimmer's ear with antibiotic ear drops and anti-inflammatories to reduce pain.

Prevent the infection by wearing ear plugs while swimming, drying ears with a towel or hairdryer, or gently cleaning ears with a washcloth or cotton swabs.

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