My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
Q.

What are the treatments for swimmer's ear?

Related Topics: Swimmer's Ear
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

8,020 Answers
294,728 Helpful Votes
343 Followers
A.

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 with a cotton-tipped probe or a suction device to relieve irritation and pain. Also, antibiotic ear drops 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, 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.

You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics to take by mouth 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. 

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

102 of 138 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- Treatment
 
 

Got Your WebMD Answer?

Next Steps: