Ear - Swimmer's

Disponible En Espanol


Care at Home

  • WHITE VINEGAR RINSES: * Rinse the ear canals with half-strength white vinegar. Mix vinegar with equal parts warm water. (Exception: ear tubes or hole in eardrum.) * Start by having your child lie down with the painful ear upward. * Fill the ear canal. * Wait 5 minutes. Then, turn your child's head to the side and move the ear. This will remove the vinegar rinse. * Do the other side. * Continue twice a day until the ear canal returns to normal. * Reason: Restores the normal acid pH of the ear canal and lessens swelling.
  • PAIN MEDICINE: * To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
  • HEAT PACK: * If pain is moderate to severe, use a heating pad (set on low). You can also use a warm wet cloth to outer ear. Do this for 20 minutes. (Caution: Avoid burns). This will also increase drainage.
  • REDUCE SWIMMING TIMES: * Try not to swim until symptoms are gone. * If on a swim team, it's usually okay to continue. * Swimming may slow your child's recovery, but causes no serious harm.
  • RETURN TO SCHOOL: * Swimmer's ear cannot be spread to others.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * With treatment, symptoms should be better in 3 days. * They should be gone in 7 days.
  • PREVENTION OF SYMPTOMS: * Try to keep the ear canals dry. * After showers, hair washing, or swimming, help the water run out of ears. Do this by turning the head. * Do not use cotton swabs. Reason: Packs in the earwax. The wax buildup then traps water behind it. * If swimmer's ear is a frequent problem, rinse the ear canals after swimming. Use a few drops of a white vinegar-rubbing alcohol rinse. Use equal parts of each to make the rinse.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Ear pain becomes severe * Ear symptoms last over 7 days on treatment * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Swimmer's ear is a mild infection of the ear canal. * It's caused by water getting trapped in the ear canal. Ear canals were meant to be dry. * Here is some care advice that should help.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

The search for nearby emergency and urgent care facilities is based upon Google search parameters. You will get results based on how facilities manage their website information.

By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither publishers nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any expressed or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.