How to Treat Swimmer’s Ear at Home

Are you worried about possible swimmer’s ear discomfort? Discover how to treat this condition at home with ease! With the right advice and remedies, you can quickly get relief and protect yourself from further infection or damage.

Quick facts: Treating Swimmer’S Ear At Home

  • ✅ Swimmer’s ear can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotic eardrops, according to the Mayo Clinic (Source: Mayo Clinic).
  • ✅ It is important to treat swimmer’s ear in a timely manner in order to prevent any further complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
  • ✅ Swimmer’s ear is most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to water and an overgrowth of bacteria in the ear, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology).
  • ✅ Keeping the ear dry is essential to preventing swimmer’s ear, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).
  • ✅ Swimmer’s ear is more common in children than adults, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) (Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders).

Checkout this video:

Overview of Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the external ear which is caused by bacteria or fungus. It is commonly seen in people who swim frequently and it can lead to discomfort and severe pain in the ear. It is important to seek timely medical treatment to prevent complications.

This article provides an overview of Swimmer’s ear and offers some tips to treat the condition at home:


Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear canal caused by bacteria or fungi. Common symptoms include itching and/or burning of the ear, redness and swelling, drainage of a clear or yellowish fluid, pain when pulling on the ear lobe, and difficulty hearing. Swimmer’s ear can affect people of all ages; however, those who are involved in activities that expose them to damp environments such as swimming are more susceptible to developing it.

In addition to having one or more of these symptoms, it is possible for someone with swimmer’s ear to experience:

  • an increased sensitivity to sound
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

It is important to note that these symptoms may not appear right away. In fact, they can take several days before they become noticeable. If any of these signs and/or symptoms are present, it should be treated immediately in order to reduce discomfort and speed up recovery time.


Swimmer’s Ear is an infection of the outer ear canal. It is caused by bacteria or fungus that get into the ear canal, typically after swimming or other activities in water. The water can cause shedding of the protective layer of skin, which leaves the area vulnerable to infection. Other causes of Swimmer’s Ear include: If you’re looking for more information on ear infection treatment, you can find it here.

  • Damage to the skin or lining of the ear canal from scratching or over cleaning
  • Irritants such as soaps, shampoos and hairsprays
  • A build up of moisture around the ear from sweating

People with diabetes are more likely to get Swimmer’s Ear. Symptoms can range from mild itching and pain to discharge and swelling in more severe cases. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and often home care instructions to reduce pain and dry out the infected area.


Preventing swimmer’s ear is an important step in avoiding the infection. To do this, ensure that you always wear properly-fitting earplugs or swim caps when swimming in chlorinated or salt water. After swimming, make sure to dry your ears thoroughly with a clean towel. If any water remains in your ears, tilt your head to the side to allow it to drain out.

Additionally, you should avoid any kind of activity that may introduce water into your ear canals:

  • Wearing earbuds
  • Using a cotton swab
  • Showering without earplugs
  • Swimming in polluted water

Wear earplugs

Wearing earplugs while swimming is a great way to help protect against swimmer’s ear. Earplugs can help keep water out and reduce the amount of moisture in your ears, which can make it harder for infection-causing bacteria to grow. Some people even choose to wear earplugs when they take a shower or bath to prevent getting an infection.

If you are prone to swimmer’s ear, always be sure to wear earplugs any time you go swimming or get your hair wet. Additionally, try to avoid swimming in polluted water or water with high levels of bacteria.

Clean ears after swimming

It is essential to clean ears after swimming to prevent an infection known as swimmer’s ear. This type of infection is caused by bacteria that can enter the outer ear when water remains in the ear canal after swimming. To avoid this, swimmers should dry their ears thoroughly with a towel after swimming, or use a hair dryer on low heat.

In addition, swimmers can use over-the-counter drops with alcohol and acid components after every swim for more thorough cleaning and drying of the ears. Swimmer’s Ear medications are available from drug stores; these often contain an antibiotic such as polymyxin B and a steroid such as hydrocortisone. The infected area must be kept dry and all water activities should be avoided until symptoms subside completely.

Dry ears properly

The best way to prevent swimmer’s ear is to keep the ears dry. After swimming, shower or bathe and dry the ears thoroughly with a soft towel or tissue. It’s also important to tilt the head in different directions to ensure all water has been removed, especially after showering. When using a cotton swab, only clean the outer part of the ear and never push it into the ear canal.

Avoid using any oils or lotions when cleaning the ears as that could increase moisture in one’s ear canal which can cause infection-causing bacteria to multiply. Wearing a swim cap can also be helpful in stopping water from entering your ear canals and drying out your ears. Doing this will not only help prevent swimmer’s ear but will also keep your ears healthy overall.

Home Remedies

Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is an infection of the outer ear canal which can be difficult to treat without professional help. Fortunately, there are various home remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of swimmer’s ear. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most effective home remedies for swimmer’s ear and how you can use them:

Apply a warm compress

Applying a warm compress can provide relief from symptoms associated with swimmer’s ear. To do this, soak a clean washcloth in warm water and wring it out so that it is damp but not dripping. Place the cloth on the affected ear and hold it there for 5-10 minutes at a time. This should be done multiple times throughout the day to reduce pain and swelling.

You should avoid excessively hot or cold compresses as this could damage the delicate skin of your ear canal. Additionally, if you have any allergies or sensitivities, use caution when applying a compress as allergens can be transferred through wet fabrics.

Use over-the-counter eardrops

Over-the-counter eardrops are a simple and affordable way to treat swimmer’s ear at home. These products contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, acetic acid, and glycerin to help dissolve earwax, clear any debris blocking the ear canal and reduce infection.

Before using eardrops, ensure that any visible earwax or debris has been removed from the outer part of the ear. To apply these drops, use an eyedropper to place a few drops of solution into each affected ear while tilting your head sideways. Gently massage the outside of the ear with your finger for 30 seconds to help distribute the solution in the canal. Then allow it to remain in your ears for 10 minutes before letting it drain out onto a tissue paper.

Use a mixture of vinegar and rubbing alcohol

A tried and true home remedy for treating swimmer’s ear is to make an ear solution using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol. As with many home remedies, the ingredients can be adjusted depending on the severity of the case. The vinegar helps return the acidic environment in your ear to normal, while the rubbing alcohol acts as an antiseptic. Before beginning treatment, you should always consult your family physician or doctor.

To use this remedy:

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a cup or bowl.
  2. Take a clean cotton ball and soak it in the mixture for about 30 seconds.
  3. Tilt your head to one side so that your affected ear is facing up, then squeeze some of the solution into your ear using the cotton ball. You may feel some stinging at first, but that quickly goes away after a few seconds.
  4. Let the solution drain out of your ear before briefly tilting your head back upright and then tilting it again back to its original position so that any remaining solution drains out into a sink or bowl.

When to See a Doctor

Swimmer’s ear is a common problem among swimmers and can be treated at home in most cases. Symptoms can include itching, redness, discharge and pain. However, if at-home treatments don’t relieve the issue or if you experience severe pain and swelling, it’s important to see a doctor.

Let’s look at when to seek medical attention for swimmer’s ear:

Severe pain

When treating swimmer’s ear at home, it is important to identify when the pain is severe enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. Swimmer’s ear can become very painful for those who suffer from it. The Eardoc device or other over-the-counter ear drops may help alleviate some of the discomfort, but if the pain becomes severe, persistent and/or recurrent then professional treatment is necessary.

Signs that it’s time to see a doctor include:

  • Redness in and outside of the ear.
  • Swelling inside and outside of the ear.
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear.
  • Increased pain with pulling on or touching of the outer ear lobe.
  • Severe pain can also be felt in surrounding areas such as cheekbones or even down into one’s jaw and neck area.

If any of these symptoms are present, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Signs of infection

Signs of infection in Swimmer’s Ear often include an itching, burning sensation inside the ear, redness of the ear canal, and drainage from the ear. In some cases, swelling may occur. Depending on severity, pain can range from mild discomfort to an intense ache. If any of these symptoms are present in either one or both ears, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

While a doctor should be consulted at the first sign of infection or if symptoms worsen, there are some home remedies that may alleviate some of the pain associated with swimmer’s ear. These remedies include:

  • Using over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Using over-the-counter creams to treat itching.
  • Using a hair dryer on a low setting to dry out your ears after swimming.
  • Using homeopathic drops to help heal any inflammation.

No improvement after home treatment

If you are trying to treat an infection of swimmer’s ear at home, it is important to monitor your progress. If you do not see an improvement in your symptoms or if your symptoms worsen after home treatment, it is important to contact a doctor or healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment. To know more about ear infections home treatment for babies, click here.

Your doctor can assess the severity of the infection, if any underlying causes or risk factors are present, and provide additional information on how best to manage the condition at home. Depending upon the severity of the infection, your doctor may recommend medical treatments – like antibiotics – in order to resolve discomfort and improve overall health.

FAQs about: Treating Swimmer’S Ear At Home

Q: What is swimmer’s ear?

A: Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer ear canal caused by bacteria. It is usually caused by leaving water in the ear after swimming.

Q: How can I treat swimmer’s ear at home?

A: You can treat swimmer’s ear at home by using over-the-counter pain relievers and ear drops. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully. You may also want to keep your ear dry by wearing a swim cap or ear plugs when swimming.

Q: What should I do if the symptoms of swimmer’s ear do not improve?

A: If your symptoms do not improve after a few days of home treatment, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other treatments to help clear up the infection.

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