Boys Town Offers Tips to Prevent Swimmer's Ear

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Summer is a time for fun in the sun and oftentimes in the water. But swimmer's ear is no fun. Boys Town physicians offer tips to dealing with swimmer's ear.

Boys Town has some tips for parents to help prevent swimmer’s ear. The condition can be associated with prolonged pool time and can cause a painful skin condition.

Swimmer’s ear occurs when moisture is trapped in the ear canal and becomes infected. Common symptoms include pain, redness, itching and decreased hearing.

The national child and healthcare organization, founded more than 90 years ago, is a leader in parenting advice and offers these tips to help prevent swimmer’s ear:
1.    Keep ears as dry as possible;
2.    Avoid putting foreign objects into ear;
3.    Prevent irritants such as soaps, bubble baths, hair sprays and shampoos from entering the ear;
4.    Remove water from the ears by gently drying them with towel and wiggling head from side to side;
5.    Place two drops of white vinegar in the ear canal once a week when swimming frequently.

“You can be proactive in preventing swimmer’s ear”, said David Chait, M.D., Otolaryngologist at Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute. “Doing so will prevent a lot of discomfort and pain.”

If you have symptoms of this condition, schedule an appointment with a physician. A physician may clean the ear using ear drops, possibly prescribe infection fighting ear drops and suggest pain relievers. It is important to not let swimmer’s ear progress. Temporary hearing loss, widespread infection, tissue and cartilage damage can occur if left untreated.

For information and parenting advice go to Parenting.org. The Boys Town National Hotline also offers free advice to parents 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000.

About Boys Town
Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2012, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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Kara Neuverth
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