Prevent Ear Infections This Summer

April 10, 2014

Underwater SwimmerEar infections, especially swimmer’s ear, can really dampen summer fun. If you’ve got plans to be active outside this summer, they will almost certainly include some time in the water. Make sure you don’t get stuck with the crippling pain of an infection.

There are two ways you tend to get swimmer’s ear (an outer ear infection)—residual water left in the ear, and swimming in dirty water.

If you’re prone to ear infections, you might want to take some preventative measures. Dab a little olive oil in your ears before swimming to repel water. If you’re going to be swimming anywhere questionable—lakes, rivers, dirty pools—you may want to support your immune system in advance with a supplement like colloidal silver.

After swimming, take time to shake out/dry your ears. Watch for signs of redness, flaking, itching, or pain—these are symptoms of swimmer’s ear. Catching them early might help you avoid some of the pain that comes with it.

Here’s another way to prepare: crush some garlic and heat it in olive oil. Strain it out of the olive oil, and save the oil: garlic infused olive oil is a traditional treatment for swimmer’s ear (garlic has antibacterial properties.) Make sure you cool the oil before using it—alternately, you can let the garlic sit in the oil for at least two weeks.

Beware ear plugs—they are rarely 100% effective, and that small amount that gets through then gets stuck and is even more likely to cause an ear infection.

What outdoor plans do you have for this summer?

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