Do you know how to tell the difference between swimmer’s ear and an inner ear infection? Trying to discern the difference can be confusing, as they can often be quite similar. Aside from going straight to your doctor to ascertain the issue, here are some differences you should know before seeing an ear nose and throat doctor.

What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection that can cause pain from movement and touch to the area, and is usually caused by water staying in the canal for a long period after swimming. This can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the ear canal that leads to swelling and painful irritation. If left without treatment fever and cold like symptoms can begin to surface compounding the issue.
Going to an ent doctor is the first step in getting the problem cleared up as quickly as possible.

If you to need medical intervention, prescription ear drops are the most common form of treatment used by ent doctors. Motrin may also be advised to help alleviate pain in the meantime, while the drops help heal the infection. Swimmer’s ear can usually be cleared up in 7 to 10 days, getting ear drops as soon as possible can help accelerate the healing process.

How to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is easy to prevent. After swimming try and clear out your ears as best as possible, and if you can, use an over the counter ear drop designed to help dry up any additional water left behind. If you don’t want to buy drops, you may also be able to make them with common ingredients found in your home. Using equal parts rubbing alcohol and white vinegar can bring about a similar result to the over counter drops.

What is an Inner Ear Infection?

Infections of the inner ear are usually acquired after extended bouts of nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies or colds. When your nose stays stuffy up for a long period of time, you may begin to feel pressure in and along your nose, extending outward to under your eyes. This is due to fluid becoming backed up due to the congestion, and while it’s more of an inconvenience that physical pain, oral antibiotics can be prescribed to help clear it up and bring you relief.

Ear infections may not seem like something to warrant immediate medical attention, but seeing an ear nose and throat doctor can help clear up you problems and prevent any additional complications. As with any health issues its best to nip the issue in the bud as quickly as possible so that we can go about our lives as normal. If you’ve been swimming lately and have developed pain in your ear, or you think you’ve developed an inner ear infection due to seasonal allergies, consider seeking treatment as soon as possible. When it comes to our health and wellbeing, it’s best not to wait.

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