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Chicago Beltone | Hearing Health

3 Issues Caused By Swimmer's Ear

The auditory system is a complex network of parts which allows a person to perceive sound. Though safety measures were put into place, in order to prevent this system from being in a harmful situation, given the right circumstance, it still prone to ailments and damage.

One such condition which is not known by most is acute otitis externa, or also known as swimmer’s ear which is a complication that is quite painful. Swimmers are usually the victims of this, thus the name.

Why Swimmers?

You might start asking, but why swimmers? Why are they favorite targets of acute otitis externa? This is because of the frequent exposure of swimmers in pools, which increases the risk of getting water stuck within the ear canals. The presence of excess moisture in this area allows for the proliferation of bacteria.

This condition is not exclusive to swimmers alone though so it would be best to keep your ears dry and avoid long stays in highly humid areas.

If the water is already contaminated with high amounts of bacteria then you wouldn’t need a lot of water for someone to become acquire swimmer’s ear.

The Issues

Hearing Loss - a degree of hearing loss will occur during swimmer’s ear which will usually disappear after treatment. However, if left untreated for a long time the infection can become so severe and spread into your inner ear, causing damage within. This can result to permanent hearing loss. The degree of the impairment will depend on the amount of damage done. Don’t worry though as this is rare. As long as you seek treatment immediately you’ll surely be back to normal.

Prolonged Ear Infection (Chronic Otitis Externa) - This is caused by swimmer’s ear that is ignored. Infection can last for weeks to months. If it spans for more than three months then curing it will be much harder due to intensified allergic reactions towards antibiotics.

Infection Spreading To Bones And Cartilages (Malignant Otitis Externa) - There are situations where the infection finds its way to the cartilages of the ears and the skull. Things could get worse if certain medical conditions are present within the body. This is why this should be treated right away.


In order to keep swimmer’s ear away one must follow certain precautions.

Wear Protection - just because of swimmer’s ear doesn’t mean your days of swimming are over. To continue swimming while still being safe, it’s important to wear earplugs. This will close the openings, impeding water from entering.

As much as possible avoid any activity that will lead the submersion of your head under water for long periods of time if you do not have the necessary protective gear for your ears.

Do Not Swim In Dirty Waters - Do not get into dirty water as these are most likely filled with bacteria which will increase the chances of infection happening.

Dry Ears - After going for a swim or taking a shower or bath, make sure to dry your ears. You can do so with a blowdryer, or you can tilt your head sideways to let the water flow out.

Your hearing health should be given as much priority as the rest of your body. Ensuring you get expert opinion when you encounter a problem gives you access to better treatment. Call Ken Clark at Chicago Beltone today at (888) 485-5452 and speak to a professional.