Ear hurts: the bathing otitis

Ear hurts: the bathing otitis

Nothing is as refreshing in the summer heat as a cool dip in the sea or pool. But some swimmers are unlucky, because suddenly they suffer from severe earache. The cause of this call professionals bathing otitis and it is an inflammation of the ear canal, which often affects the eardrum or even the middle ear affected. This inflammation is painful and in most cases also leads to hearing loss and ear walking.

Regular water contact in the summer promotes the development of a bath toxin, because the water washes out the protective earwax layer, which normally prevents the auditory canal skin from drying out, softens it so slowly and thus facilitates infections in the ear. However, excessive ear wax or new bone formation in the ear canal promotes infection because it prevents the ear canal from drying quickly. In a damp auditory canal, however, much more easily pathological germs settle.

Untreated bathing otitis can also spread to the surrounding tissues. Swelling and redness of the auricle or pain on the entire half of the face are the result.

Can I avoid the otitis?

A bathing otitis can be avoided only conditionally. Basically, the cleaner the ear canals, the faster they dry off after swimming or diving. Actually, the ear canals clean themselves, but in many people, this natural self-cleaning does not work properly. Under no circumstances should you clean your ear with cotton swabs, paperclips, crochet hooks or the like, because instead of removing it, you simply wring the earwax around in front of the eardrum. In addition, these objects can easily cause injuries to the ear canal or even to the middle ear.

It is therefore recommended to check the ears before the start of the bathing season by an ENT specialist. This can remove existing excess earwax and also detect any other ear ailments.

Further prevention consists of thorough drying of the ear canals and avoidance of cooling after swimming or diving by wind during car or boat trips.

Often, the water quality of swimming pools is inferior to that of the sea and bathing otitis is more likely to occur in pool swimmers. If pain occurs: do not dive and visit the ENT specialist early.

This can first determine whether the pain comes from an ear infection or a middle ear infection, and spread and duration of the disease can be kept to a minimum.

Yours Dr. Johannes Gessner

Otolaryngology specialist