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View Full Version : Do you use ear plugs or ear drops?



ddl
October 30th, 2008, 09:31 PM
I think I saw some recommendations for ear plugs in old threads here. I have never used these, but wonder if I should. If you swim for many years and never use those, would it be likely to cause any problems to the ears? Thanks for participating the pool--oops, the poll. :)

Mary1912
October 31st, 2008, 09:44 AM
I used to get ear infections all the time when I swam as a youth through high school. My doc didn't recommend plugs because if you do get water in there it just traps it in and makes the situation worse.

We'd use a product called Auro-Dri (not sure if it's still available) that contained alcohol to dry out water in the ear. It worked pretty well for the most part.

But I guess it's what works for the individual.

Syd
October 31st, 2008, 09:55 AM
I use both. Perforated my eardrum as a kid and it has never healed properly. I only use one plug (in my right ear) and immediately apply ear drops after swimming. If I don't, I will be sure to get an infection. Doc says the only way to fix it is to have an op. They can graft skin onto the ear drum. But the operation entails making an incision behind the ear and peeling it back so they can get to the ear drum. The thought of that is too horrifying so I will just stick with the plug and ear drops for the time being.

Rykno
October 31st, 2008, 10:26 AM
I use to have problems with my left ear. I tried all sorts of plugs. nevery really got one to stay in, or keep all the water out.

in the end I just started breathing to the right and now I don't have that problem.

notsofast
October 31st, 2008, 04:02 PM
I use Auro-Dri once in a while. My doctor says it doesn't work, but it seems to do OK for me. It's basically isopropyl alcohol.

Midas
October 31st, 2008, 04:07 PM
I use earplugs. At one time, I probably wore them based on concerns of getting ear infections, but now I just wear them for comfort. I use Mack's silicone earplugs and would recommend them. I really jam them in my ears (this is against the packaging, by the way) but by doing this they stay in my ears reasonably well even though I don't wear a swim cap. They work better after a few uses (ie when they get some ear wax on them) and get nasty after a week or so. I use Swim Ear or Auro-Dri if water nevertheless gets in my ears, and they work OK. I'm no doctor, but I wouldn't think you'd have a problem using them after not doing so for years (other than as a matter of comfort).

Michelina
October 31st, 2008, 04:13 PM
I dont use anything right now, but have been thinking about it. The longer I am in the water (as an adult) I seem to be getting sensitive to the water. As an age grouper I did double 6 days a week... and never had a problem. But now, it seems my youth is gone. Imspoiled uses drops, but I cant recall the name... you might want to PM her.

ddl
October 31st, 2008, 04:26 PM
If you use ear plugs, then you don't hear people talking, and in case the guard is whistling to you?

I've heard quite some people recommending ear drops. I have never put any liquid in my ears in my life, so it makes me think putting ear drops in the ears is like putting water in it, making it worse. Perhaps the drops evaporates quickly?

lynnwa
October 31st, 2008, 05:05 PM
I use ear plugs. I tried the silicone ones but they kept falling out of my ears. Sometimes its a challenge hearing instructions at practice but the benefits far out weigh trying to get the water out of my ears!

Mary1912
October 31st, 2008, 05:10 PM
I've heard quite some people recommending ear drops. I have never put any liquid in my ears in my life, so it makes me think putting ear drops in the ears is like putting water in it, making it worse. Perhaps the drops evaporates quickly?

Auro-Dri is isopropyl alcohol and glycerine. The alcohol has a drying effect which is supposed to help any water trapped in the ear dry up. I used it and never had any problems with it, but I have no idea if it was beneficial or not.

When I was an age grouper I remember one of the team moms taking a hair dryer to her kid's ears to dry up the water.

anita
October 31st, 2008, 05:17 PM
Auro-Dri is isopropyl alcohol and glycerine. The alcohol has a drying effect which is supposed to help any water trapped in the ear dry up..

When I was a youth swimmer we used a concoction of isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. It did help--prior to the use I had frequent outer ear infections.
My ears do still hurt occasionally so I use Mack's ear drops after each use.

knelson
October 31st, 2008, 05:39 PM
I'm surprised by the poll results. I would have figured the vast majority of people use neither.

pwb
October 31st, 2008, 05:49 PM
I don't use plugs in the pool, but someone once told me that they are valuable for keeping you warm in open water when the water is cold. Something about some temp regulation component in the inner ear. It could've been a bunch of hogwash (i was a math major, so just trusted the biology was right) and I might just be suffering from a "placebo effect," but the only time I wear a cap or ear plugs is in cold open water and it seems to do the trick.

moodyrichardson
October 31st, 2008, 07:10 PM
I've been prone to get ear infections, since I was a kid. The ENT recommended the drops for me. I use a brand call SwimEar. You can find them at Wal-Mart.

ensignada
October 31st, 2008, 09:45 PM
I only apply drops when I feel like I can't get water out of my ear. I use a homemade solution that's 1/2 alcohol and 1/2 white vinegar. Works very well.

ddl
October 31st, 2008, 11:24 PM
I'm surprised by the poll results. I would have figured the vast majority of people use neither.

So am I. Just look at the people in the pool, I have only occasionally seen someone's ears plugged with blue objects. On the other hand so many swimmers talk to one another, obviously not using ear plugs (maybe ear drops, tho).

Quite possibly the folks who use neither don't bother to vote. We can do the math: as of now the poll has been viewed more than 200 times, with only less than 40 votes. I would assume most of those 160 "use neither". :cool:

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 1st, 2008, 03:12 AM
If you buy Auri-Dry and some sun bloc, you can send the receipt to Auri-Dry (sp) and get something like $2.00 back.

mjgold
November 2nd, 2008, 05:56 PM
I use ear plugs when I swim at practice because the pool water is very cold. I was getting headaches, and someone told me it was probably cold water getting trapped in my ears. I still get them every now and then, so I'm not sure if that's true. When I swim on my own, I don't wear them because the pool is warmer at my gym.

Spock
November 2nd, 2008, 09:15 PM
I never swim without them!

ddl
November 2nd, 2008, 10:20 PM
If the active factor in the ear drops is propylene alcohol, then couldn't we just use the commonly sold rubbing alcohol, which is basically the same thing.

notsofast
November 3rd, 2008, 07:57 AM
If the active factor in the ear drops is propylene alcohol, then couldn't we just use the commonly sold rubbing alcohol, which is basically the same thing.
I've used this instead of Auro-Dri, with no problems. Your mileage may differ.
I've also used peroxide.
For our kids, the pediatrician says don't waste your time with drops; use a hair dryer.

USMSarah
November 3rd, 2008, 09:05 AM
For the longest time, I never needed anything (in my USS years)... but when I started masters a few years back - I desperately needed plugs... my ears would be in so much discomfort during and after practice I couldn't stand it. The drawback to plugs was that I couldn't hear a darn thing. I already cannot hear in indoor pools anyways, so that was a pain. Now, I do not use any plugs - I will put some rubbing alcohol in them if the water does not come out... it's very refreshing and makes them feel a lot better afterwards.

Glider
November 3rd, 2008, 11:32 AM
Dang, y'all. You jinxed me. Went to bed last night with swimmers ear...

I've used isopropyl alcohol in the past. Usually clears it up in a day or so. It better work this time