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renie
November 13th, 2014, 08:47 PM
I searched this forum in various ways and couldn't find this topic, which I find hard to believe. I think I have swimmer's ear, which is weird, b/c I haven't had that in decades. It seems to hurt at night, then itches. I'm wondering if it's ok to swim or should I wait it out. Do I need any kind of antibiotic ear drops? I usually use homemade drops (white vinegar/alcohol) after swimming, but haven't done it lately.

Allen Stark
November 14th, 2014, 10:09 AM
Use your drops . Use earplugs. If it gets worse see a doctor. Unless it gets really bad, you can keep swimming.

Swimosaur
November 14th, 2014, 10:26 AM
I use hydrogen peroxide. Here's some advice (http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/07/best-ways-to-steer-clear-of-swimmers-ear-this-summer/) from the impeccably reliable Cleveland Clinic,



Do use hydrogen peroxide. Clean your ears occasionally with a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution to remove ear wax that can trap water in your ear. Use about half of an ear dropper full. Let it bubble and fizz, and then turn your head to the side and pull back on the top of your ear to allow it to drain properly. Make sure you use drying drops or your hair dryer to dry the ear canal so that no moisture is left behind.

renie
November 14th, 2014, 10:29 AM
Thanks! Maybe I'll change to peroxide. I used to use that. I think i should stay out of the pool today. The ear is THROBBING. WHAT A FREAKING DRAG!!!!!!!:bitching:

Swimspire
November 14th, 2014, 02:32 PM
Peroxide or alcohol/vinegar drops are meant to dry out the ear and prevent infection. If your ear is throbbing with pain and itching, you likely already have an infection and need different treatment. Check with your doctor.

__steve__
November 14th, 2014, 03:25 PM
If your ear is throbbing with pain and itching, you likely already have an infection and need different treatment. Check with your doctor.
Absolutely

dulfin
November 14th, 2014, 06:14 PM
I wouldn't recommend using a hair dryer in any way shape or form to dry out an ear. One wrong move and you're blowing air directly into the ear. Not pleasant.

I have used an OTC remedy that has worked 100% every time. Similasan. I've used it since high school to help dry my ears.

renie
November 14th, 2014, 08:10 PM
dulfin, you use that for swimmer's ear, or after every swim?

renie
November 14th, 2014, 08:13 PM
I went to the doctor, and she said I have fluid in the ear, no infection, but I managed to convince her to prescribe ear drops (Cortisone/antibiotic). With my inner ear issues, I don't want to risk this ending up as an infection, and lose even more time in the pool. Back in 2009, I got some awful inner ear virus and had such severe motion sickness 24/7 that all I could do was the basics in life. Absolutely no swimming - I couldn't even use my electric toothbrush - the motion made me nauseous and dizzy. It lasted 9 months!

dulfin
November 15th, 2014, 08:33 AM
dulfin, you use that for swimmer's ear, or after every swim?

Renie - I use the drops to help dry the ear which in turn helps prevent swimmers ear which is often brought on by water that remains in the ear canal after swimming. If earplugs are used during your swim, depending on the type, they can also contribute to swimmers ear by damaging the ear canal.

Just a word of caution as I've been dealing with an ear issue myself since February. If I'm reading your post correctly, you've been given a Rx eardrop. By any chance was it Ciprodex? Either way, the Rx eardrop as you've described it would prevent infection and not necessarily help with the "fluid in the ear" scenario. You need to dry the ear.

When I went to the clinic in February, I too was told I had fluid on the ear and was prescribed Fluticasone (nasal spray) and told to start taking my allergy meds EVERYDAY to help dry out the sinuses. And I've been taking them every day since. Because they're all connected, the only way I can maintain normal is to treat them as a system with the Rx nasal spray and OTC allergy eye drops and allergy pill.

I'm still recovering from an eardrum repair I had done in October. (Not related to the fluid on the ear diagnosed in February, but confirmed once the fluid was gone.) When I can get back in the water, I will continue my daily allergy regimen to prevent fluid build up in the ear and will continue the Similasan ear drops to prevent swimmers ear in the ear canal.

Hope this helps.

DeniseMW
November 15th, 2014, 09:50 AM
I've only been to the pool twice this week because of shoulder and neck pain. It started a few weeks ago and just won't go away, so I had my teacher look at my stroke and she said it's fine. The doc wants me to lay off swimming for a week, but it's making me crazy and I don't think it's doing anything to make my shoulder better.

Karl_S
November 15th, 2014, 04:55 PM
...I had my teacher look at my stroke and she said it's fine. The doc wants me to lay off swimming for a week,...
You might want to get a second opinion, on both counts.

renie
November 15th, 2014, 06:41 PM
dulfin, yes, I am using Ciprodex. I only used it once last night and didn't have to take any ibuprofen yet, and it's 24 hours later. Wouldn't that seem to indicate there IS an infection?

I am taking a very mild decongestant. She wants to drain the congestion. Is your allergy pill an anthistamine, decongestant or both?

dulfin
November 15th, 2014, 11:49 PM
Renie

Ciprodex is an antibiotic and steroid. It's my guess that the reason you haven't needed to take any Ibuprofen is because the steroid is reducing inflammation.

My allergy pill is a generic Zyrtec - Cetirizine 10mg. This is an antihistamine. When I need to clear congestion, I use generic Sudafed - Pseudoephedrine 30mg. This is OTC but you have to get from the pharmacist. I almost always take the Pseudoephedrine when I get a cold. Specifically a head cold. I can't always tell when fluid starts building on the ear. However, I DO NOT take both at the same time. It's either one or the other.

I also have the misfortune of having year round allergies. Having had ear troubles as a kid, I'm very sensitive to potential problems. I'm not a pill popper by nature and hate having to take something every day. However, in the long run, I know I'm doing more good by sticking to a routine. The nasal spray has really been the key. I don't get nearly the same relief by taking only an allergy pill. Add the eye drops which are also an antihistamine - Bausch + Lomb Alaway, and I'm in good shape.

Purely anecdotal, but my Kleenex usage has dropped considerably. This isn't a perfect regimen that I'm on, but it's helping considerably. There are still things that I react to - my sister's cat, the evergreens at my parents house, mold (this time of year is the worst!) and I still get red-faced and runny nose when I go to the office. But the reactions aren't as significant. Since my ENT hasn't seen any signs of fluid on my ears - I'm happy and will be asking him for another Rx for Fluticasone as I'm almost out!

Be Well :bliss:

renie
November 16th, 2014, 11:21 AM
Hi dulfin, it sounds like we both suffer from similar issues. I have year round allergies, and right now, the cold front and mold from the dampness is causing lots of congestion and sneezing. I hate to take meds. I haven't had antiobiotics in 5 years and hated taking these ear drops, but I'm afraid to take a chance that this could turn into the 9 months of vertigo I suffered from 5 years ago after an upper respiratory infection.

Just to clarify--will the ear drops and a decongestant work? Or should I take an antihistamine with the ear drops?

dulfin
November 16th, 2014, 11:44 AM
My recommendation is clear the congestion first. Then switch over to an antihistamine. I don't take both at the same time. I don't know if it's recommended or not - I just steer clear. And having only one kidney, I monitor meds very carefully.

If you also suffer from year round allergies, in order to prevent fluid build up, get yourself on a regimen that will keep your sinuses "dry" (as much as they can be) which in turn should help reduce fluid in the inner ear. And start using eardrops - either a homemade remedy as suggested by others or something like the Similasan to dry the outer ear (ear canal) to prevent swimmers ear when you're swimming.

I would also recommend finding a good ENT that can help you manage all of your allergy symptoms and help manage the vertigo and its triggers. Bottom line, I don't really trust a general MD with my ears!

renie
November 16th, 2014, 09:33 PM
My recommendation is clear the congestion first. Then switch over to an antihistamine. I don't take both at the same time. I don't know if it's recommended or not - I just steer clear. And having only one kidney, I monitor meds very carefully.

If you also suffer from year round allergies, in order to prevent fluid build up, get yourself on a regimen that will keep your sinuses "dry" (as much as they can be) which in turn should help reduce fluid in the inner ear. And start using eardrops - either a homemade remedy as suggested by others or something like the Similasan to dry the outer ear (ear canal) to prevent swimmers ear when you're swimming.

I would also recommend finding a good ENT that can help you manage all of your allergy symptoms and help manage the vertigo and its triggers. Bottom line, I don't really trust a general MD with my ears!

dulfin, thanks. I am taking the Nasonex and the decongestant.

I was very diligent about using my homemade ear drops, then stopped for awhile. I've learned my lesson.

I have a decent ENT. The problem is that I don't want to take allergy meds year round, or even at all. I am going to try Dymista. (SP?) It's a combo of nasal cortosteroid & antihistamine. Have you heard of it?

Nancy H.
November 17th, 2014, 11:45 AM
I was getting at least one ear infection every 9-10 months, usually in the right ear, because the ear canal is small and "oddly shaped," according to one of my doctors, which makes it easier for fluid and wax to build up.

I get generic silicone ear plugs and use a new pair every time I swim. I work out three times a week, so I generally need to pick up a box of the things every two weeks. The CVS generic brand is about $6 per box.

I also use Mucinex every day to keep my sinuses clear, as well as a generic brand of Zyrtec, to combat any allergy-related fluid build-up. Periodically I use hydrogen peroxide to clean out any wax that might be building up.

But the ear plugs are my main line of defense. I use them every time I swim, even if I'm only in the water for an hour. I don't take them out until I've had my shower and dried off. (And I swim at a Y where the water is generally very clean). So far, knock on wood, these precautions seem to be working. I haven't had an ear infection for over a year.

dulfin
November 17th, 2014, 12:06 PM
I am going to try Dymista. (SP?) It's a combo of nasal cortosteroid & antihistamine. Have you heard of it?

OMGosh! Never heard of it but just googled. Wouldn't take it if my life depended on it. Did you read the side effects?!?! :badday::afraid:

It says it's a combo of Fluticasone and something else. Never heard of that something else. And Fluticasone doesn't have the same potential serious side effects. LOL Though in my mind all drugs are bad.

I've no insight or recommendation for you on this one. Good luck

renie
November 17th, 2014, 08:25 PM
dulfin, I take Nasonex everyday, and the side effects seemed worse, or so I thought. Hmmm, now I don't know what to do. Ironically, I take Nasonex to keep my nasal passages less swollen yet I realized when I looked online yesterday that the side effects (dizziness--which I have) and sinusitis (which i get often) could be worse than not taking anything at all!

I hate taking allergy meds. They really dry me out and I already am a person who is always thirsty (mouth breather), drinking liters of water a day (and visiting the latrine all too often).

renie
November 17th, 2014, 08:27 PM
Nancy, my ENT told me that unless the earplugs are custom fitted, earplugs can trap water in the ear canal. I've never used them. I've been swimming for 30 years and this is probably the 2d earache I've ever had. But they seem to work for you. :applaud:

dulfin
November 17th, 2014, 09:44 PM
dulfin, I take Nasonex everyday, and the side effects seemed worse, or so I thought. Hmmm, now I don't know what to do. Ironically, I take Nasonex to keep my nasal passages less swollen yet I realized when I looked online yesterday that the side effects (dizziness--which I have) and sinusitis (which i get often) could be worse than not taking anything at all!

I hate taking allergy meds. They really dry me out and I already am a person who is always thirsty (mouth breather), drinking liters of water a day (and visiting the latrine all too often).

Renie - this is definitely the mystery of "better living through chemistry"...every body is different and different in how it reacts. My best recommendation is to have a good conversation with your ENT and see if you can't find a way to manage symptoms naturally (don't even know if that's possible for allergies) or with the least side effects possible. My guess is you may have to try different products to find the right one. Or you may even have to switch as you may have developed a tolerance.

On another note, have you talked to your ENT about being a mouth breather? Maybe there's something else going on with your sinuses????

LOL - just got my Swimmer magazine and starting thumbing through it. Page 14 - Swimmer's ear....ah ha ha ha. Ok, interesting read, but I still wouldn't use a blow dryer to dry my ear!

Nancy H.
November 18th, 2014, 09:44 AM
Nancy, my ENT told me that unless the earplugs are custom fitted, earplugs can trap water in the ear canal. I've never used them. I've been swimming for 30 years and this is probably the 2d earache I've ever had. But they seem to work for you. :applaud:

Well, I do take the precaution of putting in the earplugs (they just cover the outside of the ear) when my ears are still dry. But since I've been using them consistently--no ear infections. So it does seem to be working. Another key thing is using a new pair every swim. The box says you can re-use them two or three times, but one of my worst infections came after giving a used pair (yuck) the benefit of the doubt. So, yeah. Always a clean pair.

renie
November 18th, 2014, 10:55 AM
Renie - this is definitely the mystery of "better living through chemistry"...every body is different and different in how it reacts. My best recommendation is to have a good conversation with your ENT and see if you can't find a way to manage symptoms naturally (don't even know if that's possible for allergies) or with the least side effects possible. My guess is you may have to try different products to find the right one. Or you may even have to switch as you may have developed a tolerance.

On another note, have you talked to your ENT about being a mouth breather? Maybe there's something else going on with your sinuses????

LOL - just got my Swimmer magazine and starting thumbing through it. Page 14 - Swimmer's ear....ah ha ha ha. Ok, interesting read, but I still wouldn't use a blow dryer to dry my ear!

dulfin, that's funny. A former ENT told me to use the blow dryer. Go figure. Is your Swimmer mag digital? I would love to get that. Do you have a link?

I do want to get off the Nasonex. One of the side effects is cataracts and glaucoma. I had Lasik surgery 10 years ago, after being nearly blind most of my life. I've 10 blessed years of perfect vision until recently. Just found out I'm starting cataracts! Ugghh.

I have a deviated septum. One side of my nose is almost totally blocked. I had surgery in the 70's. It didn't work. Am not going in for surgery any time soon unless it's life threatening. I suspect that's part of my ENT issues.