View Full Version : swimmers ear

November 23rd, 2004, 04:34 PM
OK help everybody, saturday was my first lesson, and did well, went back on sunday and swam for 3 hours, so I feel good, however, since saturday I have not been able to hear nothing out of my left ear. I have mixed rubbing alcohol and vinegar together and used that as ear drops and still can't hear anything. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



November 23rd, 2004, 04:54 PM
If you go to the drug store there are a million different "swimmers ear" drops that you could buy. The one I use for my daughter is called swim ear.

November 23rd, 2004, 05:01 PM
I like Auracane eardrops. Make sure you dry your ears in the hair dryers too. I used to have ear problems sometimes, but if I dry and use eardrops I am fine.
Good luck.
Swimmy :)

November 23rd, 2004, 05:08 PM
Thanks, I will stop there then tongiht and look for some!! I haven't been able to hear anything out of my left ear since saturday and its driving me crazy, cause we are swimming tommorrow!!

November 23rd, 2004, 06:04 PM
I had that problem when I first learned to swim 4 years ago and now have to wear ear plugs to swim. When you are at the store buying the swimmers ear stuff, also buy the soft silicone ear plugs that are usually right by the swimmers ear drops.

November 23rd, 2004, 07:11 PM
Sometimes ears just get stopped up from an allergy or cold. But, yeah, I agree with all the above, water in the ear is heck. And you will definately know when you have swimmer's ear. It will send you directly to the doctor, not stopping at the USMS message board to ask what is wrong.

jim clemmons
November 23rd, 2004, 08:26 PM
You may just have a little water trapped in the outer ear canal against the ear drum.

Put the alcohol in (the ear), and lay on your side with the affected ear down against the surface you are laying on. Pull up on the top of the ear (gently). Sometimes this will allow a little extra space for the water to drain for those of us with small ear canals.

If the hearing impediment continues, you may need to see a doctor (ear, nose, throat personage). It's possible you have a piece of dried skin or other flaky substance preventing the draining process.

I swim nearly every day and always put a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol in afterwards due to similar experiences. Occasionally (rarely) I have to visit the doctor to have mold removed if the blockage gets too severe for a lengthy time period.

Not to fret, my hearing is fine. It's my eyesight that's going.



November 24th, 2004, 12:58 PM
Probably wax (cerumen), in which case you may need to have a doctor remove it. Don't try this at home. Not a big deal (just takes a few minutes); you can buy over the counter drops to soften it up first so that it will be easier to remove.

November 28th, 2004, 02:02 PM
I have a little dropper bottle with hydrogen peroxide in it, I put several drops into my ear after swimming them let it drain out. Alcohol would work too but tends to dry out my skin when used on a regular basis. Anything to lower the surface viscosity of the water in your ear to let it drain out.

November 28th, 2004, 08:53 PM
VIPER, after every practice... I put rubbing alcohol in my ears when I get home... I let it sit for maybe 2 or so minutes and then switch to the other ear. (Open and close your mouth a few times and tug on your ears when the alcohol is in there... it seems to open up the canals and it gets in every little nook and cranny). It dries the h2o up immediately and I have had no ear problems since I started that "tradition." Wear ear plugs until you are feeling better... I think the silicon ones suck (don't waste your money).


November 29th, 2004, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by gull80
Probably wax (cerumen), in which case you may need to have a doctor remove it. Don't try this at home. Not a big deal (just takes a few minutes); you can buy over the counter drops to soften it up first so that it will be easier to remove.

This was my thought as well.

Long-time swimmers probably have very little wax in their ears, but new-to-the-pool swimmers haven't had the normal buildup of wax cleared out yet.

Chances are that the water loosened up a healthy chunk of wax from the ear canal, and now it's blocking things for you. They sell special syringes that you can have someone use to flush out your ear canal. (No, it's not a needle. It's more like a special turkey baster.) But if it were I with the problem, I would pay the copay to have my doctor do it professionally.

You MIGHT be able to clear it out by letting the shower pelt your ear, at hot as you can stand it, maybe 5 minutes a day. MAYBE after a few days you might wash it out.

BTW, when I read the title of the thread, I thought it would be something else. Traditionally, "swimmers ear" is rather painful, and it often results from bacteria flourishing in the ear canal because of water that stays trapped in there. You get a nice little pool of water festering and it growing all sorts of "companions" that share the pool with you. Ear drops (alcohol, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) help the ear dry out to eliminate the medium that allows the nasties to grow. A full-blown case of swimmers ear can be hell. An outer-ear infection is often treated with drops of some sort that your doctor prescribes. It's ofren uncomfortable to press at all on your outer ear by the opening, so even wearing a knit hat can hurt. An inner ear infection usually requires antibiotics. (Inner ear infections are especially painful if you go under water even to some very minimal depths -- including just doing flip turns. I can tell you from personal experience.)

Back to the wax, I had to have my ear flushed once, many years ago. My doctor did it. Not painful. He blasted the turkey baster into my ear. I held a little pan to catch the flush-out. I couldn't believe the size of the wax hunk he dislodged. It was about the size of the end segment of my pinkie finger. It was amazing how well I could hear after that!

November 29th, 2004, 03:33 PM
Oh, one last addition to my previous post...

For people prone to getting swimmers ear, consider using the silicone ear plugs you can get over-the-counter. I haven't had an earache in years since I started using them.

They are just little wads of silicone. Kind of like putty. (I think some catalogues also call them "ear puddy".) Slightly sticky but not messy. You squish them into a shape that fills the outer hole of your ear canal. You can use them over and over until they no longer stick. In fact, when they start losing their "stick" you can rip them apart and squish them back together again to get a new outer surface to extend the life of the plug.

You can find them wherever swimming supplies are sold, but you can get them cheaper in your run-of-the-mill drug store. Speedo sells a little plastic box of two plugs for $1.99 or so. But check in the sleep-aids section of your drug store (probably even your supermarket.) They sell the same thing to use for noise reduction when you sleep. Last time I bought a box, it contained 24 plugs for $3.99, I believe. The Walgreens plugs were larger than the Speedo ones, so I actually make 3 plugs out of two, so I will end up getting 36 plugs out of those 24. (You can rip them apart and stick them back together like play-doh. You can make them any size or shape you want.)

November 29th, 2004, 04:55 PM
I just had water get in my ears and not come out...I found that holding my nose and blowing pops my ears. I did that and the water came out.

I guess that's a hazard of turning!