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cathlaur
October 29th, 2007, 12:47 PM
So I went to the walkin clinic at lunch. My lovely cold has nothing to do with my very sore ear. Apparently I have a bad case of swimmers ear in my left ear. It has been bugging me for a while which is why I use an ear plug in it. The cold just made it feel worse. Apparently I have had it for a while and let it go way to long. So I have some strong ear drop antibiotics and NO SWIMMING FOR A WEEK. Then once back in the pool I am to use an ear plug.

I am soooooooooooo disapointed :violin:. My ear is very sore, I am not feeling well with the cold and I am just in a whiny cranky pathetic mood. I feel bad for missing a week of swimming. What will I do with all that extra sleep?

Has anyone else had a bad case of swimmers ear?:sad:

Katie

fanstone
October 29th, 2007, 01:06 PM
I had a couple of bad episodes, with strong ear ache. I self treated for a couple of days, then went to the ear guy who told me that my inner ear was in trouble, not my outer ear and all that stuff I had been pouring into said ear wasn't doing any good. Treated with some oral corticoid. Lately I've been having a buzz in my ears and went to another ear guy and he told me to get a "hearing test", which I will, one of these days. I use earplug sound stuff in my ears while logging long mileage on my motorcycle. I have no idea where my troubles are form: swimming or hearing loud music while cruising at 100 (160kms) per hour. I use ear plugs while swimming and sometimes get tired of them and go without. Here is what I know so far: use ear plugs, and rinse with special alcohol preparation after swimming. It might not be related at all to swimming, just something you got after the cold, or whatever.

smontanaro
October 29th, 2007, 01:08 PM
Has anyone else had a bad case of swimmers ear?

Katie, you are not alone. I've had that a couple times. Auro-Dri or other similar products (95% alcohol, 5% glycerin) help a lot, at least in my experience. I pretty routinely use it after I swim. Haven't had a problem since I started (maybe a year ago). My coach said as an age grouper she used to have problems which went away when she began using these drops.

Skip Montanaro

cathlaur
October 29th, 2007, 01:20 PM
Thanks everyone.

I will try the drops. In the meantime for the week I have to stay out of the water. Though disapointing my ear is so sore that I guess it is for the better

Katie

Blackbeard's Peg
October 29th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Katie,
If you get restless, try some non-pool exercises to keep yourself going...

walk around your 'hood (though wear a hat, since you're in Canadia and it is cold),
go for a bike-ride
do some stretching, yoga, medball, exercise ball, etc. dryland work
lift weights once or twice

above all, make sure you keep washing your hands so you keep your cold to yourself and don't pick up anyone else's cold - the last thing you want to have happen is to have a different cold virus take advantage of your already weakened immune system and have a second one to piggy-back on your current one.

Blackbeard's Peg
October 29th, 2007, 01:40 PM
Oh, and more to the point of this thread, yes, i have. it really stinks. this is one of those times when you really do have to obey the doc's orders and stay out. Think of the week off as a rest week - and a reward for your hard training to this point.

cathlaur
October 29th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Thanks Blackbeard.

I have done some research on the net about swimmers ear and you are right I have to stay out of the water. I am sooooooo disapointed as this was my 8th week of swimming. Emotionally I am not ready for a break. Also food wise this is not a good week. GRRRRRRRRR. But I guess one week in my long life ( I hope wont lol)

Do you all wear earplugs now that you have had swimmers ear?

Katie

ourswimmer
October 29th, 2007, 01:59 PM
I had several bad cases of swimmer's ear as a teenager, but then I started using drops and I have not had it since. After every swim I put a few drops of a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in each ear. I pull on my ear lobe to be sure it runs as far in as possible and then I turn my head over to make sure it runs back out. If you buy a bottle of Auro-Dri drops at the drug store (which are just alcohol with glycerin, I think) you can use it up and then just refill it with vinegar & alcohol. I hate ear plugs and never wear them.

imspoiled
October 29th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Katie-

I've had it twice. Not a lot of fun. Sorry it's keeping you out of the water. After the second bout, I got the ear drop and ear plugs. The drops I use every time I swim, but I've only used the plugs a few times. You need to figure out which works best for you. Some people seem prone to swimmers ear, while others never (or rarely) get it.

Feel better,
Dana

blainesapprentice
October 29th, 2007, 04:04 PM
Katie don't you think you could pop the ear plug in and kick in the pool--head above the water? That's what people on my team do when they have swimmer's ear.

jim clemmons
October 29th, 2007, 04:51 PM
I had several bad cases of swimmer's ear as a teenager, but then I started using drops and I have not had it since. After every swim I put a few drops of a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in each ear. I pull on my ear lobe to be sure it runs as far in as possible and then I turn my head over to make sure it runs back out. If you buy a bottle of Auro-Dri drops at the drug store (which are just alcohol with glycerin, I think) you can use it up and then just refill it with vinegar & alcohol. I hate ear plugs and never wear them.

That's basically what I do as well. Scrounged an old medicine dropper from the cats. Filled it with 85% rubbing alcohol from the drug store (~$2.00 for a pint) on the advice from my ear, nose & throat doc (or he said he'd be happy to take my co-pay and $ from my insurance company - for the rest of my swimming career). I had swimmers ear very frequently in HS & college. I have not had a recurrence since going to this method: One drop in each ear after every swim.

JimRude
October 29th, 2007, 05:27 PM
I agree with everyone on the drops - they will definitely help. Also, some individuals are apparently just more prone to getting swimmer's ear than others...

For great ear plugs, check out Doc's Pro Plugs (www.proplugs.com (http://www.proplugs.com)) - I used them faithfully when I surfed a lot as a kid, and they were a big help.

swim4me
October 29th, 2007, 06:56 PM
Katie,

Thirty years ago, when I was 15 and lived in Northern California, some friends asked me to go camping with them and they were leaving the weekend of summer league finals (I had the league record for 100 breast back then, so I could NOT miss the meet). Sunday after the meet was finished, my parents drove me up to a National Park near Lake Tahoe so I could spend the week with my friends and one of their parents. We had a blast, hiking around the woods and diving off of high boulders into a clear cold creek near the campsite. On the way home, driving down the mountian back to Sacramento, everyone kept saying 'my ear popped'. Mine usually did too while taking that drive, but this time everyone's ears popped but mine. I woke up that night (at home) around 2:30 in the morning with the most excruciating pain I have ever felt to this day:cane:. After I got on antibiotics later that morning, I slept for three days. It was awful. We thought I had lost all hearing in one of my ears, but they were both infected.

I had been able to avoid swimmers ear since then until Nationals at the Woodlands this year. My outer ear felt like it had a pimple in it on Saturday night. I went home after my events on Sunday, and by Monday I went to the Dr and another ear infection. Not near as painful as the one during my teen years, but I did not feel good (went home from work early Monday). Dr. said no swimming, but I used ear plugs and drops when I got out (I probably should not have swam, but I only swim three days a week and needed my 'fix' badly).

I hope you heal quickly! Earaches are no fun and neither is no swimming. :fish2:

david.margrave
October 29th, 2007, 08:19 PM
I've never had swimmers ear but did get barootitis about 15 years ago from flying, which is probably similar. You can definitely tell the difference between irritation (which I get sometimes), and an acute case which will send you to the doctor.

Recently I've had some mild irritation which the alcohol/glycerin over-the-counter drops help with. Also I used the silicone ear plugs which help too but you have to fiddle with them a lot and more than once they've wound up at the bottom of the pool. After a week of using the plugs things have calmed down and I'm back to normal (no plugs).

ensignada
October 29th, 2007, 09:11 PM
I use 50/50 white vinegar/alcohol. I haven't had problems since I tried it.

aquaFeisty
October 29th, 2007, 09:56 PM
I used to get it really bad when I was a kid... practiced in the morning at the summer pool then stayed at the pool all day (either playing or lifeguarding when I was a little older). I think between the humidity and being in and out of the water all day, my ears just never dried out. Definitely definitely stay out the water as the doctor says and get rid of it completely.

Knock on wood, no problems as an adult, but I am a neurotic head shaker. Not only do I jump up and down in the locker room ridiculously after practice, but during practice, at the end of nearly every repeat, I shake the water out of my ears before taking off for the next set. I didn't realize I did it quite so often until yesterday morning. I was swimming on my own on the far side of the pool and a friend was teaching water aerobics on the other side. After I finished up, she said, "I was wondering who that was swimming over there, until I saw you shake your head..." :)

I am probably killing vast numbers of brain cells. Perhaps my frequent key loss is connected?

inklaire
October 30th, 2007, 01:43 AM
I got it once as a young adult and it was excruciating. This year, twice, and swam with it for about a month before finally giving in and taking the week out of the water, etc. (I should have taken the opportunity to get a tattoo.)

For the record, I believe auro-dri is great. Since I started using it religiously, I've had no problems. I expect the homemade solutions might work just as well, but I'm lazy.

Like blainesapprentice, I also wonder whether you could wear plugs and kick with a board or head up vertically?

cathlaur
October 30th, 2007, 08:09 AM
Thanks everyone for their stories of swimmers ear.

I guess my question of whether I should swim was mute LOL. I can barely breathe as my cold is so wicked and my ear is killing me ( though not related to one another, I am just a lucky girl). So swimming is out of the question. I will head back Monday and hope that I am not to far behind. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

It is hard to believe how sore swimmers ear is. YIKES. I will buy the auro-dri and I will use earplugs ( it is just the one ear)

Thanks again from a very cranky Katie:(

Swan
October 30th, 2007, 02:30 PM
Yep, I finally got ear aches around 6-7 years ago. I tried drops (both commercial and homemade) but they didn't keep it from re-occurring. Sometimes everything would be fine for 6 months or a year but it would happen again. The only thing that seems to help is wearing the hateful earplugs. If it makes any difference, I kept swimming even through the ear aches, just kept using the plugs. Now, wearing them is just part of the routine of swimming; kind of like goggles.

Now, if you want something truely bad, about 2 years ago, I started developing an allergy to chlorine and now I have to wear nose plugs also!!

Goggles, earplugs and nose plugs, soon I'll need a full body suit!


Anyway, should you decide to keep swimming (even against Dr's orders), try the silicone earplugs (i.e., Macks); just make sure that you have a good seal before getting into the water!


Best of luck,


Swan

renie
October 30th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Thanks everyone for their stories of swimmers ear.

I guess my question of whether I should swim was mute LOL. I can barely breathe as my cold is so wicked and my ear is killing me ( though not related to one another, I am just a lucky girl). So swimming is out of the question. I will head back Monday and hope that I am not to far behind. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

It is hard to believe how sore swimmers ear is. YIKES. I will buy the auro-dri and I will use earplugs ( it is just the one ear)

Thanks again from a very cranky Katie:(

Hey Katie, you are obviously very upset with not being able to swim. I totally relate, as I'm sure everyone else here does. Have you tried taking aspirin or tylenol for ear pain? That helps a lot. I use the white vinegar solution. My ear doc told me to stay away from ear plugs because, unles they are custom fitted, water can get in anyway and then it's basically trapped in the ear by the tight plug. :shakeshead: He said the vinegar/alcohol solution was sufficient. And he could've easiily sold me custom plugs for $200! Also, be careful with your ears. I suffered a whole year from severe vertigo attacks due to a viral infection in the ear called labrynthitis. I was so miserable, I felt imbalanced all the time, and basically sea sick whenever I would swim. Staying out of the water right now is a very wise decision, no matter how awful you miss it. Get well soon!

SwimStud
October 30th, 2007, 05:48 PM
More importantly...do Olympians get swimmer's ear or Olympian's ear?
:lmao:

scyfreestyler
October 30th, 2007, 05:56 PM
I am sure there is a list somewhere to document those Olympians who have fallen prey to this condition.

cathlaur
November 1st, 2007, 09:23 AM
Hey there

I still have a cold and my ear is starting to feel better. I feel pudgy and dont like it. I am heading back to the pool monday. I hope I am not to far behind

Reni yes I am sad that I am not swimming, though the extra sleep when I am not feeling well helps. It is a drag. But come Monday I am in the water. IF I am slower then that is okay.

Thanks for you concern and input everyone

Katie

Willow
November 5th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Hey,

When I first started swimming last year I immediately got swimmer's ear. I was out of the water for 2 weeks, on medicated drops and then tried the vinegar/alcohol drops, but got swimmer's ear AGAIN! I'm not a patient person and I don't like to mess around, so I shelled out money for a nifty widget called the Sahara Ear Dry. I feel like a total nerd with my special ear dryer, but I have never had swimmer's ear again. I love that thing!

Willow

aztimm
November 5th, 2007, 03:27 PM
I used to get a bad ear infection (not sure if connected to swimmer's ear) every year once the heater got turned off where we swim. After this happening several times, one doctor gave me advice that works best for me--after swimming/showering, I put my head under the blow dryer, and make sure to get my ears nice and dry. Ever since I've made a conscious effort to do this, no more ear infections.

Swan
November 6th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Hey,

When I first started swimming last year I immediately got swimmer's ear. I was out of the water for 2 weeks, on medicated drops and then tried the vinegar/alcohol drops, but got swimmer's ear AGAIN! I'm not a patient person and I don't like to mess around, so I shelled out money for a nifty widget called the Sahara Ear Dry. I feel like a total nerd with my special ear dryer, but I have never had swimmer's ear again. I love that thing!

Willow


Willow:

I've never heard of this item but I just placed an order for one! Oh, to be able to swim without earplugs again! Now, do you have a suggestion for how to get rid of the allergy to chlorine that I just developed this year so I can get rid of the noseplugs also?


Thanks a million,

Swan

cathlaur
November 8th, 2007, 10:40 AM
Swan

I will be interested to know if this works for you. I just dont want to spend the 100$ but if it really works then it is worth it.

Keep me posted

Katie

Swan
November 8th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Swan

I will be interested to know if this works for you. I just dont want to spend the 100$ but if it really works then it is worth it.

Keep me posted

Katie


Will do! BTW, how goes the return to swimming? Cold and earaches gone?

Swan

cathlaur
November 8th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Swan

I returned on Tueday. It is going well. Glad to be back in the pool. My cold is totally gone. I am not sure if my ear is cleared yet. HMMMMMMMM. I may go to the same walk in clinic tomorrow to check. I bought some Auro Dri. You can feel it cooling off.

I have a way to go with my swimming but it is sure coming along. I hate the earplug in the one ear as I cannot hear the coach. So I am hoping the hair dryer in the ear and the auro dri do the trick

Good luck to you

Katie

shark
November 8th, 2007, 02:24 PM
I have been told by my physician and my kids pediatrician that Swimmer's Ear is the drying out of the skin in the ear canal. The skin dries out and cracks. Creating excrutiating pain. It is not an infection of the inner ear, something completely different. It comes from when the chemicals in a pool get out of whack. 50/50 alchohol and vinegar as some have said is what prevents it. The alcohol kills all bacteria and the vinegar keeps the ear moist. This summer, after an extended camping trip, I returned to find my backyard pool cloudy and void of chlorine. The Chlorine Feeder had ceased function. My wife allowed my kids and others to get in though the pool was cloudy. I warned them that they were risking getting sick due to the lack of chlorine. The Health Department shuts public pools down for this reason. (and others) Sure enough, of the 8 kids that got in, 2 developed The Ear.

In college, after every workout, we had some Little Sisters that were always there to administer drops. (and give us cookies) Noone ever got The Ear. I'm gonna guess it was the drops and not the cookies. 50/50 alcohol and vinegar.

Swan
November 8th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Swan

I returned on Tueday. It is going well. Glad to be back in the pool. My cold is totally gone. I am not sure if my ear is cleared yet. HMMMMMMMM. I may go to the same walk in clinic tomorrow to check. I bought some Auro Dri. You can feel it cooling off.

I have a way to go with my swimming but it is sure coming along. I hate the earplug in the one ear as I cannot hear the coach. So I am hoping the hair dryer in the ear and the auro dri do the trick

Good luck to you

Katie

If you want to try another home made recipe, my Dr suggested this:

Equal parts isopropyl alcohol (91% not the 70%) and vinegar. Add to it Boric Acid until the Boric Acid no longer goes into solution (precipitates on the bottom of the bottle). When you put the drop into your ear, don't shake the bottle and don't siphon up the Boric acid from the bottom. Put a few drops in each ear keeping your head level with the ground. Hold for about a minute and repeat with the other ear. The "logic" for this is that the organisms causing the infection like a wet and basic environment. The alcohol acts as an astrigent, the vinegar is acidic (acetic acid) and the Boric acid acts as an antiseptic and insecticide (plus it is acidic also).

I used this for about 2 years but it never completely worked (the ear aches came back eventually).

Auro Dri is isopropyl and glycerine by the way.

Glad you're back in the "swim of things" so to speak.


Swan

Swan

MAC swimmer
November 8th, 2007, 03:40 PM
I have swimmers ear right now...it hurts only when I touch it. I typically get swimmer's ear 2-3 times a year. (I suspect it is from my masters pool, since it get's massive age group use).

I pour isopropyl alcohol into my ear and shake it out--that usually does the trick. Today I tried Hydrogen Peroxide. Interesting....

Slowswim
November 8th, 2007, 03:51 PM
I have swimmers ear right now...it hurts only when I touch it. I typically get swimmer's ear 2-3 times a year. (I suspect it is from my masters pool, since it get's massive age group use).

I pour isopropyl alcohol into my ear and shake it out--that usually does the trick. Today I tried Hydrogen Peroxide. Interesting....

Probably sounded like me trying to warm up with all that cracking and popping.

cathlaur
November 8th, 2007, 04:34 PM
Thanks Swan

It does feel good to be back in the pool. I hate getting up but once I am up I am fine.

Shark I agree probably the drops not the cookies. Unless they were really really good cookies LOL

Mac if you get swimmers ear don't you go to the Dr for drops or do you just treat it on your own? Intersting.

I hope to be able to clear this up and not have to use an earplug. I HATE THEM

Katie

Swan
November 8th, 2007, 06:00 PM
[quote=shark;113723]I have been told by my physician and my kids pediatrician that Swimmer's Ear is the drying out of the skin in the ear canal. The skin dries out and cracks. Creating excrutiating pain. It is not an infection of the inner ear, something completely different. It comes from when the chemicals in a pool get out of whack. 50/50 alchohol and vinegar as some have said is what prevents it. The alcohol kills all bacteria and the vinegar keeps the ear moist....quote]

Hi Shark!

We got three different Doctors with 2 different causes. Yours says no infection, mine says infection, so I went to Wiki at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otitis_externa

and what do you know: There are multiple causes: one with critters and one without! Here's a partial excerpt:

Otitis externa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


ē Find out more about navigating Wikipedia and finding information (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Basic_navigation) ē


Otitis externa ("swimmer's ear") is an inflammation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation) of the outer ear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear) and ear canal. Along with otitis media (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otitis_media), external otitis is one of the two human conditions commonly called "earache (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earache)". It also occurs in many other species. Inflammation of the skin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin) of the ear canal is the essence of this disorder. The inflammation can be secondary to dermatitis (eczema) only, with no microbial infection, or it can be caused by active bacterial or fungal infection. In either case, but more often with infection, the ear canal skin swells and may become painful and/or tender to touch.
Chronic otitis externa is a low-grade disease, usually non-microbial and purely on the basis of chronic dermatitis or irritation from "cleaning" the canal, often with cotton swabs. It can be thought of as chronic dermatitis of the ear canal skin and may or may not be painful. There may only be seepage, mild swelling, or itching.
In contrast to the chronic otitis externa, acute otitis externa is predominantly a microbial infection, occurs rather suddenly, rapidly worsens, and becomes very painful and alarming. The ear canal has an abundant nerve supply, so the pain is often severe enough to interfere with sleep. Wax in the ear can combine with the swelling of the canal skin and any associated pus to block the canal and dampen hearing to varying degrees, creating a temporary conductive hearing loss. In more severe or untreated cases, the infection can spread to the soft tissues of the face that surround the adjacent parotid gland and the jaw joint, making chewing painful. In its mildest forms, external otitis is so common that some ear nose and throat physicians have suggested that most people will have at least a brief episode at some point in life. While a small percentage of people seem to have an innate tendency toward chronic external otitis, most people can avoid external otitis altogether once they understand the mechanisms of the disease.
The skin of the bony ear canal is unique, in that it is not movable but is closely attached to the bone, and it is almost paper thin. For these reasons it is easily abraded or torn by even minimal physical force. Inflammation of the ear canal skin typically begins with a physical insult, most often from injury caused by attempts at self-cleaning or scratching with cotton swabs, finger nails, hair pins, keys, or other small implements. Another causative factor for acute infection is prolonged water exposure in the forms of swimming or exposure to extreme humidity, which can compromise the protective barrier function of the canal skin, allowing bacteria to flourish; hence the name, "swimmer's ear". Densely impacted wax, usually caused by enthusiastic use of cotton swabs, can put enough pressure on the ear canal skin to injure it and initiate infection. A sensation of blockage or itching can prompt attempts to clean, scratch, or open the ear canal, which potentially worsens and perpetuates the condition. The cotton fibers of a swab are abrasive to the thin, fixed canal skin. Self-manipulative measures to improve the condition often make it worse and are to be discouraged, since it is a blind exercise that can result in significant injury to the ear. Production of wax by glands in the canal may be hindered by external otitis. The exact function(s) of cerumen (earwax) is a subject that is open to speculation, since there is very little research regarding its function. Some caretakers feel strongly that earwax has a protective function with respect to infection and that a little earwax in the ear canal is a good thing. A natural question is, "How can I clean my ears, then?" It is well established that in most people the top layer of the ear canal skin normally migrates toward the ear opening, essentially sweeping the canal on a continuing basis. In other words, a normal ear canal is self-cleaning. This self-cleaning physiologic feature fails in some patients, especially in late life, and periodic cleaning by a physician can be necessary. The most controlled and least painful means of cleaning impacted wax or dead skin from the ear canal is by using a binocular surgical microscope, which frees the examiner's hands to instrument the ear and provides the magnification and depth perception needed to avoid traumatizing the delicate canal skin and eardrum.
There is an uncommon and serious form of external otitis called malignant or necrotizing external otitis, in which the infection extends beyond the confines of the ear canal and can involve the bone of the skull. Although the name of this condition contains the words "external otitis" it tends to follow a more severe and chronic clinical course and can lead to skull base osteomyelitis. Instead of being a condition that most people are subject to, necrotizing external otitis (also called malignant otitis externa) is a life-threatening disorder that only affects older individuals with diabetes and patients with major disorders of the immune system.

There's more if you care to read it!

Confused,


Swan

nyswimmer
November 8th, 2007, 06:24 PM
In college, after every workout, we had some Little Sisters that were always there to administer drops. (and give us cookies) Noone ever got The Ear. I'm gonna guess it was the drops and not the cookies. 50/50 alcohol and vinegar.

I don't know about that. Don't underestimate the effects of really good cookies -- especially chocolate chip cookies. :banana:

Slimmer Bill
November 8th, 2007, 10:21 PM
I used to get a bad ear infection (not sure if connected to swimmer's ear) every year once the heater got turned off where we swim. After this happening several times, one doctor gave me advice that works best for me--after swimming/showering, I put my head under the blow dryer, and make sure to get my ears nice and dry. Ever since I've made a conscious effort to do this, no more ear infections.

Yeah, this helps.

cathlaur
November 10th, 2007, 09:44 AM
WOW thanks

I headed back to the pool on Tuesday and went Thursday.Well Thursday night I had the most brutal headache that had been brewing all day. My ear was killing me and I felt awful. Though the cold was gone. So back to the Dr. He took one look and said and I quote " ouch" hmmmmmmmm. So this time I am on very strong antibiotics orally ( the drops did not work) and naproxin for the pain. I feel much better today as the headache is almost gone. GEESH

I tell ya

I just want to be in the pool and healthy

Katie

Swan
November 10th, 2007, 12:41 PM
WOW thanks

I headed back to the pool on Tuesday and went Thursday.Well Thursday night I had the most brutal headache that had been brewing all day. My ear was killing me and I felt awful. Though the cold was gone. So back to the Dr. He took one look and said and I quote " ouch" hmmmmmmmm. So this time I am on very strong antibiotics orally ( the drops did not work) and naproxin for the pain. I feel much better today as the headache is almost gone. GEESH

I tell ya

I just want to be in the pool and healthy

Katie


Having used earplugs for the last 7 years, I would ask the following:


Are you using your earplugs when swimming and showering?
When you put them in, are you making sure that the seal is perfect?
Replacing them whenever they lose their stickiness (every 4 days for me).Also, make sure that you don't put anything down the ear canal (i.e., Q-Tips). I also make sure that the earplug always goes back into the same ear, not switching ears.

I remember when I got my first earache, the infection traveled down into my jaw and I couldn't get my teeth to close. Oh the pain. And yes, I swam anyway, but I don't ever miss days.


Feel better,


Swan

Swan
November 18th, 2007, 03:24 PM
Hey,

When I first started swimming last year I immediately got swimmer's ear. I was out of the water for 2 weeks, on medicated drops and then tried the vinegar/alcohol drops, but got swimmer's ear AGAIN! I'm not a patient person and I don't like to mess around, so I shelled out money for a nifty widget called the Sahara Ear Dry. I feel like a total nerd with my special ear dryer, but I have never had swimmer's ear again. I love that thing!

Willow

Based on Willowís post, I immediately got one. Now for my initial reaction to it!

I bought the unit off of eBay for $69.99 from a company in Hawaii. Took about 2 weeks to finally arrive. Today was my first swim with it.

First a description of the unit (the product website is http://www.dryear.net/).

The thing is an air blower that weighs about 7 ounces and uses a wall wart to power the rechargeable battery. The manufacturers site says that the charge is good for 50 uses at 90 seconds per use (or 25 if doing both ears) before needing a recharge. It also comes with 5 different color earpiece thingies so if you have multiple members of the family using it, they all get their own color earpiece. The earpiece just snaps right off. I used a different color earpiece for each ear. The unit also folds in half (like a clamshell) when not in use to make a nice little package (and also cover the earpiece.

Next up, using the dryer.

After swimming and the ubiquitous shower, I opened the clamshell, pushed the on button and held the thing up to my right ear. According to the directions: ďGently place the DryEar earpiece directly into the ear. It is not necessary to push the earpiece into the ear, just comfortably seat on the outside of the ear canal and adjust the dryer angle until you feel the maximized airflow into your ear canal.Ē Once the right ear was done, I changed the earpiece and repeated on the left ear. The directions also say that the earpieces need to be cleaned after each use.

My thoughts.

Well, it seemed to work. No sensation of water in either of my ears. No pain, no fuss, no muss. Strangely, the companyís literature says that the dryer automatically shuts off after 90 seconds however I timed it at 66 seconds. Believe me that even 66 seconds seems like a fairly long time holding something to your ear! The real PIA came when both the earpieces need had to be cleaned after use. This feels like the one real downside (except the initial cost) to this thing. By the way, after I washed the earpieces, I put them in one of the empty Mackís earplug containers for storage (I got a bunch of them lying around).

Economics.

Iíve been using 1 pair of the Mackís silicone earplugs every 6 days and a 12 pack (6 pairs) costs me $4.69 ($4.38 plus tax at Wally World) or $0.130278 per swim. Ignoring the cleaning (hot water/soap), recharging and travel to Wal-Mart costs, payback is 538 days (roughly) or 1 year 5 months 22 days. Call it a year and a half. This assumes that the earpieces last almost indefinitely. If they donít, a 20 pack of them is available for $11.99 plus shipping.

Other thoughts

The economics only work if I donít lose the unit and the earplugs. Cleaning the earplugs is a pain but I see three possibilities:

1. Donít clean them after each use. They arenít doing into the ear canal.
2. Buy the 20 pack and after each use put the used pair in a container and use a new pair the next time. After 12 times, clean all 24 at once. Faster, more efficient, less of a PIA. Iíll check with the manufacturer and see if they can go in the dishwasher.
3. Clean them when I shower after swimming and, while they are drying, use the other pair).

Iíll probably do number 3 for a few months until Iím comfortable that it is working then buy another 20 and go to number 2. This would make the payback just under 2 years.

Final thoughts.

Oh what a pleasure to swim without earplugs after some 6-7 years. Itís like I was reborn. Now, if only it works. Katie, thanks for starting this thread and Willow, thanks for pointing out this product.

Iíll give an update every so often.


Swimmingly,


Swan

lapswimmr
November 18th, 2007, 08:15 PM
I have swimmers ear it but its been several years past. You can tell it if it hurts when you pull on the ear It will make you scream if you do this suddenly. I am surprised the silicon ear plugs like the Macks only last 6 days or so. I dont use earplugs as they are a hassle to keep up with, clean ect. As its been pointed out if water gets behind them it stays and thats when trouble starts. I double cap. A silicon cap first pulled low over the ears then a strapped bubble cap. Dry hair and no ear troubles. If I do detect a leak I stop and pull up the caps a bit to drain the small amout of leakage out and thats it. The trick is getting the inner cap pulled low. If it wont pull down low cut a small hole in the crown and it will. The bubble caps also come in head sizes for a snug fit.


Bubble caps with a inner swim band for dry hair same idea , but do the above for dry ears.

http://www.geocities.com/lapswimr/swimband.html

Swan
November 18th, 2007, 08:59 PM
I have swimmers ear it but its been several years past. You can tell it if it hurts when you pull on the ear It will make you scream if you do this suddenly. I am surprised the silicon ear plugs like the Macks only last 6 days or so. I dont use earplugs as they are a hassle to keep up with, clean ect. As its been pointed out if water gets behind them it stays and thats when trouble starts. I double cap. A silicon cap first pulled low over the ears then a strapped bubble cap. Dry hair and no ear troubles. If I do detect a leak I stop and pull up the caps a bit to drain the small amout of leakage out and thats it. The trick is getting the inner cap pulled low. If it wont pull down low cut a small hole in the crown and it will. The bubble caps also come in head sizes for a snug fit.


Bubble caps with a inner swim band for dry hair same idea , but do the above for dry ears.

http://www.geocities.com/lapswimr/swimband.html



Lapswimmr:

I've never had any success with caps, but I do admit that I don't use the double cap method that you point out. However, I think about which the bigger pain is: double cap or earplugs. I know that I've tried a single cap many times and would think that that was worse than ear plugs. Double cap would be even worse than that, don't you think?

Regarding the Mack's only lasting 6 days, I use the silicone type and they start to lose their stickiness after that long. Perhaps that might be why some people are saying that water is getting trapped behind the plugs (and in the ear canal), because they are leaking. I've never had one leak.

All in all, it was wonderful to swim today without earplugs. I'm hoping that the dryer works. Spending $70.00 and about 3 minutes time per swim is inconsequential (assuming it really works, of course!).

Swan

lapswimmr
November 18th, 2007, 09:27 PM
I like the double cap for hair and ear protection because its simple and works for me. As I said keeping up with ear plugs not loosing them, cleaning them is to me more of a pain. The double cap is a bit too tight for some swimmers though, people have to experiment with what works best for them ,ear plugs only , cap and plugs, double caps, alcohol drops, ect. Like swim goggles, nothing works for everyone.

It makes sense that the silicon ear plugs loose stickness and wont seal and thats the reason to replace them as you have pointed out.

Bad as swimmers ear is.. its not as bad as "surfers ear'.

Swan
November 18th, 2007, 10:08 PM
I like the double cap for hair and ear protection because its simple and works for me. As I said keeping up with ear plugs not loosing them, cleaning them is to me more of a pain. The double cap is a bit too tight for some swimmers though, people have to experiment with what works best for them ,ear plugs only , cap and plugs, double caps, alcohol drops, ect. Like swim goggles, nothing works for everyone.

It makes sense that the silicon ear plugs loose stickness and wont seal and thats the reason to replace them as you have pointed out.

Bad as swimmers ear is.. its not as bad as "surfers ear'.


I just checked out surfer's ear and it looks horrible! I'm hoping that you don't have both concurrently?

lapswimmr
November 18th, 2007, 11:19 PM
I enjoy open water swimming but have not been out there any where as long as surfers, as they go everyday they can. Anyway surfers ear takes years to develop. Its caused by cold water and wind. As I said I double cap so no problems my way but lots of surfers had no clue this condition would ever happen. Its only been maybe the last 15 years its been really heard of." Drilling out" the bone deposits is a lot worse then swimmers ear I am sure! Swimmers really dont have any worrys about this condition unless they are out in cold water all the time without ear plugs or a cap as some surfers were.

cathlaur
November 20th, 2007, 02:40 PM
Hey all
Thanks for all the replies. I have had quite the time with my left ear. Diagnosed with swimmers ear.Given antibiotic drops. They did not work. Back to the Dr's given 10 days of antibiotics in pill form. Still not 100% back to the Dr today. Redness is gone but can see swelling or liquid still in ear. On 3 days of 50 mg predisone and more ear drops. If this does not work off to a specialist.

I hit the pool today with ear plugs. I just dont care. I need to swim. I have put weight back on and have felt just blucky. I enjoyed the swim today so much

Katie

Swan
November 20th, 2007, 07:09 PM
Hey all
Thanks for all the replies. I have had quite the time with my left ear.
Katie

Just curious, do you breathe to the left side predominately?

cathlaur
November 21st, 2007, 09:16 AM
Swan

I try to breathe to both sides. I am pretty consistent with that. Though if I am tired I will breathe to the left more than the right.


Katie

Swan
November 21st, 2007, 10:06 AM
Are you going swimming today?

cathlaur
November 22nd, 2007, 08:18 AM
I went swimming Tuesday, pool is not open Wed and I was going to go this morning but we have had a huge winter storm. Snow with freezing rain. It took hubby and I forever to even get the vehicle doors open. The schools are closed. So I did not make the trek to the pool as I have to drive 20 mins out of my way one way to get there then to work. It was a bad enough normal drive.

On the bright side my ear feels way better so I guess the predisone is working. Today is my last pill. I am very pleased. I am quite swollen ( cant get my rings off) but I know that is water weight from the drugs. I will be glad to have it off by the weekend.

Back to the pool tomorrow. Hopefully this is it. I have my earplugs already to go

Katei

Swan
November 24th, 2007, 06:57 AM
Oh, Woe is me!
I had such high hopes for the Sahara Dry Ear. Yesterday at around 2:30pm I felt a little soreness in my right ear and by 10:00pm I had a full-blown earache. When I woke up this morning the infection had travelled into my jaw and I canít close my teeth. Oh well, back to the ear plugs.
What Iím most amazed about is the speed that the infection started up again: 6 days. Well, they were a glorious 6 days.
Sadly,

Swan

cathlaur
November 26th, 2007, 10:20 AM
Drats SWAN

I am soooooooooo sorry. I was so hoping it would work to. I am using an earplug in my left ear then eurodry ( think that is how you spell it) my ear seems better. I swam this morning and so far so good. Though I can tell my cardio is lacking due to my inconsistent swimming. I am back at it though. I will hit the pool 4 times this week.

Have you been to the Dr yet?
I hope it heals quickly.

Katie

Swan
November 26th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Hi Katie!

No, no Doctor. When I use to get this, I tried antibiotics but the cure time was roughly the same as without them so I'll just let it run its course (about a week). Unfortunately, my left ear is now infected also.

When the pain gets to be real bad, a couple of aspirins calm it down. About the only time I don't really notice it is for the couple of hours when I'm swimming.

I know that I suggested to you to swim anyway, just use the earplugs. I forgot how painful putting them in was, especially to make sure that there is a good seal!
Swan

cathlaur
November 27th, 2007, 10:46 AM
Swan LOL Oh yes it hurts. My ear is still not right. I have to head to the specialist. DRATS. I am just ignoring it at this time. It is not sore like it was when it was infected but it pops and seems plugged a very weird feeling.

I swam yesterday and today. Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee. It feels good to be back in the water. Also I can feel my tummy tightening again. So that is wonderful

WOW you are strong for not going to the Dr's . I hope your ear heals soon.

Katie