Common Ear Problems For Surfers Part 2


Surfers Ear vs Swimmers Ear Cont'd

After growing up hearing (pun intended) about things like surfers ear, ear aches, ear infections or swimmers ear...it wasn't until I first had ear problems that I decided to delve a little deeper in order to figure out what was going on for me. 

Swimmers Ear Key Points: 
- Very different to Surfers Ear, it is an infection of the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head. 
- Usually self-diagnosable where the main symptoms are redness in the outer ear accompanied by warmth and pain.
- People may experience: feeling of fullness in the ear, hearing loss, itching, redness, or tenderness in ear and mucus/discharge from the ear.
- Just like any infection it may spread deeper...
surfers ear vs swimmers ear

Caused by:
- water remaining in the ear after swimming OR surfing
- this creates a moist environment that helps bacteria or fungi grow (especially in warm tropical places where there are MORE bacteria/fungi)
- Individuals that wear ear plugs (tradies), ear buds, or hearing aids may be at an increased risk.
- something getting stuck inside the ear, excessive ear cleaning, or contact with chemicals like hair dye or hairspray.
- Extra water removes ear wax (and sometimes so do you if you use cotton swabs!), ear wax is critical for stopping foreign bodies get into your ear.

Quote:
Dr. Paula Barry at Penn Family and Internal Medicine Longwood states, “It is best to follow the age-old recommendation of physicians to not put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.”
Treatment:
- Prescribed ear drops (usually a tropical antibiotic) ...and stay out of the water, especially if it isn't clean water!
- Although it is rarely serious, the infection can become severe and spread, imagine bacteria and fungi getting into your skull...
Swimmers ear vs Middle ear
Prevention:
-Use ear plugs, a bathing cap, swiming cap or wetsuit hood to keep water from getting in your ears.
- Use a towel to dry off your ears as soon as you’re done swimming or bathing.
- Try tilting your head or pulling the earlobe in different directions.
- Try holding a hair dryer on a low setting several inches from your ear until the ear feels dry.
- If you start getting problems (like consistent water in ear) a doctor or physician can remove pus or drainage and make sure the infection isn't causing another problem, they may also remove debris from ear!
-If symptoms start to get worse, keep your ears dry!!
TIP: 
- You could carry some "Blu-tack" in your Surf Aid Kit, I have used this multiple times to prevent water getting in my ear, it worked great for me and is easily moulded to the shape of your ear! 
- Avoid dirty smelly rivermouths that carry pollution and bacteria to the ocean.
- Avoid pools 
If you don't think this sounds like your problem, open another tab and check out our blog post on SURFERS EAR for an easy comparison of the two!
Cheers and stay safe 
Surf Aid Kits 

 


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