When the weather is warm there are few things as refreshing as jumping into a cold pool or partaking in your other water activities. Frequent swimming, however, can cause chronic infections in both children and adults. Otitis Externa, or Swimmer’s Ear warrants an estimated 2.4 million health care visits every year.
Swimmer’s Ear occurs when the ear canal and ear wax are moistened, creating a favorable environment for bacteria or fungus to grow causing an infection. Common signs and symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear include itchiness inside the ear, redness and swelling around the ear, pain in the ear, especially when touched or when pressure is applied, fullness in the ear, hearing loss, and pus or drainage from the ear.
Treatment options for Swimmer’s Ear can range from home remedies to seeing an ENT specialist. For a single occurrence, antibiotics or antifungals can treat an infection effectively. Chronic infections, which are more common in children than adults, merit a visit to an ENT specialist.
Otitis Externa is different from Otitis Media. Otitis Media is more common in children. They are more susceptible to ear infections because they have smaller Eustachian Tubes, making it easier for them to get clogged, which then leads to infection. Enlarged adenoids can also contribute to this problem. Untreated ear infections can lead to hearing loss, behavioral issues, and speech development delays. These problems can many times be resolved with ear tube insertion and sometimes adenoidectomy.
If you or someone you know suffers from chronic Swimmer’s Ear or recurrent Otitis Media, contact Dr. Carreño today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Carreño can determine if you or your loved one could benefit from an ear tube insertion procedure or possibly an adenoidectomy. He will gladly answer all your questions regarding the procedure as well as other potential treatment options.