How Can You Prevent Swimmer’s Ear?

While there is no way to ensure the prevention of swimmers ear entirely, there are steps you can take to help avoid you or your child getting swimmers ear.

Tips for reducing the risk of getting swimmer’s ear

Whether you are at home, swimming, or on vacation there are steps you can take to prepare. Any water in the ear can become problematic if it remains in the ear canal for too long. Keeping the ears dry is key. (source: CDC)

  • Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or bathing with a soft towel
  • Tilt your head to each side with your ear facing down to allow water to escape
  • Pull your earlobe in different directions while your ear is faced down
  • Consider the use of non-prescription ear drops indicated for drying
  • Consider use of a bathing cap or ear plugs

What conditions cause swimmer’s ear?

Despite the best preventative measures, some people may be more prone to swimmers ear. The following conditions make swimmers ear more likely to occur:

  • Water in the ears after swimming or bathing that is not removed
  • Loss of ear wax resulting from water in the ear canal, or excessive cleaning of the ear canal that removes too much wax
  • Injury to the ear that results from inserting objects such as fingers, cotton swabs, pens, and hair clips
  • Swimming in water that contains pollutants
  • Skin conditions affecting the ear canal, such as eczema or psoriasis