Stear Clear of Swimmer's Ear
Maybe you’ve spent the afternoon in the pool, or merely relaxed in an extra long shower. You don’t have to be a swimmer to suffer the discomfort of swimmer’s ear. Your doctor can recommend medicated eardrops to knock out the infection and relieve the itching and irritation, but in the long run, a better approach is to make sure the infection never comes back. Here’s how:
- Don’t reach for the towel to dry your ears—it’s better to let the water evaporate on its own. Rubbing inside the ear will strip away some of the wax, the sticky stuff that helps prevent infections from taking hold.
- It’s true what you’ve heard: You should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. And that includes cotton swabs, which merely irritate your ears and make them more vulnerable to infections.
- Use eardrops that help water evaporate more quickly. You can buy them in drugstores, but it’s easy to make your own by mixing equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.
- Wear a bathing cap or earplugs the next time you take the plunge to prevent water from getting inside your ear.
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