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How do I get rid of swimmer's ear?
last updated:
Thu, 5/16/2013 2:27 PM

With pool season right around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to ask about swimmer's ear, a popular discussion topic among parents this time of year. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, swimmer's ear is an inflammation of the external ear canal. Children get swimmer's ear when water gets into the ear and doesn't properly drain.

"Youngsters with this condition will com­plain of itching or pain in the ear, the latter particularly when the head or the ear itself is moved," said the AAP. "As the canal swells, hearing will decrease. The infected ear may ooze yel­lowish pus."

We asked Le Bonheur Children's Chief of Otolaryngology (ENT) Dr. Jerome Thompson about the common summer condition, and the best way to get rid of it. Thompson advised pouring small amounts of rubbing alcohol into a child's ear to remedy swimmer's ear.

"Sometimes a 50/50 of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar solution is also good," he said. "As always, if pain or complaints persist, a visit to the pediatrician is probably needed."


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Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center is a leading children's hospital in the Mid South, providing pediatric care to children from 95 counties in six states.
50 N. Dunlap Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103 • (901) 287-KIDS