The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, and you’re heading to the beach or pool to cool off. While this quintessential summer pastime may stir fond memories or anticipatory relief from the heat, it’s not always sunshine and popsicles.
Let’s be honest: an ear infection in summer is no fun. And when you’re spending your summer days at the pool or beach, it’s not all that uncommon to experience an ache or pain in the ear. After all, the culprits—sand and water—are plentiful. The good news: We have answers to your top summer ear infection questions, including how to prevent them.
Think about all those times you or your kids dove deep into the water to try and touch the bottom or played in the warm sand. Trips to the beach and pool create many opportunities for sand in the ear and water-based ear infections for both children and adults.
If sand ends up in your ear while you’re at the beach, don’t fret. Getting sand in the ears can happen to anyone. But is sand in the ears dangerous or can sand in the ears cause infection, you ask? Yes, if not addressed right away.
Particles not cleaned out right after your swim can cause issues. Sand in ears symptoms include:
Sand in ear removal may be easier than you think. Try these tips, and if the issue persists, talk to your doctor for an alternative sand in ear treatment.
Yes. While short-term ear pain after swimming can be common, being in unclean or contaminated water—whether a pool or natural body of water—can lead to infection and discomfort. When contaminated water sits in the ear for a prolonged amount of time after a swim, bacteria can build up and affect the skin. This is also known as swimmer’s ear, about which you’ll find more information below, along with how to prevent ear infections after swimming.
Whenever you submerge in water, the outer ear canal fills with water, and typically, when done swimming, the water drains. Ear pain after swimming can happen if that water doesn’t properly drain or you swam in unclean water. If the pain lingers, this could be a sign the ear is infected and requires treatment.
Water in pools and other recreational water venues are full of germs, one of the most frequent causes of swimmer’s ear.
Swimmer’s ear, as mentioned above, occurs when water gets in the ear and stays there for a prolonged period, allowing germs to grow in the outer ear canal. An ear infection after swimming in a pool might be swimmer’s ear. Symptoms—including itchiness, redness and pus—are usually mild at first but can grow more intense the longer the infection goes untreated.
When determining the right ear pain after swimming treatment, consider your symptoms.
To prevent an ear infection after swimming, consider these pre- and post-swim tips: