Ear Exam

Swimmer's Ear

(757) 668-7500
Swimmer’s ear is a painful infection of the outer ear canal usually caused by water that doesn’t drain from the ear right away. That allows bacteria to grow in the ear canal, which becomes red and swollen.

It's Not Always Caused By Swimming

It is possible, however, for children to get swimmer’s ear even if they haven’t been swimming. A scratch or an irritation can also lead to swimmer’s ear.

Swimmer’s ear typically starts with some itching, then leads to tenderness, swelling and pain – especially when touching or wiggling the ear lobe. Your CHKD doctor can give you antibiotic eardrops to kill the bacteria. 

Here are a few tips to help you and your kids avoid swimmer’s ear:

  • Use a bathing cap or earplugs when swimming
  • Always dry your ears with a towel after swimming
  • If you feel water in your ear after swimming, tilt your head so your ear faces down to drain the water out of the ear canal
  • Wait a week to 10 days before swimming again after having swimmer’s ear

Read more about swimmer’s ear or call (757) 668-7500.

(757) 668-7500