Do you remember going to swim lessons as a kid and how the instructors would always line you up afterwards to put alcohol drops in your ears? That feeling of the alcohol dripping out of your ear always felt weird when you had dried off, but it turns out there were good reasons for it: avoidance of swimmer’s ear and other ear infections.
If you’re hitting the beach for the first time this year or your local pool finally opened up, it’s good to remind yourself why you should take care of your ears after swimming – and to visit urgent care in Naples if something goes wrong.
Swimmer’s Ear Causes
The reason why we got those ear drops after lessons was to kill the bacteria lurking in our ears after a swim. When we submerge our head underwater – or even take a shower – we can get water in our outer ear canal. If that water has any bacteria in it, the bacteria might find your ear a great place to multiply; after all, it’s warm, moist and dark.
If that happens, we can get an infection. Our ear starts itching, it looks a little red; maybe it hurts when you pull on your earlobe. As it gets worse, so does the pain.
Other Ear Infection Causes
Other causes of ear infections – which are especially common in children – are colds, throat infections, and allergies. Why? Our ears are connected to our respiratory tract by the Eustachian tube. If that gets clogged, anything bad going on in our sinuses has the possibility of making its way to our ears and developing further.
Children under 2 are particularly prone to ear infections because their Eustachian tubes are weaker and softer; when you hear about children getting ear tubes, it’s to keep those Eustachian tubes open and let fresh air circulate.
What to do for an ear infection or swimmer’s ear?
Ear pain can interrupt sleep and can simply hurt. Left untreated, it can also affect your hearing. That’s why First Care’s urgent care in Naples is available to make sure you can get treatment when you need it.
If you have swimmer’s ear, antibiotics are probably the most commonly prescribed treatment. You’re fighting bacteria, after all. But if your earache is connected to a cold or flu, you might just need a pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Unfortunately, we cannot tell the difference without the help of a doctor, which is why a trip to Naples urgent care is worth it when you have a persistent or painful earache.
First Care’s urgent care in Naples is open without appointments from 8am-5pm every day.