Swimmer’s ear (or Otitis Externa) is a bacterial infection of the outer ear canal, where the tube connects the opening of the ear to the eardrum.
It is caused due to the leftover water inside the ear canal after bathing, swimming or showering which becomes a ground for the bacteria to thrive in the body. In rare cases, it is also caused due to a virus or fungus.
Excessive cleaning of the ear canal, allergies, prolonged usage of headphones or hearing aid, irritation caused by jewelry, hair dyes, hair sprays, etc. can also cause this swimmer’s ear.
Redness, pain, swelling, pus or fluid discharge, muffled hearing, itching in the ear, fever, feeling of fullness inside the ear, blocked ears, swollen lymph nodes, etc. are some symptoms experienced by people suffering from swimmer’s ear.
However, it is not a contagious infection but any delay in the treatment will cause some serious complications like deep tissue infection, temporary hearing loss, bone and cartilage damage, etc.
Make sure to consult your doctor for treating the severe forms or recurring of swimmer’s ear and follow the natural remedies as an adjunct treatment.
Home Remedies for Swimmer’s Ear:
Here are the best natural remedies that widely used to treat swimmer’s ear infection effectively. All you need is to follow them regularly along with some ear hygiene to get complete relief from this infection.
Remedy – 1: (White Vinegar)
Vinegar has acidic nature that fights against the infection causing bacteria and other microbes. It also acts as a drying agent that dries out the left over water in the ear canal and cleanses your ear.
- Mix equal quantities of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a bowl.
- Lie on your side with the infected ear facing upwards.
- Pour 2 – 4 drops of this mix into the infected ear by using a dropper.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes and then tilt your head to drain out the solution along with infection.
- Continue doing the process for 2 – 3 times daily till you get complete relief from the infection.
Remedy – 2: (Warm Compress)
If you’re experiencing the signs of fluid discharge from the infected ear, then try a warm compress. The heat generated from this compress will enhance the flow of fluid and thus eases your pain.
- Soak a clean washcloth in hot water and squeeze it to remove excess water.
- Then place the damp cloth over the infected ear for 2 – 4 minutes.
- After that, tilt your head to promote fluid drainage and now wait for 10 minutes to repeat the same process.
- Do the same process for few times a day till you get complete relief from the problem.
Note: Also, place a heating pad wrapped in a towel on the infected ear by lying down in a bed for few minutes. Repeat it at regular intervals of time.
Remedy – 3: (Garlic)
Garlic has antimicrobial and natural pain relieving qualities that help to kill the bacteria causing the infection along with the pain associated with it.
- Crush few garlic cloves and mix it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Hear the oil for few minutes till the garlic cloves turn to brown.
- Strain the oil and let it cool for few minutes.
- Pour 2 – 4 drops of this oil in the infected ear and repeat the same process for once or twice daily.
- Also, include garlic in your daily diet (or) eat 2 – 3 garlic cloves daily to enhance the healing process.
- Avoid using garlic oil if there is a fluid drainage from your ear.
Remedy – 4: (Hydrogen Peroxide)
Hydrogen peroxide has a natural antibacterial agent that helps to dry out the fluid (or pus) in your ear and thereby eliminates the infection.
- Lie down on your side and pour 3 – 5 drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the affected ear.
- Wait for a couple of minutes and then tilt your head to drain out the fluid from your ear.
- Continue this remedy for a couple of times till you get rid of swimmer’s ear.
Remedy – 5: (Breast Milk)
Breast milk has natural antibodies that help to fight the infection causing microbes. It also alleviates the pain, irritation, and swelling caused due to swimmer’s ear.
- Lie down on your side with an infected ear facing up.
- Pour few drops of breast milk into the infected ear by using a dropper.
- Let it sit for a couple of minutes and tilt your head to drain out the excess fluid from the ear.
- Do the same process 2 – 3 times daily till you get relief from the problem.
Tips and Precautions:
- Onion juice acts as a disinfectant that relieves you from the infection and the pain. Pour 2 – 3 drops of warm onion juice into the infected ear. Wait for 5 minutes and tilt your head to drain out the fluid. Do the same with warm holy basil juice.
- Run a humidifier to prevent blocked nose and ears along with upper respiratory tract infections.
- It’s best to avoid phlegm producing foods like rye, sugar, milk, cheese, rice, lentils, yogurt, banana, cabbage, potatoes, corn, etc. Also, avoid the intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
- Include more of phlegm relieving foods like garlic, onions, leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, parsley, berries, omega – 3 fatty acid rich foods, etc.
- Always clean and dry your ears after completing your shower or swimming or bathing to prevent this infection. Also, wear earplugs while swimming and dry your ears using a towel or a hair dryer.
Try these natural ways to get relief from the swimmer’s ear. Do you know any other successful remedies? Then share with us in the below comments box.