Summer is almost here and most parents are heading to the Lynnwood Aquatics and Recreation Center to beat the heat. Unfortunately, this is also the time when most kids complain about a painful throbbing in their ear brought by otitis externa, or what is commonly called swimmer’s ear.
Though Lynnwood Urgent Care centers can help provide relief to your child’s suffering, it pays to understand what this ear infection is all about and how you can prevent it from happening to your little one.
Otitis Externa vs. Otitis Media: What’s the difference?
There are two types of ear infection. Swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is an infection usually found right between the outer ear (the part that you can see) and the middle ear, where your eardrum is located. Regular ear infection or otitis media, on the other hand, usually happens within the middle ear.
You can usually tell the difference between the two because swimmer’s ear feels like there is pressure blocking your hearing. In comparison, otitis media may be more painful and can usually lead a to a foul-smelling fluid discharge or pus coming out of your ears.
Major cause of swimmer’s ear
As the name implies, swimmer’s ear is a result of water getting lodged inside the ear. The trapped water serves as a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow and cause an infection.
Swimmer’s ear can commonly occur among patrons of pools or other recreational water venues. Although it can happen to anyone, the most common victim of swimmer’s ear are children. This is because youngsters have smaller and narrower ear canals, which can easily trap water.
How to prevent your child from getting swimmer’s ear
Always make your child wear a swim or bathing cap to minimize the risk of the water entering their ears. Also, make sure that they dry their ears thoroughly with a soft towel or cloth. You can do so as you tilt their head with each ear facing down to help the water escape the ear canal.
What to do when your child gets swimmer’s ear
Don’t let swimmer’s ear spoil your child’s summer fun. If your little one is complaining about severe ear pains or fluid discharge, you can always contact your urgent care provider in Lynnwood to get immediate treatment and relief. Necessary precautions can also prevent the problem. By doing so, you and your family are sure to create fond memories and more in Lynnwood’s recreational center.
Facts About “Swimmer’s Ear”, CDC.gov
Swimmer’s Ear, KidsHealth.org