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Top 5 Tips for Preventing Ear Infections Over the Summer
July 16, 2020

Top 5 Tips for Preventing Ear Infections Over the Summer

Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery

In Texas, when you think of summer, you think of heat and water activities as a great way to beat the heat and stay active! Swimming, boating, even backyard slip ‘N’ slides are great ways play outside and minimize screen time; but, as most parents have experienced at some point, nothing stops fun for kids like ear pain. We sat down with Dr. Michael Kubala an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) and surgeon on staff at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery to talk about what all parents need to know to protect their kiddos from this common infection.

Categories:   ENT

Acute otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear or an outer ear infection, is a common infection of the ear canal often caused by excess moisture during the summertime after a trip to the pool, lake, or beach. Symptoms of this infection include ear pain, itchiness, drainage from the ear, a clogged feeling in the ear, decreased hearing, redness or swelling around the ear, and swollen lymph nodes around the neck.  You can take a few simple precautions to avoid this painful infection and a trip to the doctor:

 

·       Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal – Items like fingers, cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other foreign objects can cause scratches or cuts of the ear canal skin leading to infection. 

 

·       Allow the ear to use its natural self-cleaning and self-drying function – Ear wax is a natural protective barrier to bacterial invasion.

 

·       Avoid swimming in polluted or unknown bodies of water – Bacteria in the water coupled with excess water in the ear is the perfect combination for bacteria to grow.

 

·       Plug them up – Wear disposable earplugs for swimming in untreated (lake and ocean) water.

 

·       Dry them out - When done swimming use a towel to dry the ears.  You can also use a small ear dryer if you are prone to excessive water buildup. Use of acetic acid (vinegar) or alcohol drops can also help dry the ear.

 

Luckily, swimmer’s ear is a treatable condition, which typically clears up with a 7-10 day course of ear drop antibiotics.  If you think your kiddo may be suffering from an ear infection, contact Dr. Kubala at 972-543-1250 to schedule an evaluation. 

 

Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery is a joint venture hospital owned by Texas Health Resources and physicians dedicated to the community and meets the definition under federal law of a physician owned hospital. Physicians on the medical staff are not employees or agents of Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery. They are independent solo practitioners or members/agents of an independent physician group.