As any parent knows, there are few summer activities that kids love more than swimming. After all, not only is it an opportunity to beat the heat, but it’s also a great playtime activity with their peers.
That being said, kids do have a tendency to get carried away when enjoying themselves, and before long, their tiny ears have been exposed to water for hours. Unfortunately, this might cause a condition called swimmer’s ear, which can be very painful, especially for children.
Swimmer’s Ear 101
As you might know, the ear is like a canal. When your child swims, especially for extended periods, moisture tends to be trapped in the outer ear canal — and whenever there’s moisture, bacterial growth can’t be that far behind.
This, in a nutshell, is what causes swimmer’s ear. Symptoms may include itching of the ear and slight discharge for mild conditions, while excruciating pain and muffled hearing are common in serious cases. When your child exhibits more advanced symptoms, don’t delay getting urgent care in Sunnyvale to prevent further complications from developing.
Treating Swimmer’s Ear
Luckily, swimmer’s ear is not a life-threatening condition and usually requires non-critical treatment. For milder cases, the outer ear will be cleaned with a special suction device or a cotton-tipped probe in order to control irritation or discomfort.
If there’s is too much swelling or if discharge is blocking the ear canal, however, the doctor might insert a small wick made of dried gauze, onto which antibacterial drops will be applied. Basically, the wick will serve as a conduit that delivers the antibacterial medication into the congested confines of the ear.
After your visit to a Sunnyvale urgent care center, your child may also be required to take a full round of oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Likewise, he or she may also be given pain medication to relieve discomfort until the swelling goes down.
“How Long Before I Can Swim Again?”
Sooner or later, your child will start asking how soon he or she can get back in the water. Unfortunately, any water exposure might cause the swelling to flare up again. As such, it is best to keep your child out of swimming pools for at least 10 days or until he or she completes the required antibiotic treatment. Likewise, try to keep your child’s ears dry during bath time.
While swimmer’s ear isn’t a serious medical condition, it can be extremely uncomfortable. With timely treatment and proper medical care, however, your child can quickly bounce back from it.
What Are the Treatments for Swimmer’s Ear?, http://www.webmd.com
Swimmer’s Ear, kidshealth.org