How to Tell if You Have Swimmer’s Ear and What You Can Do About it

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Summer is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Your child may slip and fall when running around the pool, your dog could get too hot to go for their daily walk, or you could end up catching swimmer’s ear from being in the water too much.

These are just a few things that can put a rain on your parade. They don’t totally change the course of your summer plans, but they are situations to take proper care of.

While it’s easy to care for your child and your animals, sometimes, it’s a little more complicated to understand what’s going on with you.

Here’s how to tell if you have swimmer’s ear.

What Is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an ear infection that happens on the outside of the ear. It’s often caused by bacteria in swimming pools, lakes, rivers, or the ocean. You can also get it from bathing if you aren’t careful.

The bacteria can affect your skin just from topical exposure. However, you may increase your chances of getting such an infection if your ear comes into contact with water when it has a cut or scrape.

How to Tell if You Have Swimmer’s Ear

It’s one thing to know if you have a cut on your ear and another to tell whether or not you have swimmer’s ear. If you’re experiencing any of the following, it may be time to take your “cut” more seriously.

Redness and Itchiness

Redness and/or itchiness is the most subtle sign of swimmer’s ear. You’ll feel a slight discomfort around the ears. They may feel incredibly hot from the redness, or you may have the most intense desire to scratch, but the best thing you can do is stay calm.

Pain and Swelling

Keep in mind that redness and itchiness in the ears could be the result of things other than swimmer’s ear. You could have sunburned your ears or come into contact with something you’re mildly allergic to.

If your ears are in serious pain or they look swollen, though, you most likely have swimmer’s ear. This is a sign the bacteria is hitting your body hard, which means you need treatment right away.


As if pain and swelling aren’t bad enough, wait until your ear starts to drain. Actually, get treatment as soon as you can and don’t put it off. But, if the swimmer’s ear rapidly spreads, expect to see a bit of fluid coming out.

The Best Way to Treat Your Ear

Although you may know enough on how to tell if you have swimmer’s ear, it’s a whole different story to know how to treat this condition. If this infection does happen to you or someone in your family, go to urgent care right away.

This gives you access to medical professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. These people are ready to help you and give you the quickest recovery possible, but you have to let them.

Click here to find out more about the Emerald Coast Urgent Care center.

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