Swimmers' Ear

Description

Medically known as external otitis, swimmer's ear is a condition marked by persistent irritation and inflammation of the outer ear canal. Swimmer's ear occurs most commonly during the summer swimming season. Water may be trapped in the ear canal after swimming, especially in individuals who repeatedly attempt to clean the ear canal with cotton swabs. Swabbing the canal disrupts the ear's own mechanism for ridding itself of debris and strips the protective coat of wax in the ear canal, leaving the area more susceptible to infection. The ailment also can develop if the canal has been physically irritated or torn by using inappropriate objects (such as toothpicks or hairpins) to clean the ear canal. Chemicals from hair products (such as sprays, mousses, and hair coloring agents) can also cause external otitis.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Malodorous, yellowish, or yellowish-green pus draining from the ear
  • Pain in the ear, particularly when the head moves
  • Flaking skin in the ear canal
  • Itching in the ear canal
  • Hearing loss (in some cases)

Conventional Medical Treatment

If treated promptly, swimmer's ear poses no threat to general health-but if allowed to worsen, the infection can spread to underlying cartilage. Therefore, if you notice any itching or pain in your ear, visit your physician. A physical exam using a otoscope is usually enough to diagnose the condition, though a pus sample may be taken for lab analysis.

To treat the condition, your physician may clean the ear canal with a suction device. Eardrops containing a corticosteroid (to relieve itchmg an inflammation) may be prescribed, along with an antibiotic to fight infection. In serious cases, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. If the pain is severe, you may be given painkillers.

Aromatherapy

To ease pain, gently rub the area around the outer ear with 5 drops of lavender or chamomile oil Mix the essential oil with 1 teaspoon of canola oil before using.

Herbal Therapy

To reduce inflammation, aid healing, and boost immunity, place 2 or 3 drops of mullein oil or garlic oil in the infected ear canal every 3 hours.

Homeopathy

Your homeopathic practitioner may recommend Pulsatilla if hearing is difficult and you feel as if something were being forced out of the ear.

Hydrotherapy

To lessen intense pain, hold a warm hot water bottle wrapped in a light towel against the infected ear. Rewarm the bottle as necessary.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture Acupuncture may alleviate the inflammation and pain of swimmer's ear. The practitioner will typically work points related to the kidney (the organ responsible for ear functioning, according to traditional Chinese medicine) and to the ear itself.

Acupressure Acupressure may help relieve the symptoms of swimmer's ear. The therapist will typically focus on the following acupressure points to relieve pain and outer ear inflammation: Small Intestine 19, Gallbladder 2, Triple Warmer 17 and 21, along with additional points in and around the ear.

Chinese Herbal Therapy Mint may also be used to soothe the earache. Chinese herbal formulas such as Gentiana or Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia may also be prescribed.

Acidity
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Cough
Crohn's Disease
Croup
Depression
Eczema
Epilepsy
Eye Stye
Fibroids
Fibromyalgia
Gallstones
Gastritis
Gonorrhea
Heartburn
High Blood Pressure
Sprains
Stress
Stroke
Substance Abuse
Swimmers' Ear
Syphilis
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome
Tendinitis and Bursitis
Testicular Cancer
Tetanus
Throat Cancer
Tinnitus
Tonsillitis
Trichomoniasis
Tuberculosis (TB)
Ulcers
Urinary Tract Infection
Uterine Cancer
Vaginitis
Varicose Veins
Warts
Whooping Cough
Wrinkles
Yeast Infection

Web

Homemademedicines.org

Copyright © 2008 Homemademedicines.org