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Swimmer’s ear is inflammation, irritation or infection in ear canal or outer ear; this causes flow of pus-like fluids which can cause moderate to severe pain.

This is easily caused by swimming in polluted or infected water, thus deriving its name swimmers ear. Excess moisture caused by spending too much time in water or due to other reasons cause irritation in the skin of ear canal to allow bacteria and fungi to settle in.

Problems like eczema, problem in the bone of skull, poor skin condition, scratching of ear by rough material, dry skin, diabetes and folliculitis, all of these can cause swimmers ear.

Outer Ear Infection vs Middle Ear Infection

Swimmers ear, also called Otitis Externa, is an infection of the outer ear and is not the same as a middle ear infection, which is more common among children or during a cold or other illness. This type of middle ear infection is also called otitis media and can be very painful.

Outer ear infections can also be painful but in a different way. With swimmers ear, the ear canal itself will often be swollen and extremely painful, so even touching the ear or sticking a finger in the ear can be excruciating.

This is often an easy way to determine the type of infection- if sticking a finger in the ear hurts, it is likely an outer ear infection. If the pain is more internal and hurts more when a person swallows, it is more likely a middle ear infection.

A medical professional can help determine for sure what type of infection it is, but these types of ear infections are handled differently.


Home Remedies for Swimmers Ear

Home remedies for swimmers ear are highly effective treatment to cure the problem and prevent the complication at an early stage. Pain in the ear is primary symptoms of the problem – this pain gets worse when ear is stretch or pulled; feeling of fullness and redness, swelling and presence pus-like fluid yellow or greenish-yellow in color are other symptoms of the problem. These methods not only curb the symptoms but also cure the problem before it aggravates.

1. White Vinegar and Alcohol

Mix white vinegar, water and hydrogen peroxide in equal parts, put few drops of this mixture in the ear, let it stay for couple of minutes and then turn the head to allow the mixture to come out.

Block the ear with a cotton ball later; repeat the same process for another ear.

This will relieve the pain and swelling and will also curb the infection to cure the problem in a short time. This is one of the best home remedies for swimmers ear.

2. Keeping the Ear Dry

Keeping the ear dry is an easy way to help avoid the infection. Simple measures like drying the ear well after swimming and showering can help the ear from becoming infected.

Those who frequently swim or are fond of it, shall take some precautions, these also works as effective home remedies for swimmers ear.

Block the ears with cotton ball to prevent water from entering ear canal. After swimming, drying ear canal with the help of a hair dryer prevents infections from settling in; do not scratch the inner parts of ear to take out wax or water.

 Ear Plugs

Another way to help keep the ear dry is by using ear plugs, and this is especially helpful in lake or pond water.

After some trial and error, we found that moldable silicon ear plugs  seem to work the best since they can mold to the shape of the ear and are adjustable for adults or children.

3. Garlic

Garlic is also very beneficial; garlic possesses powerful anti-bacterial and antifungal properties which are of immense use in diffusing swelling and curing infection. Use of garlic is also one of the best home remedies for swimmers ear.

  • Crushed a clove of raw, fresh, organic garlic.
  • Placed inside a small piece of sterile gauze.
  • Place this on the ear (it wouldn’t really go into the ear at all because it was swollen) and tape with some medical tape to secure.

4. Essential Oils

Prepare an essential oil mixture by taking a tablespoon of sweet almond oil and one drop each of tea tree oil and lavender oil, also add three drops of roman chamomile.

Apply this mixture gently over entire inner area of ear and let it stay, dip an ear bud in the mixture and very gently apply this mixture in the ear canal. This will eradicate the infection in a short time.
Few drops of tea tree oil can also do the trick.

This oil works as easiest home remedies for swimmers ear. Just put few drops of tea tree oil in the ear and let the oil flow out after few minutes, repeat the same for another ear and repeat the treatment twice in a day regularly for few days to cure the problem.


  • Mixed 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of basil essential oil and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and rubbed on the skin around the ear, behind the ear and on the neck.

5. Onion

Onion also provides one of the fast-acting remedies for swimmers ear. Cut the onion in two halves and slice it, either by using blender or a piece of cloth work out few drops of its juice. Take it in a teaspoon and just mildly heat it, put this juice in the ear, block the ear with a cotton ball to let the juice take its effects. Regular use of onion juice cures the problem in few days.

6. Baby oil

Baby oil has been found very useful for curing the problem, take one teaspoon of baby oil and heat it on a low flame, make sure that oil does not get too hot. Put few drops of this oil in the affected ear. This will cure skin dryness and also helps in fighting back bacteria and fungi which causes pain and swelling to cure the problem.

7. Salt bag

Salt bag hot compresses are one of the oldest home remedies for swimmers ear. Take two-three tablespoons of salt, wrap it in a clean cloth and heat it on a dry pan. Make sure that bag is not too hot and press it against the troubling ear, repeat it few times and take this treatment at least twice in a day. This helps in reducing swelling and calming pain in a short time.

8. Fruits and vegetables

Eating supportive diet also helps in curing the problem, fruits and vegetables like broccoli, lemon, Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and oranges are good for curing swimmers ear. These foods elevate activity of immune system and relieve swelling and also fight back infection effectively.



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Swimmer’s ear is inflammation, irritation or infection in ear canal or outer ear; this causes flow of pus-like fluids which can cause moderate to severe pain. This is easily caused by swimming in polluted or infected water, thus deriving its name swimmers ear. Excess moisture caused by spending too much...