As summer temperatures continue to soar, now is the perfect opportunity to cool off and relax by going for a swim. While spending more time in the water can be a great way to stay comfortable during intense heat, it can often lead to earaches or swimmer’s ear, especially in children.
What is the Difference between and Earache and Swimmers Ear?
Although earaches and swimmers’ ear are similar conditions, there are a few characteristics that differentiate them. Earaches are often caused by a cold or sinus infection, resulting in the ear canal becoming blocked and preventing the ear from draining properly. Similarly, Swimmer’s ear is also a blockage of the ear canal, however, it is more commonly caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. These infections are a result of water being trapped in the ear canal, usually after swimming, bathing, or showering. Swimmer’s ear is more likely to occur if there is a build-up of ear wax in the ear, or if the humidity is high. For these reasons, be sure to clean your ears regularly, as well as dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or bathing.
There are several symptoms which often accompany an earache or swimmer’s ear. Symptoms such as ear pain, discharge from the ear canal, and temporary loss of hearing are common. Signs that you may be suffering from an earache or infection include feeling dizzy, fever, and swollen glands or tonsils. Symptoms that may indicate swimmer’s ear include itchiness in the ear canal, redness of the skin in and around the ear canal, and pain when touching the ear or jaw movement.
Check out some of these natural treatments you can use at home to help alleviate your earache or swimmer’s ear!
(Important: we always recommend consulting your doctor or physician to rule out any serious causes*)
Diet: For both of these conditions it is recommended that you avoid all spicy foods. Furthermore, it is encouraged to eat “heat clearing” foods such as watermelon, cucumber, grapefruit, and bananas. It is also recommended to avoid common food allergens at this time. These foods include “wheat, eggs, dairy foods, corn, citrus, and peanuts.” Finally, you should avoid simple carbohydrates such as sugar, honey, & sweets.
Supplements: For an earache or swimmer’s ear, you want to use supplements that will help to boost your immune system to defend against infection. Vitamin C and Zinc are both effective in helping to increase immune function and may be effective in reducing symptoms. Vitamin A is also effective in supporting immunity.
Herbal Treatment: There are several herbal remedies which can be used to help ease the pain and discomfort of an earache or swimmer’s ear. Garlic oil and Mullein oil can be used decrease pain, inflammation, and swelling in the ear, as well as helping to heal the infection. Use 3-5 drops of warm oil in the ear canal and cover your ear with a warm compress afterward. Additionally, Lavender essential oil can be used externally around the ear for a calming and soothing effect. To prevent swimmer’s ear in the future, try putting a drop of sesame oil in your ear before swimming or bathing.
Tip: If a warm compress doesn’t help, try using an ice pack wrapped in cloth or paper towel. While some find a heating pad or warm compress effective in relieving pain, others may find an ice pack or alternating between warm and cold to be more useful in soothing the discomfort.
Hepar Sulph: this remedy is often used in the later stages of an infection characterized by sharp, splinter-like pain in the ear. These symptoms are often accompanied by high sensitivity to temperature and touch.
Pulsatilla: Commonly used as a sinus remedy, Pulsatilla is effective at combating excess amounts of mucus, which is common during an ear infection. Generally, symptoms may be worse overnight or in warm weather (high humidity). Pulsatilla can be helpful in relieving congestion and the “stuffed up” feeling you may be experiencing.
There are a number of other ingredients found in many homeopathic ear drops for earaches or swimmer’s ear including Belladonna, Chamomilla, & Mercurius Solubilis.
In addition to all the wonderful at home remedies listed above, we recommend trying The Relief Products™ EarAche Relief® Fast Dissolving Tablets™. EarAche Relief® contains many of the homeopathic ingredients mentioned above and is the perfect addition to your safe and natural treatment plan. Dissolving one tablet under your tongue 3 times per day will help to alleviate your symptoms until the condition has improved. Due to the tablets homeopathic nature, there are no known side effects or interactions with other medications, making it a worry-free addition to your healing regimen. Try them today and Stay Healthy, Naturally®, with The Relief Products™.
“Ear Infection / Swimmer’s Ear.” 500 Treatments for 100 Ailments, by Zhuoling Ren et al., Chartwell Books, 2017, pp. 132–140.