Nothing says 4th of July like a fun-filled day at the lake. Barbecuing, boating and, of course,
swimming are the perfect way to celebrate our country’s independence. After the sun sets and
the firework smoke clears, most of us simply head home to shower and turn in – but we’re
forgetting one important step – cleaning our ears.
Swimming in contaminated bodies of water like lakes can lead to “swimmer’s ear” ( Otitis
Externa ), an infection of the outer ear canal. Left untreated, it usually requires a trip to the
doctor’s office, but no one wants to spend warm and sunny days at the clinic.
prevention is now safe and easy with the Oto-Tip
, a product of Stanford University’s BioDesign
program , and a safe, easy, and environmentally friendly way to prevent swimmer’s ear.
You and your family may have experienced the symptoms of swimmer’s ear. According to the Minnesota Department of Health
, signs are: itchiness inside the ear, redness and swelling of the
ear, pain when the infected ear is tugged or when pressure is placed on the ear, and even pus
draining from the infected ear. “Swimmer’s ear can occur when water stays in the ear canal for
long periods of time, providing the perfect environment for germs to grow and infect the skin,”
the Department of Health says. If left untreated, the Mayo Clinic states that symptoms can
worsen to “redness and swelling of the outer ear, swelling of the lymph nodes, and fever.”
Diving underwater, tubing, water skiing, and other aquatic activities can all lead to this common
affliction. Swimmer’s ear can affect all ages, but it’s most common in children and can be
extremely painful. According to the CDC
, “In the United States, swimmer’s ear results in an
estimated 2.4 million health care visits every year.” The treatment? Prescription antibiotic drops
– uncomfortable at best and tough to get children to comply with.