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onVacation...need Help With Swimmer's Ear!!

GeorgiaPeach

Veteran Member
Silver Member
Jan 22, 2005
1,371
1
Help! We are on vacation in Outer Banks, NC. Mile and miles from the nearest drug store. My son complained of ear pain about a week ago after spending 3 days swimming at a friend's house. Today after swimming in the ocean he was in alot of pain. My sister in law said put in a few drops of alcohol. That sent him through the roof...screaming and crying (he's 13).

Anyone have any home remedies to share with me? We do have internet in the rental house and I've googled "water in ear" and "swimmer's ear". No home remedies...just suggestions to go to the doctor to apply antibiotics in the ear.

Those of you with kids who swim all summer must have something to recommend :)
 

JAE

Legacy Member
Jun 3, 2007
4,760
1
Have you tried a hair dryer? I've heard that works.

Otherwise, alcohol dries up the water in the ear. Do you have any? Hydrogen peroxide breaks up the wax. BUT, I just read online that persons with a history of Swimmer's Ear should not use these techniques and should go to a doctor. Try the hair dryer.
 

chefjeanine

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jan 19, 2006
2,984
119
My dad was having some ear troubles (he wears hearing aids and has trouble with infections so they are always trying to keep it dry in there)

1/2 & 1/2 vinegar and alcohol. My mom did not think this hurt him. . .perhaps the the vinegar delutes the alcohol enough so it's not painful.


Good luck. Do you have ear plugs yet? I always had to wear them when swimming. Ear trouble runs in the famly.
 

chefmeg

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Gold Member
Mar 21, 2006
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My dad was having some ear troubles (he wears hearing aids and has trouble with infections so they are always trying to keep it dry in there)

1/2 & 1/2 vinegar and alcohol. My mom did not think this hurt him. . .perhaps the the vinegar delutes the alcohol enough so it's not painful.


Good luck. Do you have ear plugs yet? I always had to wear them when swimming. Ear trouble runs in the famly.

this is what you want to use....trust me, you don't want full isopropyl alcohol going in his ear! My kids are nototrius for having swimmer's ear and we get an OTC product called Swimmers Ear....it has diluted isopropyl alcohol in it...........



WARNING: if your child has ear tubes surgically inserted DO NOT DO THIS AT ALL.....it will be very painful!
 

Kitchen Diva

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Oct 21, 2007
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Is there a local Target or grocery store that has a minute clinic? Chances are that it might have gotten to the point where a home remedy won't work and a trip to the doctor might be in order...


Here is some info I found (that I'm sure you've already read) :) Good luck!!
How Long Does It Last?
If it's treated with medication, external otitis is usually cured within 7 to 10 days, but you'll probably need to keep water out of the infected ear for a longer period. Your ear pain actually may increase for the first 12 to 24 hours after treatment begins. After that time, the pain should lessen.

External otitis is not contagious, so you don't have to limit your contact with friends as long as you're feeling well enough to socialize.

Should I Call My Doctor?
You should call your doctor if you have any of the following:

pain in an ear with or without fever
persistent itching of the ear or in the ear canal
loss of hearing or decreased hearing in one or both ears
discharge from an ear, especially if it's thick, discolored, bloody, or bad-smelling
These are all signs that you may have external otitis.

How Is External Otitis Treated?
If you think you have external otitis, you should see your doctor. This is the fastest way to relieve the ear pain and to prevent the spread of infection.

Your doctor's treatment for external otitis will depend on how severe the pain and the infection are. For milder infections, your doctor may prescribe only eardrops containing antibiotics or corticosteroids. These will help fight the infection and reduce swelling of the ear canal. For full treatment, eardrops are usually given several times a day for 7 to 10 days.

If the opening into your ear is narrowed by swelling, your doctor may clean your ear and insert a cotton wick into your ear canal to help carry eardrops into the ear more effectively. If you have a severe infection, he or she may give you antibiotics to take by mouth as well. Your doctor may take a culture of the discharge from your ear to help identify what type of germ is causing the infection.

What Can I Do to Make Myself Feel Better?
Place a warm cotton cloth or heating pad against your ear to help relieve the pain. You may also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

At home, follow your doctor's directions for using eardrops and take all oral antibiotics as prescribed (don't stop taking these even if you feel better; it's important to take the full course of any antibiotics your doctor prescribes). To avoid contaminating the infected ear, your doctor will probably tell you to keep your head out of water for several days or weeks — even while showering or shampooing! This can be tough, but your doctor can give you suggestions on how to do this, such as using a shower cap or cotton earplugs coated with petroleum jelly (removed after the shower is finished).

If your ear pain is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications, your doctor may order a stronger prescription pain reliever. You'll use this only for a short time — until the eardrops and antibiotics begin to work.
 

Kattyschack

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Gold Member
Mar 31, 2008
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I had earaches a few weeks ago and I tired the hairdryer and was WONDERFUL!! It really does work. Just be careful not to burn your DS, it does get very hot and it is such a sensitive area.
 

cathyskitchen

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jul 1, 2007
2,707
2
I've been in the Outer Banks (Nags Head) with 2 kids with ear infections - I know how NOT fun having a sick kid on vacation is. There are definitely outpatient clinics you can go to that are walk-in where you can see a Dr. and get an antibiotic. I would highly recommend that. I get nervous sticking anything into an ear. Good luck!
 

c00p

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Dec 15, 2006
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Yes, the otc med called Swimmer's Ear works great. Motrin and Tylenol will also help with the discomfort (as we all know!!!)
 

Teresa Lynn

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Gold Member
Feb 5, 2006
3,470
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does the rental house have a heating pad?
If not microwave a damp towel or tie one up with rice if you have any not minute rice) and let him lie on it.
 

cochef

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Gold Member
Jul 8, 2007
1,012
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  • #10
remedy the doctor gave us was 50% white vinegar and 50% rubbing alcohol - mix and drop into the ear canal. Seemed to work great. Nothing so painful as swimmer's ear! Hope you have had some success in easing the pain.
 

Chefgirl2

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Gold Member
Jan 23, 2006
992
6
  • #11
Drew just had swimmer's ear a few weeks ago:( He had the same reaction to the OTC medicine. I had him take ibuprofen for the pain and he was fine the next day. Also, see if you can use numbing drops for the pain.

Good luck, have fun and I miss you!
 

redsoxgirl

Veteran Member
Sep 20, 2007
1,496
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  • #12
I used to get Swimmer's Ear all the time as a kid and when I went to the doc, he just told my mom to buy Swimmer's Ear to put in my ear. Honestly, it smells just like rubbing alcohol so I wouldn't be surprised if rubbing alcohol worked.

And tell him it doesn't hurt. I thought it would too and was screaming at my mom. She had to pin my head on the counter to get it in my ear and waht do ya know - it felt better! LOL
 

GeorgiaPeach

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Jan 22, 2005
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  • Thread starter
  • #13
Thanks for all the advice...I knew I could come here for help :)

We were able to buy him ear plugs today. Of course, lost both of them in the waves! We are over an hour away from Walmart-type stores. He is only in pain when he's in the water. No fever and no drainage.

He has used a hair dryer, no heating pad here.

We are going to the hardware store in the morning for cheap foam ear plugs.

One of my worries was that he is supposed to leave on a mission trip on Monday so no time to get him in to the doctor. Just found out the trip was moved back a week so we will use ear plugs this week and get him to the doctor when we get home.

Thanks everyone!! Special thank you to Kasey for the great info you found. It was better than what I found :)

Now....what do you suggest for sunburn? :D (JK...I've got aloe and solarcaine!)
 

Kitchen Diva

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Oct 21, 2007
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  • #14
Thanks for all the advice...I knew I could come here for help :)

We were able to buy him ear plugs today. Of course, lost both of them in the waves! We are over an hour away from Walmart-type stores. He is only in pain when he's in the water. No fever and no drainage.

He has used a hair dryer, no heating pad here.

We are going to the hardware store in the morning for cheap foam ear plugs.

One of my worries was that he is supposed to leave on a mission trip on Monday so no time to get him in to the doctor. Just found out the trip was moved back a week so we will use ear plugs this week and get him to the doctor when we get home.

Thanks everyone!! Special thank you to Kasey for the great info you found. It was better than what I found :)

Now....what do you suggest for sunburn? :D (JK...I've got aloe and solarcaine!)
Wine to dull the pain, and chocolate to dull the whine...;)
 

quiverfull7

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Sep 7, 2006
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  • #15
Now....what do you suggest for sunburn? :D (JK...I've got aloe and solarcaine!)

OH... I'm dying to know where you are? We vacation on the outer banks every summer. I've had to make prescription runs and even trips to the Dr while there so if I knew just where you were I may be able to send you somewhere if you have to go. I'm headed there in Aug... Sunburn...
yikes, sounds like you've go the best thing for that with the aloe gel stuff.
 

krzymomof4

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Jun 27, 2005
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  • #16
This actually happened to us with our 7 yr old.
A nurse told me to warm up some baby oil and put a drop in there. It should soothe it enough for a short time.
You have to be very careful with swimmers ear because we didn't catch it in time and it ended up bursting his ear drum. He is obviously old enough to tell you how he feels, so definately keep an eye on it.
 

stacywhitlow

Veteran Member
Jul 23, 2007
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  • #17
We always used sweet oil for our swimmer's ear. We had a pool growing up & got it frequently. The oil seemed to work for us.
 

GeorgiaPeach

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Jan 22, 2005
1,371
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  • Thread starter
  • #18
OH... I'm dying to know where you are? We vacation on the outer banks every summer. I've had to make prescription runs and even trips to the Dr while there so if I knew just where you were I may be able to send you somewhere if you have to go. I'm headed there in Aug... Sunburn...
yikes, sounds like you've go the best thing for that with the aloe gel stuff.

This year our house is in Salvo. We have stayed in Rodanthe and Waves. Never thought I'd want to vacation in an area that is so far from a fast food restaurant :) We share a house with my sister-in-law and her family. We take turns being in charge of dinner. I am loving the laid back pace of this area. Since we don't have the distractions of a lot of things to do, we can really enjoy the vacation. The only drawback....this kitchen is DEFINITELY NOT pampered!! Usually, I bring my tool turn about with all my goodies and my family skillet. This year we are driving my daughter's VW Bug so no extra space. I can't wait to go home and kiss all my fabulous kitchen tools :D
 

Jenni

Advanced Member
Feb 25, 2008
781
0
  • #19
I don't live far from there... hope you get some help and get back to enjoying your vaction!


CVS Pharmacy
(252) 261-8097
Mile Post 1, Southern Shores

Eckerd Drugs
(252) 261-8900
Mile Post 1.5, Kitty Hawk

Kmart Pharmacy
(252) 441-2001
Mile Post 7, Kill Devil Hills

Medical House Calls
Nags Head (252) 475-2007
They'll come to you! Evaluation and treatment of minor medical conditions in the comfort of your rental home. Call for an appointment.

Outer Banks Hospital
(252) 449-4500
Mile Post 14, Nags Head

Regional Medical Center
(252) 255-6000
Beach Medical Urgent Care. Mile Post 1.5, Kitty Hawk

Wal-Mart Pharmacy
(252) 261-3310
Mile Post 1, Southern Shores
 

GeorgiaPeach

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Jan 22, 2005
1,371
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  • #20
Oh My Gosh, Jenni....that is so sweet of you to look all that info up :)

The ear plugs are working wonderfully. We bought an extra set in case he loses them. He only wears one so a pair will last a bit longer! He is not in pain when he's out of the water so I don't think we are at the point of seeing a doctor here. I will make an appt for him at home and get it cleared up before he goes on his mission trip.
 

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