How to Treat Swimmer's Ear at Home

May 7th 2016

Individuals with consistent and persistent pain from swimmer's ear should consult with a physician in addition to trying home remedies. Prescription antibiotics may be necessary to eliminate an infection within the body and allow your ears to fully heal. Your physician may also prescribe a more powerful ear drop that zaps away bacteria quickly.

Homemade Ear Drops

Minimize the amount of bacteria and moisture in the ear by creating a solution of half rubbing alcohol and half vinegar. Apply a few drops of the solution in the affected ear a few times each day. Rubbing alcohol within the solution combines with water existing in the ear and helps evaporate moisture and excess water, ultimately eliminating the infection-causing bacteria.

Keep Ears Dry

Minimize the pain and discomfort of swimmer's ear by drying your ears thoroughly with a towel or soft cloth after swimming or bathing. It may also help to blow dry the ears on a low heat setting with the appliance at least 10 inches from the ear to dry up moisture in the ear. Wearing a shower cap while swimming or bathing also helps reduce the risk of more water forming in the ear canal.

Apply Heat

Swimmer's ear can produce pain that leaves you feeling as if your ears are full. Ease the pain by applying a heating pad or warm wash cloth on the affected ear. The heat may cause ear wax to melt and drain from the ear, so it is important to tilt your ear to the side to allow the drainage to exit from the ear canal. Avoid putting foreign objects such as cotton swabs or pins inside the ear, as these can cause ear wax to compact and block in the moisture causing swimmer's ear.

Flush the Ear

Excess ear wax and moisture can cause blockages within the ear that result in hearing problems. Use a bulb syringe and warm saline solution to flush out the excess materials within your ear. It is important to use liquids that are body temperature because hot or cold fluids inserted into the ear may cause dizziness.


Active swimmers and people who are exposed to wind and air on a regular basis commonly experience a condition known as swimmer's ear, also termed otitis externa. The condition causes pain and discomfort in the ear and indicates moisture buildup has caused a bacterial infection in the ear canal. It is important to contact a physician if discomfort and symptoms worsen, but it is also possible to take measures at home to speed up your recovery.

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