As you start gearing up for summer time fun, it wouldn't be a bad idea to think about how to optimize your Ears, Nose, and Throat health. The ears, in particular, can be a significant source of distress when their health becomes compromised.
Whether it is lakes, rivers, streams, or swimming pools, many of us rely on these bodies of water for relief from the summer heat . With this increase in water exposure comes an increase in the rates of outer ear infections (otitis externa) amongst our patients. Tips to keeping your ears healthy year round:
- NEVER use Q tips™: Cotton swabs can relieve that difficult-to-reach itch. However, many times they create small cuts in your ear canal skin, perfectly suited for bacteria grow and flourish. Remember the adage, “You shouldn’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.”
- After water exposure, place 2-3 drops of a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and medical grade rubbing alcohol into your ear. DO NOT do this if you have ever been told you have a hole in your ear drum or if you have had prior ear surgery (ear tubes included).
- Schedule an appointment to see your ENT provider should you have any unusual ear pain, drainage, changes in hearing, or any other concerning symptoms.
Outer ear infections that are difficult to control oftentimes require regular visits to your ENT doctor for assessment and cleaning, so don’t hesitate to go in for a visit.