It’s that time of year when doctors are telling patients what no parent likes to hear: ear infection. It comes every summer, but it can be relatively simple to avoid.
Whether you are swimming in a pool, lake, river or at the beach water borne-illnesses can affect you from head to toe. The most common, the dreaded ear infection - swimmers ear, when bacteria grows in the ear canal.
Symptoms can range from slight itching in your ear canal, but you know you have a big problem when there is an increase in pain accompanied by leaking fluid and puss. When it gets to the point when the outer ear is red and inflamed, combined with fever, get to the doctor immediately.
So how can you avoid long nights of crying followed by the greater frustration of trying to get ear drops into a toddlers ear? Prevention is key. Keep the air canals dry, preventing the water from going in, by using ear plugs or making sure you get all the water out.
Next to swimmer’s ear – stomach issues from accidentally drinking water that may not be clean or properly treated.
"The water can go in accidentally, or swimming and you swallow some water and that, even if it is treated, chlorinated, the chlorine content may not be effective," says Emergency Room Doctor Syed Shah.
Shah says you can still enjoy the water but be cautious about getting it in your mouth, and of course in your eyes and ears. Also, remember, a good pair of goggles can go a long way to preventing pink eye.
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