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How can I prevent swimmer’s ear?

Swimmer’s ear is a common infection that occurs when excessive moisture in the outer ear facilitates bacteria growth. The best way to prevent swimmer’s ear is to keep ears as dry as possible. You can do this by towel drying your ears immediately after exiting a pool or bath and tilting your head from side to side, allowing water to drip out. Using a hair dryer set on low heat and at least one foot away from the ear will also help to dry out excess water.

For extra protection, an easy, at-home solution for preventing swimmer’s ear is to mix one part isopropyl alcohol and one part white vinegar and use as eardrops. However, you should not use this solution on someone with tubes or a punctured eardrum.

If you suspect that you already have an ear infection, make an appointment with a physician. The sooner an ear infection is treated, the less likely more serious complications can occur.

If you would like to learn more about ear health or to schedule an appointment with a physician at East Jefferson General Hospital physician, please contact HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000 or visit

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