14 June, 2010

Swimmer's ear to the max!

This weeked has been one I would rather have slept through!  After our trip to Typhoon lagoon and a brief trip to our community pool, I somehow got a case of swimmer's ear.  Now, I am not a "swimmer" in the sense that my time spent in the pool is under water!  I have also had swimmers ear before , but NOT like this!  I started out using the ole stand by vinegar/alchohol mixture.  No help! 

My pain became so bad, that vicodin wasn't even cutting through it!  The left side of my face felt like it was in a vice grip.  The pain radiated across my forehead and into my sinuses.  I was in so much pain, I was nauseated and throwing up!  Which made the pain worse from all the blood pressure going to my head from all the heaving.  I finally gave up and went to the local walk in clinic on Sunday.  The doctor said my ear canal was about 98% closed.  He couldn't even see the back of the ear to see if the infection went into the middle ear.  We were guessing, uh... yes!  So he gave me ear drop antibiotics and oral antibiotics to kill it from both ways.

God bless my mom... she came over to sit with the kids so that hubby could get into work for an event.  I spent all day trying to manage pain, eat, sleep, and not throw up the antibiotics!  I am doing a bit better today.  I am still in a lot of pain, can't hear a thing, and a lot sleepy!  My nausea is gone, thank the lord!  Just have to let the drugs do their thing!  I thank the lord for the wisdom he bestows on Dr.'s  and the miracle of medication!    On the good side of things, I can't hear the kids fighting!  :o)

This summer is a prime time to get swimmer's ear!  The kids are more likely to get it!  Here is some info to help you out this summer!  (taken from web md!)

Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is an inflammation and infection of the ear canal . It occurs when the protective film that covers the ear canal (lipid layer) is removed. This causes the ear canal to look red and swollen. The ear canal may be narrower than normal and is tender when the outside of the ear is gently pulled up and back.

Swimmer's ear may develop when water, sand, dirt, or other debris gets into the ear canal. Since it often occurs when excess water enters the ear canal, a common name for this inflammation is "swimmer's ear." If you have had swimmer's ear in the past, you are more likely to get it again.

A rare but serious infection called malignant external otitis can develop if bacteria invade the bones inside the ear canal and spread to the base of the skull. Not many people get this infection-it is mainly seen in older adults who also have diabetes, people who have HIV, and children who have impaired immune systems-but it can be fatal. Symptoms include ear pain with sudden facial paralysis, hoarseness, and throat pain. Antibiotics are used to treat this infection.

Other causes of inflammation or infection of the ear canal include:

Bony overgrowths in the ear canal called exostoses.
Bubble baths, soaps, and shampoos.
Cleaning the ear canal harshly or with a sharp object.
Headphones inserted into the ear.
Scratching the ear canal with a cotton swab, bobby pin, fingernail, or other sharp object.
Skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis, or seborrhea.

Swimmer's ear is more likely if you have a very narrow or hairy ear canal, live in a warm, humid climate, have impacted earwax, or have had a head injury that also injured your ear.
Symptoms can include itching, pain, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Your ear canal may be swollen. You may have moderate to severe pain, drainage, or hearing loss. Unlike a middle ear infection (acute otitis media), the pain is worse when you chew, press on the "tag" in front of the ear, or wiggle your earlobe.

You may be able to prevent swimmer's ear. Symptoms often get better or go away with home treatment.

You may be able to relieve your ear canal problem.
If you are quite sure that you do not have a ruptured eardrum:
Gently rinse the ear using a bulb syringe and warm saline solution or a half-and-half solution of white vinegar and warm water. Make sure the flushing solution is body temperature. Inserting cool or hot fluids in the ear may cause dizziness.
If your ear is itchy, try nonprescription swimmer's eardrops, such as Star-Otic or Swim-Ear. Use them before and after swimming or getting your ears wet.

To ease ear pain, apply a warm washcloth or a heating pad set on low. There may be some drainage when the heat melts earwax. For more information about earwax removal, see the topic Earwax.
Do not use a heating pad when you are in bed. You may fall asleep and burn yourself.
Do not use a heating pad on a child.

Do not use ear candles . They have no proven benefit in the removal of earwax or other objects in the ear and can cause serious injury.
In most cases, it is best to leave your ears alone and let them maintain their own healthy, natural balance.

Do not scratch or clean the inside of the ear with cotton swabs, bobby pins, your fingernail, or other objects.

Removable earplugs may be used to keep moisture out of the ear canal. But prolonged use of earplugs can make your ears hurt and itch, and the earplugs can push earwax deeper into the canal. If this happens, your ears are more likely to get infected.

Keep soap, bubble bath, and shampoo out of the ear canal. Do not let a child lie down in the bathtub with his or her ears underwater. These products can cause itching and irritation.

Keep your ears dry.

After swimming or showering, shake your head to remove water from the ear canal.

Gently dry your ears with the corner of a tissue or towel, or use a blow-dryer on its lowest setting. Hold the dryer several inches (centimeters) from the ear.

Put a few drops of rubbing alcohol or rubbing alcohol mixed with an equal amount of white vinegar into the ear after swimming or showering.

Wiggle the outside of the ear to let the liquid enter the ear canal, then tilt your head and let it drain out.

You can also use nonprescription drops, such as Star-Otic or Swim-Ear, to prevent swimmer's ear.

If you use public swimming pools or hot tubs, ask about the chlorine and pH testing of the pool. You are less likely to get swimmer's ear from facilities that maintain good control of their pool testing and treatment.

Do not swim in dirty water or locations that have been closed because of pollution.

Follow any instructions your doctor has given you to treat skin problems-such as eczema, psoriasis, or seborrhea-that may cause ear canal irritation.

I can only imagine what the kids go through when they have this!  OUCH!  I have a little dropper filled with alchohol/ vinegar mixture ready for right when the kids get out of the pool!  Don't want them to feel like I do!

Have a great and swimmer's ear free summer!!!
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  1. McCrakensx4 said...
    OUCH! I used to get swimmer's ear ALL the time growing up and it was NOT fun. Never had it as an adult and now that I read your post not sure that I would want to!! Colin has had it a few times. Hope you feel better very very soon!
    Emily said...
    you poor girl! swimmer's ear is awful! I had it one summer when I was 15/16. it was the worst! hope you find some relief from the pain soon!
    The Not So Perfect Housewife said...
    Oh bless your heart. Praying that you are feeling better soon!
    Debra Kaye said...
    It hurts so much!!! We have so much to catch up on!! I'll email soon! Feel better honey!!!

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