Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.
Swimmer's ear, or otitis externa, is an infection in the ear canal. Just as someone might get a scratch or a sting on their body, this infection is located in the center of the ear, just behind the eardrum. Unlike other ear infections, here it circulates on the exteriors of the eardrum. It usually occurs when a person swims in unhygienic swimming pool, or when the ears are wet for a longer period of time after taking a shower. When ears get wet or stay damp for a long time, not necessarily due to swimming, bacteria gets a moist environment to grow.
Making the Drops at Home
Most people find it easier to make ear drops at home rather than purchasing any over-the-counter drops. There can be many reasons to that―to save money, save time, or perhaps they are allergic to it. If that is the same case with you, here are a few recipes you can try making yourself.
Sesame Oil and Garlic Ear Drops
In a pan, mix 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and half a garlic clove. Heat the ingredients till it turns warm, and take the pan off the stove. Make sure the mixture is not very hot because you have to pour 4―5 drops inside the ear. After doing so, lie down on the bed, on your side for about 15 minutes. Turn on the other side, and again pour 4―5 drops in the other ear;lie down on the bed for 15 minutes. Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe excess oil out of your ears.
White Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol Ear Drops
If you are experiencing ear pain after swimming, this next recipe will work as a precaution rather than cure. In a bowl, mix 1 oz. drops of rubbing alcohol and distilled white vinegar each properly. Each time you come out after swimming in a pool or lake, pour few drops in each ear. This will help prevent the infection way before it gets a chance to appear. If your ears are already sore or infected, don't add the rubbing alcohol to the recipe; use white vinegar only.
White Vinegar and Warm Water Ear Drops
Take a bowl to mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part warm water. Mix the liquid properly, and pour 3―4 drops in one ear. Lie down on the bed, on your side, for about 15 minutes. Turn on the other side and again pour 3―4 drops in the other ear; lie down on the bed for 15 minutes. Let the drops dry in both ears and be absorbed in your ears. Don't place any cotton balls to soak the drops. Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe excess liquid out of your ears.
Apart from these homemade swimmer's ear drops, you should consult your physician for a proper course of treatment, if the infection doesn't go away naturally. Also, inform him/her if the infection gets worse. Stay out of the water for at least 10 days or more, or till you get an OK from your doctor. Always use ear plugs while swimming, and use a towel to get excess water out of your ears.