With summer here to stay swimmer’s ear is likely to be the next hot ailment to walk through the doors of the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic. Between public pools and questionable lakes, it’s common for adults and children alike to present with an itchy, painful ear. You may even notice some crusting and flaking debris.
So what’s the typical prescription? Often a topical antibiotic or antifungal based on the presentation of the ear. But, of course, there are natural ways to deal with swimmer’s ear that don’t require harsh drops that could irritate the skin of the ear amongst other things.
Make sure you visit a physician before deciding on treatment to be sure of your condition. We want to make sure your ear-drum isn’t damaged before providing you with the best treatment options.
In the meantime here are 3 things to think about:
- Garlic Oil. Place a few cloves of garlic in a dropper bottle of olive oil. Let it sit for a few hours. Place 5 drops of oil in the ear and stop seal gently with a cotton ball. You can go to sleep with the drops in place. The garlic in the oil acts as an antimicrobial to kill the infection.
- Onion Ear Muffs. This sounds a bit nuts, but it’s actually pretty great. Take 1 onion and slice it in half. Sautee it lightly. Then wrap the onion in cheese cloth and place the sauteed side down on the ear. The antimicrobial abilities of the onion will seep into the ear to manage the infection. Sit with the ear muff on for 20 minutes.
- Sugar Free. As with most infections, it is very important to cut white sugar out of your diet. Bacteria LOVE noshing on sugar in order to fuel the infection. Cut it out completely for optimal healing. Read more about the effects of white sugar & how to cut it out here.
Overall, be sure to dry your ears well after a swim, keep your swim cap from trapping water in your ears, and stay out of particularly dirty water.
Onions & garlic are just what the (future) ND ordered!