Summer is here, and it’s looking to be a hot one. One of the best ways to cool off during a hot Utah day is to take the whole family for a swim somewhere like West Jordan Pool. However, if you or your child is prone to ear problems, it may be a good idea to invest in some earplugs that can help prevent swimmer’s ear.
What Is Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is a bacterial infection that affects the outer ear canal. It’s often caused by water that remains in your ear after swimming, hence the name; however, it does have other causes as well.
Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:
- Redness in the outer ear
- Pain that worsens when you pull or tug on your earlobe
- Pus draining out of the ear
- A feeling of fullness in the ear or a clogged ear
- Muffled hearing or temporary hearing loss
Who is At Risk?
While anyone can develop swimmer’s ear, certain factors may put a person more at risk:
- Have had recent or frequent ear infections
- People with ear tubes
- Have a cut in your ear canal
- Using hearing aids or headphones
- Skin rashes like eczema
Best Earplugs To Prevent Swimmer’s Ear?
You have a few different options when it comes to earplugs for swimmer’s ear. One of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether to get custom earplugs or store-bought versions.
Custom earplugs can be ordered through a medical specialist. They come with many advantages, including:
- They are made from higher quality material than store-bought earplugs
- Greater comfort because they are custom-made to fit your ear
- Reusable and washable for better hygiene
- The ability to ask your health provider questions and talk about your or your child’s needs
Store Bought Earplugs
While custom earplugs will likely provide a superior experience, they are not as convenient to get as earplugs that are available online or at most pharmacies in Utah. Additionally, store-bought earplugs are inexpensive and easy to replace in case you lose them. They also tend to come in bright colors, which makes them easier to locate if they sink to the bottom of the pool.
However, while they may offer more convenience, they may not fit as well, nor are many types washable, meaning they’ll need to be regularly replaced.
What Material is Best?
Most swimmers’ plugs are made with silicone, soft silicone or soft plastics. When it comes to what’s best for you, part of it will depend on what feels most comfortable. However, research has found that soft silicone earplugs were the most effective in preventing water penetration.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact South Valley Ear Nose & Throat today.