Swimmer's Ear, Ear Infection?

Updated on July 06, 2012
M.E. asks from Bronx, NY
6 answers

We flew on Monday and on Tuesday my son said his ear hurt and he also had low fever. I took him to the doctor who diagnosed him with swimmer's ear and prescribed antibiotic ear drops. Now my other son is complaining of ear pain and also has a slight fever. From what I've been reading I thought swimmer's ear was not contagious?
My son is complaining of headaches for three days which he never has also he still has a fever? I called my doctor and she said the 2 are not related and his body is just weak. Really all this from swimmer's ear? Anyone had similar experience?

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answers from Houston on

It is not contagious, I have it right now, and OUCH it hurts terribly. But you get no fever with it at all. Sounds more like a middle ear infection, than an outer ear, which is what swimmers ear is.



answers from Charlotte on

Swimmer's ear hurts like the dickens. AND it can actually travel to the middle ear and cause a middle ear infection at the same time you have swimmer's ear. That happened to my son last year. He came home with the ear drops, they didn't help enough, so he had to go back to the doctor and get a stronger type of ear drops and oral antibiotics. (He's a teen, so you can imagine how irritating all this was to him since it was hampering his fun...)

If it's not better in a few days, take him back for the reason above.

Meanwhile, go buy some swimmer's drops to dry out the ear and use them after your son goes swimming. If he likes to lay in the tub and soak, use them after his bath.

The thing is, when kids are on a swim team and they swim a lot, somehow they don't get swimmer's ear much. But if they've been out of the water for a while and get back in, here they go with the swimmer's ear! At least that's how it has happened with us.

Hope he's feeling better soon!



answers from San Francisco on

If they were swimming in the same water then they could have both caught it from the bacteria in the water. My daughter would get swimmers ear every time she swam in a neighbors pool.


answers from Norfolk on

Swimmers ear is just from water getting stuck in the ear and bacteria grows and causes an infection.
Even bath water can give you swimmers ear.
People like to think the ear is a simple straight in tunnel, but there are a lot of nooks and crannies, and water and wax can get stuck in odd places.
When we were kids, the dr told Mom to help dry out the ears by putting a drop of rubbing alcohol into them anytime after ears were submerged in water.
It helped cut down how often we got it.



answers from Austin on

Swimmer's ear by itself isn't contagious, but if they were swimming in the same pool or lake, they may have both picked up the bacteria, like Lucia said.

Also, if you are in a private pool, or even a public pool, if the pH of the water is off (I don't remember which way, though) that may make it more likely for a person to get swimmer's ear.

One way you can tell if it is swimmer's ear is if the ear hurts when you gently tug on the earlobe or upper part of the ear. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal.

BTW... I have swimmer's ear right now... but mine is caused in part by other problems with my ear canal.


answers from Redding on

I got swimmers ear so much as a kid, omg I still remember how much it hurt! It would make me SO MAD!

With my kids, after they got out of the pool I always dropped a mixture of vinegar and alcohol in there ears .... they NEVER got swimmers ear.

Swimmer's ear hurts on the outside of the ear as well as sharp pain on the inside, the outside pain is what distinguishes it as swimmer's ear.

It's not about someone's pool being the culprit, it's about water managing to linger too long in the ear and getting infected. You might want to to try earplugs for your kids, or try the vinegar/alcohol thing.... sounds like they are going to be prone.

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