Swimmer's ear remedy

General banter about diving and why we love it.
Post Reply
User avatar
MariaT
Avid Diver
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:15 am

Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by MariaT » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:46 pm

Sharing something that came up in the conversation yesterday, prevention of an external ear infection aka "swimmer's ear". My swimming teacher taught us that when I was in high school, that is like, 30 years ago(??) I have been using it often, of course YMMV, and ask your doctor first, etc., etc.

Anyway, it is a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and alcohol which I keep in a tiny squirt bottle. I put a little into one ear, hold for a couple of minutes, pour out and repeat with another ear. Being prone to ear infections, I do it after long exercise sessions in a swimming pool and after dives, and it has helped me so far. I found DAN article on similar "official" solution just recently and thought it is worth sharing here: https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/Can_You_Prevent_Otitis_Externa_or_Swimmers_Ear

User avatar
fmerkel
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1020
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:45 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by fmerkel » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:22 pm

"Ear Beer" - weird name, good preventative.
To Air is Human,
To Respire, Divine.

User avatar
Gdog
NWDC Moderator
NWDC Moderator
Posts: 3608
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by Gdog » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:38 pm

I think it works better than the swimmers ear you buy at the drugstore

User avatar
60south
Perma Narc'd
Posts: 725
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:24 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by 60south » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:26 am

It's the recommended preventative ear juice...

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... c-20351682

User avatar
Tom Nic
I've Got Gills
Posts: 9327
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:26 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by Tom Nic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:53 am

I just picked up a new pair of Doc's ProPlugs for my Bonaire trip. They have been helpful when doing 50 dives in 2 weeks to keep water out of the ear canal somewhat, which seems to lessen the beating my ears take in the process.

Combine that with a bit of ear beer or alcohol and it's really helpful
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

User avatar
fmerkel
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1020
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:45 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by fmerkel » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:52 am

Tom Nic wrote:I just picked up a new pair of Doc's ProPlugs for my Bonaire trip. They have been helpful when doing 50 dives in 2 weeks to keep water out of the ear canal somewhat, which seems to lessen the beating my ears take in the process.

Combine that with a bit of ear beer or alcohol and it's really helpful


+1 for the dual prevention combo. I do this.
To Air is Human,
To Respire, Divine.

User avatar
MariaT
Avid Diver
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by MariaT » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:44 am

"Ear beer" :) I did not grow up in US but on the other side of the globe, it is funny that we used the same recipe! I am going to add ear plugs as one more layer of defence now.

User avatar
Tom Nic
I've Got Gills
Posts: 9327
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:26 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by Tom Nic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:53 am

MariaT wrote:"Ear beer" :) I did not grow up in US but on the other side of the globe, it is funny that we used the same recipe! I am going to add ear plugs as one more layer of defence now.


Just for clarity- these are not standard generic ear plugs. They are vented, designed for divers, for under pressure. Doc's ProPlugs
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

User avatar
ScubaJess
NWDC Moderator
NWDC Moderator
Posts: 2142
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:56 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by ScubaJess » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:13 pm

I love this stuff ( I call it ear oil), not sure if anyone else uses this. It really helps to keep the water out to avoid ear infections. It helps to keep your ear moisturized and it smells really nice with the tea tree oil. Just a spray or 2 into the ears before the dive and it works like a charm :)
Attachments
earshield-2016.jpg
Last edited by ScubaJess on Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

User avatar
fmerkel
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1020
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:45 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by fmerkel » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:17 pm

I can see the value for swimmer's ear. The Amazon reviews have a bunch of 5* for improving clearing. I see no way at all it could improve clearing. It's not supported by simple physics. Which makes me distrust those reviews.
I have on occasion carefully applied a bit of olive oil or similar during a multi-day dive stretch to deal with the constant wet-dry-wet-dry cycles, exacerbated by ear beer (alcohol) drying.
The commercial ear dry products are usually about 97% isopropyl alcohol. The good ones have the bottle with the pointy spout to keep.
To Air is Human,
To Respire, Divine.

User avatar
Tom Nic
I've Got Gills
Posts: 9327
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:26 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by Tom Nic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:17 pm

ScubaJess wrote:I love this stuff ( I call it ear oil), not sure if anyone else uses this. It really helps to keep the water out to avoid ear infections. It helps to keep your ear moisturized and it smells really nice with the tea tree oil. Just a spray or 2 into the ears before the dive and it works like a charm :)


My understanding is that this oil helps the ear drain after the dive. I'm not sure that it "keeps water out", as there isn't an actual block?!? The Doc's Pro Plugs actually keep the water out of the ear canal, yet still allows you to clear no problem.

I've used this "ear oil", and I do think it helps the ear drain. I know several frequent travelers that swear by the stuff.

It's nice that there are a lot of options to try if ears are an issue. I never had problems with my ears until a couple of years ago and Bonaire finally beat the crap out of them - just a dull ache that ibuprofen only helped a little. Ended up being out of the water a day or so, and that plus the Doc's ProPlugs enabled me to continue diving.
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

User avatar
H20doctor
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4034
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:13 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by H20doctor » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:24 pm

Yep I use a mixture of alcohol with a splash of hydrogen peroxide with a splash of white vinegar squirt that stuff in rinse it out
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

Tangfish
NWDC Mascot
NWDC Mascot
Posts: 7480
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:11 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by Tangfish » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:58 pm

As fmerkel said the reviews saying that the EarShield would help with clearing are nonsense. What a treatment like that does is help the water drain after diving so that it doesn't build up and cause an infection during a trip with many repetitive dives. I use a dropper and mineral oil. Achieves the same thing but you can get a giant jug of mineral oil at most drug stores for $5 and a set of droppers on Amazon for not that much. It is a good idea to avoid anything with alcohol in it (for the ear) to avoid drying the skin inside the ear canal out, which just makes things worse.

User avatar
CaptnJack
I've Got Gills
Posts: 7758
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:29 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by CaptnJack » Tue May 01, 2018 10:18 am

If you mix some glycerin in with the alcohol its not so drying. Straight alcohol will make your ear canal super red and raw - I tried that in MX when I had an actual infection years ago and I think it might have actually made it worse.
Sounder wrote:Under normal circumstances, I would never tell another man how to shave his balls... but this device should not be kept secret.

WaGigKpn
Aquaphile
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by WaGigKpn » Wed May 09, 2018 2:12 pm

I have deep ear canals and get ear infections about once a year. 50/50 vinegar and alcohol is great! Vinegar kills fungus and the alcohol kills the bacteria.

I take it a step further. I got a medical squeeze bottle https://www.amazon.com/Economy-Bottle-Squeeze-Medical-Tattoo/dp/B00WTHLR2M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525900120&sr=8-1&keywords=chemistry+squeeze+bottle Fill it with 3% hydrogen peroxide and clean your ears with it (in the shower preferably). I like to squeeze a bit in each ear at regular intervals so the peroxide has time to soften the wax. Then flush. I use about half the bottle during the softening stage then fill the bottle back up with water so it is 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide to rinse with. After the shower i put a bit of alcohol in it and rinse each ear with alcohol (it burns a bit!). That way any bacteria is killed and the ear is dried completely.

I only use/add the vinegar if i get an actual infection.

User avatar
60south
Perma Narc'd
Posts: 725
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:24 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by 60south » Wed May 09, 2018 5:52 pm

I see several people suggesting hydrogen peroxide. I'm not so sure that's a good idea as it can easily damage tissues.

User avatar
H20doctor
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4034
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:13 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by H20doctor » Fri May 11, 2018 1:08 am

60south wrote:I see several people suggesting hydrogen peroxide. I'm not so sure that's a good idea as it can easily damage tissues.


Peroxide helps break down wax build up in the ear that can trap water from draining and have a nice place to grow bacteria.. I have wax issues and dry ears from diving pressure and salt water..
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

User avatar
coulterboy
Amphibian
Posts: 871
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:19 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by coulterboy » Tue May 15, 2018 6:56 pm

[quote="H20doctor"] I have wax issues



No wonder, you don't go to the beauty spa frequently like you used to.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?

User avatar
H20doctor
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4034
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:13 pm

Re: Swimmer's ear remedy

Post by H20doctor » Tue May 15, 2018 11:41 pm

coulterboy wrote:
H20doctor wrote: I have wax issues



No wonder, you don't go to the beauty spa frequently like you used to.



its because you dont go with me anymore ... I miss our mani pedi special times :luv: :luv: :luv: :luv:
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

Post Reply