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July News from JC Family Medicine

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July  News from JC Family Medicine

Cooling Down:

Summertime is always a good time to enjoy the water – whether that means heading to the pool with the family, the lake with some friends or even just relaxing in a cool shower after a day of yard work.  Don’t let an ear ache dampen your fun!!! 

Swimmers Ear is an infection with inflammation of the outer ear.  It can be very painful and should be treated promptly to prevent further complications.  

The source of infection is commonly an increase in moisture trapped in the ear.  This can come from pools, showers, lakes or hot tubs.  The moist environment is a haven for bacteria to grow, leading to infection.  

Other factors can contribute to swimmers ear:

  • Contact with excessive bacteria from lakes or untreated hot tubs
  •  Excessive cleaning of the ear canal with cotton swabs or other devices
  • Damage to the skin of the ear canal
  • Skin conditions that can degrade the integrity of the skin, i.e. eczema or seborrhea   

The first sign of infection is itching inside the ear.  As the bacteria grow and the infection sets in the ear will become quite painful, especially when tugged upon.  The patient may experience fever, drainage, decreased hearing or drainage. 

Early stages of swimmers ear is treated with ear drops that prevent bacterial or fungal growth.  Your physician will carefully clean your ear as well.  More advanced cases may require an additional antibiotic drop, oral antibiotic or referral to a specialist.  Early treatment is advised.  

 

 

Zack Close
 
Zack Charkawi, M.D.
American Board Family Medicine
Johns Creek Family Medicine Practice
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