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FORUMS > Ask Dr. Ledereich
Replying to Topic: Swimmer's Ear
Created On 4/11/10 9:09 PM by freespirited1


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freespirited1
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Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2009

4/11/10 9:09 PM
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I've had swimmer's ear a couple of times before now, but I've never really had it this bad. For the past three or so months, I've been getting it on and off. Usually, I just put vinegar in the affected ear once or twice a day for a few days or so and it goes away, but lately, it really comes back too often.

Three weeks ago, I was in so much pain that I literally couldn't open my mouth without tears in my eyes (and I have a very high tolerance for pain). My doctor said that my ear canal was very swollen, but it wasn't red at all and my eardru looked cokmpletely normal. He also said that my glands were perfectly fine, too. He concluded that the inflammation from the swimmer's ear was so bad that it had intercepted my jaw. He told me to use vinegar for a week and from now on, to put rubbing alcohol (70%) in my ears after every time my ears get wet-especially after the shower. When I complained that usually, I can only use the vinegar for a day or two before it burns too much to even comtemplate putting in my ears, he said that that shouldn't happen, but he wrote me a prescription for a lower dose of acetic acid (2%). I was on it for more than a week, then stopped. I continued putting alcohol in my ear, but the swimmer's ear was back within a week and a half. This time, the symptoms stopped almost immediately after I started using the ear drops again, but I started to have the feeling that there was water behind my ear drum and it only got worse when I used th ear drops or the alcohol. I continued using the alcohol but stopped the ear drops. Needless to say, the swimmer's ear was back with a vengeance. I was having trouble opening my mouth again today, but I don't really see the point of trying to use the ear drops again if they're not going to help as this is the third time in three and a half weeks that the swimmer's ear has come back.

So what do you suggest, Dr. Ledereich? Should I continue with this cycle of ear drops or vinegar and getting the swimmer's ear again? I currently can hardly hear out of my right ear at all, but my doctor insists that my ear drum looks fine, and I can't live on Tylenol forever! Please help me.


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Smile; it's what your mouth is there for
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I have the short-term memory of a carrot
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The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap
 
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