Ear infections and pools

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During these long hot summer days we all like to chill out by taking a bath in the pool. Swimming is healthy and fun but it can expose us and especially our children to certain risks, like ear infections.

In this article I will tell you a few things about pool otitis.

In case you have your own pool, the risks of getting otitis is lower than if going to a public swimming pool. This is due to the fact that public pools are crowded places that might contain a high level of microorganisms. If the pool has filters and the water is changed daily and properly disinfected the risk of getting ear infections is decreased. Also, everyone that enters and gets out of the pool should take a shower. Prevention is essential and this is why these methods must be applied to every type of pool. Also, those people who have different types of infections, whether we are talking about skin affections or respiratory affections, it does not matter, should not enter the pool until they solve that infection.

You might have noticed that your children develop ear infections more frequent than you do. This is because your immune system is working better than your children’s which is still under ‘construction’ and due to the fact that children have a particular structure of the ear, meaning that their Eustachian tube that makes a connection between the middle ear and the nose and pharynx is more horizontal and thinner than in adults. This will lead to a malfunction in the drainage of the mucus from the ears to the nose and a stagnation of all the microbes and impurities (taken from the pool) inside the nose leading to the inflammation of the Eustachian tube.

Besides this, other modifications of the nose structure in children and adults can favor ear infections: polyps, sinus structure alterations and septal deviations.

By a proper treatment otitis can be healed in one week. Doctors generally recommend for pool infection antibiotics and anti-inflammatory remedies. Once the ear infection has occurred it is important that the patient keeps away from the pool. This way other people will not get infected too. If you are afraid that your child will get ear infections try using special ear plugs when letting him swim or use the olive oil. Put one drop of olive oil in each ear and you will see that the water will not enter the ears any more.

Besides the middle ear that can be affected by swimming in pools that are not properly disinfected, the external ear can suffer also. Polluted lakes, ponds and rivers can lead to this affection too.

Swimming is important for a proper growth of the child and by reading this article you should not keep your child away from this sport; you should only pay attention where he goes to swim, to what kind of swimming pools or lakes. As long as that area is clean and properly disinfected, you can allow your child to have fun.

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