Surfer’s ear, swimmer’s ear; its that time of year

Surfer’s ear, swimmer’s ear; its that time of year

Last year I had a blast in Tofino – beautiful beaches, fun friends & camping. Surfing looked fun so I tried it out. With the wind, the water and the waves I came out of the water feeling pummelled. A few hours later my ear was in agonizing pain. I had developed surfer’s ear … and it was advanced!

Surfer’s ear, aka Swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the outer canal of the ear and can be caused by irritation or water in the ear canal. It can be mild and itchy or it can become very painful and progress to a more serious infection. Here are the best tips to stop progression and recover quickly from swimmers ear.

  1. Ear oils – you can make ear oils yourself or buy them off the shelf. A good ear oil will have an antimicrobial herb like garlic or hydrastis, and a soothing herb like mullein or calendula. Before putting anything in your ear get a doctor look inside to make sure your ear drum is still intact.
  2. Nutrients – a good anti-oxidant spectrum like Vitamins A, C, E and selenium can help support your immune system so that your body can mount an effective attack against the infection.
  3. Diet – make sure you eliminate dairy, alcohol, sugar and any other food sensitivities you may have until you are feeling 100% better.
  4. Onion Ear – this may sound crazy but it works like a charm. Onions have potent anti-microbial properties and can be used to treat the pain and infection of swimmer’s ear. Cut an onion in half and put it cut side up into a mug. Microwave the onion for 30 seconds and then place the mug with the onion inside onto the affected ear.  Leave it there until it cools down. Repeat as necessary.

With a little bit of ear oil and a WHOLE lot of onion; I recovered from the brink in about 6 hours.  Soon I was back to my vacation smelling slightly of onion and feeling great.

If you are struggling with frequent or lasting infections be sure to come see us for our amazing immune supportive IV drips or a complete work up by our naturopathic doctors.