Common Causes and Natural Remedies for Swimmer’s Ear

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Common Causes and Natural Remedies for Swimmer’s Ear

Common Causes and Natural Remedies for Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear refers to an infection of the ear canal that is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms such as itchiness and inflammation. It is crucial to treat swimmer’s ear in early stage because the disease is likely to progress.

Mild infection results in itching, redness, and discomfort. If it’s left to develop, it can cause severe pain, ear canal blockage, and swelling. Fortunately, you can cure this condition with natural remedies right from your home. Check out what causes swimmer’s ear, how to prevent it, and learn how to treat it effectively with natural home remedies!

Causes and Prevention Tips

Swimmer’s ear can be caused by virus, fungus, and bacteria commonly found in soil and water. When the ear’s natural defenses are reduced, the infection is most likely to occur. This usually happens when there is excess moisture or scratches inside the ear. Sometimes, allergic reactions to beauty products can also be the reason for the weakening ear defenses.

What are the risk factors?

  • Swimming in water that is not disinfected and is rich in bacteria.
  • Having narrow ear canal which can trap water.
  • Improper ear canal cleaning that results in scratches.
  • Beauty products, hair dyes, hearing aid, headphones, jewelry, etc.

Tips for preventing swimmer’s ear:

  • Dry your ears right after they have been exposed to moisture.
  • Clean your ears gently and avoid using earbuds, fingers, or sharp objects.
  • Apply a solution of 1 part rubbing alcohol to 1 part apple cider vinegar in your ear. Allow it to stay in for a minute then drain it out.
  • Avoid water that may be prone to bacteria growth.
  • Protect your ear canals from hair dyes and hairsprays with a cotton ball.
  • Invest in quality-made headphones/earphones.

Natural Treatments

Here are the top remedies for treating swimmer’s ear.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

As a natural disinfectant and antiseptic agent, apple cider vinegar makes an excellent remedy for various ear infections. When used together with rubbing alcohol, the effects are even better.

The acidic nature of vinegar allows it to eliminate bacteria and destroy ear canal blockages.

  1. Mix half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of rubbing alcohol.
  2. Lie down and tilt your head sideways. The infected ear should point upward.
  3. Use a teaspoon or a dropper to deliver the solution inside the ear.
  4. Wait for a few minutes then let the liquid drain out.
  5. Repeat the treatment up to 3 times per day.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Another highly effective remedy for infected ears is hydrogen peroxide. It is an anti-bacterial agent capable of killing the germs and reducing the infection.

  1. Use 3-percent hydrogen peroxide for this purpose.
  2. Tilt your head with the affected ear pointing upward.
  3. Pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in it.
  4. Wait for 5 minutes.
  5. Tilt your head the other way to allow the fluids to drain out of the ear.

3. Onion Juice

Onion juice is a must-try natural solution for various conditions. Swimmer’s ear is no exception. The juice performs effectively by disinfecting the ear canal and providing pain relief.

  1. Squeeze one onion to extract its juice. The freshness of the juice is key to its efficiency.
  2. Slightly heat it up but don’t make it hot.
  3. Pour a few drops of the juice in the affected ear while your head is tilted sideways.
  4. Let it do its job for up to 10 minutes then drain it out of the ear.
  5. Repeat once to twice per day for best results.

4. Holy Basil

Another great way to deal with the infection naturally is to use holy basil leaves. They can help you fight off swimmer’s ear by treating fluid discharge and disinfecting the ear canal.

Furthermore, holy basil also provides mild relief from pain.

  1. Get 4 – 8 basil leaves and extract the juice out of them.
  2. Heat it up on a spoon or in the microwave. Make sure that it’s not too hot for the ear.
  3. Lie down sideways and use a dropper to pour a few drops in the affected ear.
  4. Wait for 10 minutes then drain the ear. You can also repeat the process with warm water.

5. Garlic

Garlic is not only good for the health when consumed but also when applied to the infections. It is rich in antibacterial properties, makes an excellent disinfectant, and provides numerous health benefits. It is also able to provide instant pain relief.


  • Peel and crush 2 – 3 garlic cloves. Add them to a tablespoon of olive oil and heat it up until garlic turns brown.
  • Proceed to strain it and allow it to cool down. Apply the solution in the infected ear once or twice per day.
  • Additionally, consume raw garlic throughout the day to speed up the recovery.

6. Warm Compress

When swimmer’s ear is accompanied by fluid discharge, warm compress comes in very handy. The heat that the compress provides encourages the fluid flow. It can also help in soothing the pain.

  1. Soak a towel in hot
  2. Squeeze the towel and place it over the infected ear.
  3. Wait for a few minutes then tilt your head to promote fluid draining out of the ear.
  4. Pause for 5 minutes and repeat the process.

Alternatively, you can also use a hot water bottle on your ear instead. This will work best when used overnight.

7. Humidifying Air

Humidifiers fill up the air with moisture and combat the negative effects that dry air leaves of ear infections. Humidifying the air can reduce nasal swelling, encourage ear canals airflow, and speed up the recovery.

Place a humidifier near your bed, especially if dealing with cold winter days when the air is most likely to lack moisture.

Final Words

Swimmer’s ear presents an infection of the ear canal and is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms. It is crucial to treat it in the early stage before the disease gets the chance to progress. From garlic to vinegar to olive juice, there are various home remedies that will help you treat the infection at home.

Now that you’ve learned how to treat swimmer’s ear effectively, know what it causes and learn how to prevent it so you won’t have to deal with it again in the future.

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Oladimeji Tunde R

Oladimeji is an experienced health writer pursuing his passion for blogging at While not watching soccer, he enjoys researching various topics and coming up with solutions for natural home medicines. Interested in knowing more about this home remedies expert? Follow him on Facebook!



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