Swimmer’s ear – natural treatments

November 26, 2019
If you have an ear infection then you must consult a doctor and follow their guidelines. Additionally, if they authorize it, you could also use some natural remedies.

Swimmer’s ear or “otitis externa” is an infection that occurs when fluid builds up in the inner ear and is accompanied by inflammation. So, depending on how severe it is and the area where it develops it could be external, middle, middle with effusion, or acute or chronic infection.

Consult a doctor as soon as you begin to experience symptoms, they can indicate the most appropriate treatment to follow.

Below we’ll review the causes in detail and share some of the popular alternatives out there with which speed up relief. So, are you ready for notes?

What causes swimmer’s ear

Swimming in dirty or polluted water is one of the most common causes of external ear infection. Thus, the bacteria in such places can easily reach the ear and cause disease. In addition, it can also be due to a fungus in very rare cases.

Usually, bacteria that come along respiratory diseases can get to the ear canal and cause infection and inflammation. Some allergies lead to inflammation in eustachian tubes (the channels that connect your middle ear and throat).

Furthermore, other possible triggers include:

  • Scratching the outer or inner ear
  • The introduction of a foreign object into the ear
  • Swabbing or scrubbing the ear canal to remove wax

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Symptoms of swimmer’s ear

A woman with ear discomfort.

Symptoms of an ear infection can vary from person to person depending on how serious it is. So, the following symptoms neither occur in all cases nor present themselves the same way:

  • fever
  • bleeding
  • vomiting
  • itchy ear
  • ringing in the ears
  • a sensation of heaviness
  • pressure on the eardrum
  • ear pain and inflammation
  • partial loss of hearing
  • yellow or greenish discharge from the ears, sometimes accompanied by a bad smell

Natural remedies for swimmer’s ear

Medical treatments for ear infections include taking antibiotics to kill any microorganisms that caused the condition, and usually also antihistamines to help you fight any allergies.

But according to popular beliefs, there are some natural treatments you can use to get relief. They are:

Hydrogen peroxide

When a virus enters your middle ear it begins to replicate, causing other conditions like colds and the flu. To ward off these microorganisms and prevent potentially chronic disease, just use a few drops of hydrogen peroxide.

How to use it

  • Every 12 to 14 hours put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each infected ear.

Garlic oil

Garlic for swimmer's ear.

Scientific research proved that garlic compounds don’t have a bactericidal effect when used in any way. However, many people continue to recommend them products such as garlic oil, to stop ear pain in case of otitis.

How to use it

  • In short, add three drops of pure garlic oil to each infected ear and keep your head horizontal so it reaches the inner ear.


This vegetable is a powerful antibiotic and antiseptic that helps fight the bacteria that cause ear infections.

How to use it?

  • Firstly, chop a fresh onion, wrap it in clean tissue, and place it over the affected ear for five minutes. Repeat this treatment several times a day.

Olive oil

Olive oil for swimmer's ear
The healing properties of olive oil have been widely used as treatment against ear infections.

How to use it

  • To begin, heat two tablespoons of olive oil until it reaches a comfortable temperature, and pour it into an eyedropper. Then, apply two to three drops in each infected ear.

Don’t forget to read: 10 alternative uses for olive oil that you don’t know

Hot water

The heat has a pain-relieving effect that also helps improve circulation and facilitates the elimination of infection.

How to use it

  • Firstly, fill a hot water bag with water and cover it with a towel, then place it over the sore ear.

Are you experiencing the symptoms of an ear infection? Consult your doctor if so. Follow their instructions and ask for their opinion on whether it would be a good idea (or not) to use natural remedies.