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What is swimmer’s ear?

Swimmer’s ear (known as otitis externa) is a bacterial infection caused by water staying in the ear canal for a long period of time, providing a moist environment for bacteria to grow. Anyone can get swimmer’s ear, but it is most often seen in children. Swimmer’s ear cannot be spread from one person to another.

Swimmer’s ear is not the same as a middle ear infection, which is also common in children.

Signs and symptoms

  1. You feel pain when the outer ear is tugged or when pressure is put on the part of the outer ear that sticks out in front of the ear canal (tragus)
  2. You feel itchiness inside the ear
  3. You have drainage from the ear
  4. You have redness and swelling in the ear


  1. Keep your ears as dry as possible
  2. Swim with a bathing cap, ear plugs, or custom-fitted swim molds
  3. Use G.BUDS Swimming Ear Plugs from GUARD
  4. Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or showering
  5. Dry your ears well with a towel
  6. Tilt your head back and forth so that each ear faces down to allow water to escape the ear canal
  7. Pull your earlobe in different directions when ear faces down to help water drain out
  8. Use a hair dryer on the lowest heat and speed/fan setting to move air within the ear canal
  9. Hold the hair dryer several inches from your ear
  10. Check with your healthcare provider about using ear-drying drops after swimming
  11. DON’T use these drops if you have ear tubes, punctured ear drums, swimmer’s ear, or ear drainage
  12. DON’T put objects in your ear canal (including cotton-tip swabs, pencils, paperclips, or keys)
  13. DON’T try to remove ear wax from your ear. Ear wax helps protect the ear canal from infection
  14. If you think your ear canal could be blocked by ear wax, check with your healthcare provider


  1. If you have ear pain or drainage from the ear check with your healthcare provider
  2. Swimmer’s ear can be treated with antibiotic ear drops

G.BUDS from GUARD let the sound in but keep the water out

They come with changeable parts in different sizes that allow you to customize them for your ears in order to find a comfortable and secure fit that works for you.

At the end of the day, choosing which ear plugs to buy comes down to personal choice. Because they can help prevent ear infection and a host of other issues, they should be an important and necessary item.

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