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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
I have noticed a pain in my left ear over the last few weeks, it comes and goes and only lasts for about a minute. I have also become quite travel sick recently, especially in cars which I think might be caused by my ear. Is there anything I can buy over the counter or should I get checked out by a doctor. I swim regularly so maybe I have picked up an infection at the pool. I have never had any problems with my ears before so don't know quite what to do about it.
Carolanne
Answer:
Dear Carolanne,
It sounds as though you may have an otitis externa, which is inflammation of the lining of the outer ear. This happens quite frequently in swimmers, and is the result of water with germs in, remaining in the ear canal and causing infection of the lining. Infection is actually more likely if you try to dry inside the ear with cotton buds, as these can traumatise the delicate lining. I would suggest that you ask a doctor to examine the ears and prescribe ear drops if necessary, which should clear the problem. In future, you can allow clear water from a shower to run into the ear; this encourages soft wax to be removed naturally by the movements of tiny hairs in the ear canal. Dry the outer ear with a towel and put nothing smaller than your little finger in the ear.(A small amount of clean water left in the ear does no harm.) Best wishes,
Brigid Lomax
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