Swimmer's ear

If it hurts to tug on your tragus (diagram) and you've been spending time in the water, you probably have swimmer's ear.

Prevention

  • Always drain your ears after swimming. If you fail to do so, the resulting moist dark climate is an ideal place for bacteria and fungus to grow.
  • Be careful not to use Q-tips too often. This depletes your ears of your natural protective wax, which allows for easy drainage of water from the ear canal and helps block bacteria.

Treatment

  • Once you've acquired swimmer's ear, a doctor can prescribe ear drops to remedy the infection.