Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Improve Hearing by Enlarging Ear Opening

  1. Jan 5, 2009 #1
    I have a small inlet to my ear and when I swim it gets clogged very easily and takes
    about three days to clear out even when I use small pieces of cotton, alcohol, hair
    dryer, heating pad, or other devise. Is there a medical procedure that could increase
    the entry to the ear so I could hear better and also so water would not clog up in the
    ear? Charles
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Probably not. And it's generally a bad idea sticking anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!

    You can get ear plugs for swimming from speedo etc. If you are diving you MUST get special diving ones with vent holes to equalise the pressure.
  4. Jan 5, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    While shopping for ear drops for W, who had a wicked earache yesterday, I spotted something on the shelf that might be of help. Can't remember the name. It's an ear-dehydration medicine, which I think is in drop form. The label said that it's specifically formulated to deal with "swimmer's ear".
  5. Jan 6, 2009 #4
    You should consult your Doctor. Their are several products on the market to keep water out of ears, some work better then others.
  6. Jan 6, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yeah, the hair dryer probably won't fit past the middle ear without some major damage.

    The "small inlet to (your) ear" may be a result of swelling from an infection... as mentioned... "swimmers ear". Infections can remain low grade for some time if they have not been completely cleaned out by anti-biotics or other means. They hang around for quite a while until they are either dealt with or become full blown.

    Here's the MAYO Clinic's info on swimmer's ear which is an infection of sorts.

  7. Jan 7, 2009 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, I swim many miles per week, and use Swimmer's Ear as a prophylatic against ear infections. It's a mix of alcohol and glycerine, IIRC. The goal is to pull out (dry out) the water left in the ear canal, so there is less of an environment for bug culture.

    I'd recommend triying Swimmer's Ear for a month or two, and absolutely discussing this with your family physician. Luckily, my GP Doc is a triathalete too, so we have a common language for these discussions :-)
  8. Jan 7, 2009 #7
    I strongly advise against self-medicating any type of ear problem but especially one that is associated with swimming or diving. In fact, most family doctors (GPs) are not qualified to deal with swimmers ear, tinnitus, or hyperbaric ear problems. It is best to consult a specialist.
    Try to find an ENT who is also a scuba diver and/or is certified by the American Board of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. I will try to attach a link, but you can Google it easily enough.

    http://www.uhms.org/ResourceLibrary/BoardCertifiedUnderseaHyperbaricPhysicians/ABPM_Certified_Physicians/tabid/439/Default.aspx" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook