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How to prevent painful swimmer's ear during the summer

Half of all local cases expected in next couple months

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ROANOKE, Va. – Local health experts are warning people about the increased risk for swimmer’s ear, as more people are spending time at the pool.

Doctors at Carilion said half of all cases they see this year will likely happen in the next two months.

They say to keep your ears dry, tip your head to the side to let all the water drain. You can also use a hair dryer set on the coolest setting to dry it out.

You should also maintain a healthy amount of ear wax. It has natural germ-fighting agents that protect the delicate skin in the ears.

Most importantly, be gentle to the skin in your ear canal.

“Most people today are still taught to clean ears with Q-tips and if there was any one hint, it would be to please not clean ears with Q-tips. So the best way to clean the ear is just with a simple wash cloth over a finger on the outside and nothing more than that," Carilion otolaryngology section chief Dr. Benjamin Cable said.

Most cases of swimmer's ear require antibiotic drops to heal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics typically recommends children with the infection should avoid getting back in the water for seven to 10 days.