It's swimmer's ear that's keeping Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care in Okemos busy this week.
Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal.
Symptoms may be mild to begin with, but will get worse if not treated by a doctor.
Some of the first signs are mild discomfort, itching in the ear canal, and drainage of odorless, colorless fluid.
If swimmer's ear goes untreated, you may experience ear pain, decreased or muffled hearing, and drainage of waxy fluid.
See a doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of swimmer's ear, even if they are mild.
A doctor may prescribe ear drops to help kill the infection.
To treat the pain, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen and apply warm compresses to the outside of the ear.
Swimmer's ear occurs when water gets into the ear and wears down the ear's protective features, allowing bacteria to grow.
Before going to the doctor, keep your ear as dry as possible and do not go swimming.