Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Tips for August 11

Health Tip: Getting Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's ear occurs when the outer ear and ear canal become inflamed, infected or irritated. Common causes include swimming in water that's polluted, scratching the ear or an object that becomes lodged in the ear, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Symptoms of swimmer's ear include pain, itch and drainage that may seep from the ear. Drainage may have a foul odor, and be green or yellow. The pain from swimmer's ear typically gets worse when you touch or pull on the outer ear.

A doctor should diagnose swimmer's ear and prescribe medication to treat it. Often, antibiotic ear drops or corticosteroids are recommended to alleviate infection and inflammation, the NLM says. It's important to first clean the ear before administering medication.

Health Tip: Easing Earache Pain

Earaches are common in young children, and can be quite painful.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this advice when your child complains of an earache:

  • Take your child to see the pediatrician to diagnose an earache, and a possible cause.
  • If a bacterial infection is behind the earache, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Make sure you administer the drug to the child exactly as ordered by the doctor. An antibiotic won't work if a virus is causing the earache.
  • The doctor may prescribe pain-relieving ear drops.
  • Apply a warm heating pad to the ear. Don't let the pad get too hot.
  • Give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever such as children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Don't give the child aspirin.

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