The sun is shining and we humans are again looking for the proximity of the water - it attract the lakes and the sea. But beware: bath water can get into the ear and trigger a bath toxin there. "Badotitis" is the name given to an inflammation of the external auditory canal which frequently occurs in the summer, especially during the bathing season. The painful inflammation is caused by germs - mostly by bacteria - that can get into the ear with the bath water.
Danger: ear canal inflammation
Especially with frequent and long-lasting stay in lakes or sea, there may still be water in the external auditory canal. In the moist, warm environment of the narrow auditory canal (away from the auricle to the eardrum) there are optimal conditions for the growth of fungi and bacteria.
After only a few hours, this can be felt as itching or pain. The onset of inflammation may resolve spontaneously, but may also worsen and develop into painful otitis media. One counts the "Badeotitis" to the external auditory canal igniters, in technical language called "Otitis externa".
Symptoms of a bath toxitis can be:
- Strong pain
- feeling of pressure
- Outflow and itching
- Swelling of the ear canal
- possibly hearing aid
If these symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted. After a detailed medical history, the doctor can perform an ear reflection, then clean the ear canal and, depending on the pathogen, carry out a local treatment with antibiotics or antimycotics.
Complication: middle ear infection
Through a germ transmission, the pathogens can reach the middle ear and cause a middle ear infection there. The otitis media (otitis media) is a - usually very painful - inflammation of the mucous membranes of the middle ear, which is often accompanied by an effusion. It manifests itself by stinging ear pain, hearing loss, fever and a "knocking" in the ear. Chills, dizziness, vomiting, hearing loss or poor general condition also indicate otitis media.
In some cases, the eardrum and blood burst and pus flow out of the ear. The pain then subsides abruptly. In adults, a tear in the eardrum is usually due to a hearing loss. Frequent ear infections in the summer after swimming can be a sign of an unrecognized perforation of the eardrum.
An otitis media is treated by the doctor with antibiotics, which the patient must take over several days. In addition, decongestant nose drops are administered. These increase secretion drainage and thus contribute to a better ventilation of the middle ear. The intake of painkillers and the red light or heat radiation of the ear support the treatment. With these measures, the complaints usually resolve within a few days.
Tips for healthy bathing
- When swimming, bathing or showering water can reach the ear. In the external auditory canal, water is usually harmless. It is important to ensure that the ear is quickly dry again. Tilt your head to the side so that the water can run out. Just hold under the ear a towel that absorbs the water.
- In no case you should use cotton buds: The softened by the water skin is otherwise damaged.
- Water that stays in the ear canal for a long time and softens the skin can cause inflammation. Inflammations are noticeable by pain and should be treated by a doctor!
- Wearing a bathing cap protects the ears. This measure is especially useful for sensitive people.
- Anyone who has damaged the ear or has just been operated on freshly on the ear must take care that no water gets into the ear. It is best to abstain from swimming and bathing for a while. Caution is then also when showering.