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Health Notes

Swimmer’s Ear - Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa) is caused by excessive moisture in the external auditory canal. The passage leading from the outer ear to the eardrum is approximately one inch in length. Moisture can soften and wear down the skin lining the outer ear canal, making it susceptible to bacterial infections.

Symptoms include itching, burning and pain.

Excessive moisture is the result of water entering the ear during swimming. Hair spray, hair dye, or aggressive cleaning can also cause Swimmer’s Ear. Swimmer’s Ear may also develop because of allergies or skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

Ear Drops and Analgesics - Certain ear drops may reduce swelling; antibiotics can destroy bacteria.

Prevention and Treatment - Contact a doctor if ear pain persists or if there is extreme discomfort. Otherwise, dry the ear thoroughly with a towel and apply ear drops immediately after swimming. Avoid using Q-Tips or other objects in the ear canal.

Nutrition & Training - Food is the fuel for an athlete’s body. Athletes should eat a wide variety of foods. The body adapts to digesting food a swimmer eats on a regular basis; for this reason, a swimmer’s diet should not change when going from regular practice sessions to meets. Food not regularly eaten may not digest as fast or as easily.

At practice and meets, a swimmer should never feel “full” or “thirsty.” This means that the body is already depleted of energy and water and it will take longer to return to a balanced energy level.

Hydration - Water is a major component of blood, which transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. During practice sessions, swimmers typically lose 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Dehydration symptoms include: cramping, nausea, light-headedness, and fatigue.

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