The skin lining the ear canal has a thin coat of wax. This is to protect the very thin sensitive skin from stuff that can get into it.
If a person is in the water a lot, sometimes water collects in the ear
canal and washes away the earwax, making the skin soggy.
Sometimes the chemicals used to make pool water safe to swim in can irritate ears. Some bacteria which really like warm wet places may move in and start to grow and cause an ear infection.
Some people, especially kids, shove things down the ear canal that shouldn’t be there and scratch the skin in the ear canal. You know the sort of thing I mean – seeds, beads, cotton buds, crayons, pencils, sausages…..Well maybe not sausages, but kids sure can be inventive in what they will fit into their ears! Bacteria can get into the scratched area and cause infection. Doctor’s call this otitis externa, which means infection of the outer ear.
If you are a keen swimmer or like to play in the pool a lot, then there are some things you can do to protect yourself from swimmer’s ear:
School Nurses’ Office