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7 Tips To Prevent Swimmer's Ear

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

What is Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an infection of the ear canal, which is a slender channel about one-inch long that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. Symptoms of swimmer’s ear can include pain, redness, and swelling of the ear canal and an itchy feeling in the ear. Pain when tugging the earlobe, or when chewing food, is also a symptom. Some patients report temporary hearing loss or their ears feeling “full.” Patients may experience symptoms differently and at different levels of severity. It is important to note that swimmer’s ear is different from a middle ear infection, which is common in young children.

What Causes Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection that occurs when water remains trapped in the ear canal. This moist environment is ideal for the growth of bacteria, and, in rare cases, fungus. Some patients get swimmer’s ear from swimming, although it can happen from bathing, showering, or even sweating. A lack of earwax due to aggressive cleaning with cotton swabs or small objects can cause swimmer’s ear. Earwax limits the growth of bacteria and is a natural barrier to moisture. Skin conditions such as eczema, and chemicals from hairspray or dyes, can also prompt swimmer’s ear.

7 Tips For Preventing Swimmer's Ear

  1. Never put anything in the ear canal (cotton swabs, paper clips, liquids or even your finger). This can damage or irritate the skin.
  2. Leave ear wax in the canal.
  3. Do not use ear plugs. They can irritate the ear canal.
  4. If you swim or surf, use a bathing cap to keep water out of your ears.
  5. Keep your ears as dry as possible. Use a towel to dry your ears well after swimming or showering. 
  6. Help the water run out of your ears by turning your head to each side and pulling the earlobe in different directions. 
  7. Blow dry your ears on a low setting, holding the dryer 12 inches away.

If you or a family member experience any of the above symptoms, walk-in to any of our clinics for an evaluation and talk to our health care providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.


Protect Yourself Against Lyme Disease This Summer

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

As the weather warms up, you and your family will probably be spending more time enjoying the great outdoors. After all, the summer brings more opportunities for you to camp, hike, swim and bike. Before going outside, though, be sure to protect yourself from Lyme disease this summer.

In 2015, 95% of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from 14 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

What can you do to protect yourself?

You can decrease the chances of being bitten by a tick with a few precautions.

  1. Avoid tick infested areas. This is especially important in May, June and July. Many local health departments and park or extension services will have information regarding these areas.
  2. If you are in a tick-infested area, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass.
  3. Use insect repellent. Spray repellent containing a 20%-30% concentration of DEET on clothes and on exposed skin.
  4. You can also treat clothes (especially pants, socks and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  5. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some camping gear. 
  6. Always check for ticks after being outdoors, even in your own yard.
  7. Remove attached ticks with tweezers. Avoid crushing the tick's body. Grasp the tick firmly and as close to the skin as possible. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.
  8. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within 2 hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  9. After being outdoors, dry clothing in a hot dryer for 10 minutes to kill any ticks that are attached to clothing.

Source: CDC

If you think that you may be ill from a tick bite, you should see a healthcare provider to diagnose your illness. Statcare Urgent Medical Care is a great option for tick prevention advice, Lyme Disease testing and treatment. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.



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