Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dry out your ears

…Laura Johannes, writing in the WSJ on July 17, 2007), talks about swimmers ear. Flash from the past! Yet, kids still swim and people still get it.

…We are, we are …retro.

…By now, of course, science has attacked our old friend. Johannes talks about several advances.

…First, swimmers ear is a painful, itchy bacteria or fungus infection in the nice, warm, gooey ear canal. It can get going especially well if you have little scratches in there—say from swabbing too vigorously.

…You can get prescription drops for it—or mix equal parts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol and drip it in there with an eyedropper.

…But if this thing really revs up, it’s out of the pool for you! And this is hard on antsy kids, especially.

…A California ear doc invented a little handheld dryer that blows warm air into the ear. Instead of dunking your head over, you dry the inside. It costs almost a hundred buckos, though. Look for Sahara DryEar or Mack’s EarDryer. (That weird orange wad in the pix is the inside of your ear.)

…Or how about ear plugs? They come in a soft silicone material treated with a microbe killer. BioEars cost under five bucks for 3 sets. They are reusable.

…Studies on these gizmos are lacking. One doctor used to tell people to use a hair dryer—but the air didn’t get far enough in.

…Another doctor said the antimicrobial plugs might kill good microbes in the ear.

…Remember how the cool lifeguards used to have cotton in their ears? Was that keeping stuff in—or out?


Vanko said...

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