Posted by: wortix | November 24, 2008

Swimming and ear tubes

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Several related and important questions arise when this subject is discussed. Is the type of water exposure important in making any decision? Should swimming be related to surface swimming only with caution regarding deep swimming? Is diving permitted? The bottom line is that children should be allowed to swim in swimming pools and seawater without barrier methods (custom ear plugs, ear putty, bathing caps etc) since prospective clinical trials have not shown that swimming without water protection increases the risk of otorrhea. There are no clinical studies addressing the issue of lake swimming. A few precautions are advised however. Diving is not recommended with out protection since clinical studies have shown a higher incidence of infection in swimmers who dive compared to those who don’t dive. Bathing in soapy water particularly with head submersion and without protection is also not recommended. Soap decreases the surface tension water, allowing water to more easily enter the middle ear.


Giannoni C, Swimming with tympanostomy tubes. Arch Otol H & N surg 2000;126:1507.


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