As a preventive treatment against infection or for minor ear pain caused by water in the ear (but before you develop a full blown infection, which would require other treatment), there is an OTC product called Swim Ear manufactured by the Fougera Company that you can replicate at home. It consists of: 95% isopropyl alcohol (AKA isopropanol or rubbing alcohol) and 5% anhydrous glycerin (AKA vegetable glycerin or just plain glycerin). The isopropyl alcohol is an antiseptic (kills germs) and a drying agent, and the glycerin is a skin protectant and humectant (helps to moisturize, ironically, but in this case I believe it helps to prevent irritation from overdrying). You can mix this preparation yourself at home or, more simply, just use straight isopropyl rubbing alcohol, available in 70-99% concentrations at any drug store in the USA. I bought a dropper bottle of Swim Ear when I swam a lot as a kid and had problems with swimmers ear (decades ago), but ever since I have just refilled it with isopropyl alcohol. It's less than 1/10th the cost. DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Lay on your side or just rotate your head to the side, drop 3-5 drops in the ear until you 'hear' it fill in and you hear white noise. Wait several seconds or up to a minute, then turn your head the other way to drain the liquid back out. VERY IMPORTANT WARNING: DO NOT PUT DROPS IN YOUR EAR IF YOU HAVE A PERFORATED EARDRUM OR RECENT EAR SURGERY!!! This will allow the fluid to penetrate into the inner ear, which can be very dangerous.
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