The most common cause of ear infections on holiday is because of poorly maintained swimming pools. To prevent infections spreading, the levels of chemicals present in the pool must be constantly monitored to ensure they remain at the correct levels. Warning signs of a poorly maintained pool include blocked drainage systems, no distinct swimming pool (chlorine) smell and general signs of disrepair (missing tiles etc).
The warmer the climate your holiday took place in, the more important it is to have properly maintained swimming pools. This is because evaporation of water and chemicals occurs quicker at higher temperatures, meaning a bigger window of opportunity for bacteria.
Ear infections on holiday are often referred to as pool ear or swimmers ear. These infections are generally treated with either antibiotic drops or other forms of pain relief. Although they generally do not develop into serious long term conditions, an ear infection on holiday can be a big inconvenience. Often a medical professional will recommend not swimming until the problem clears up. Not being able to use a hotel pool or swim in the sea can have an effect on how much you enjoy your holiday. This is particularly true if you are travelling with children.
Otitis Media is the most common ear infection. It is an infection of the middle ear characterised by redness, swelling and a build-up of fluid behind the eardrum. This type of infection is more common in children. But the typical place for an adult to pick up this infection would be from a hotel swimming pool.
Symptoms of a middle ear infection include, a high temperature, vomiting, slight hearing loss and earache.
Most infections last just a couple of days. But this can become a long-term problem if you find yourself succumbing to the infection several times. Results of this can include permanent damage to the eardrum, and hearing loss occurring longer term. This can also lead to what is known as glue ear.
Also referred to as glue ear, otitis media with effusion is a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. It’s a more serious version of a common ear infection, and can result in reduced hearing ability for up to 3 months. If symptoms last longer than 3 months, minor surgery may be required to remove the fluid.
Usually ear infections do not require medical treatment to recover from. However, if you’re ill when on holiday it may be useful to seek help, as this may provide evidence for your claim.
If you’ve suffered from ear infections on holiday or any other illness. Get in touch with our expert claims advisers today. Either by calling on 0800 098 7925 or filling in the contact form. We will help you get the advice you need to get the compensation you deserve.
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent contracting an ear infection. Ear drops which sterilise the ear canal are available to be bought over the counter. Using these after swimming can keep the ears clean and prevent the build up of harmful bacteria in the ear. Another method of preventing infections is to wear ear plugs when you go swimming. The ear plugs will form a barrier between the water and your ear canal, preventing bacteria from entering your ear.
Finally ensure you dry your ears thoroughly after each swim. This should be done carefully so you don’t damage the ear. Making sure your ears are properly dry will ensure there is no place for bacteria to multiply.