PDA

View Full Version : Ear Wash



monant
09-09-2008, 12:56
I use alcohol to dry my ear canals and prevent swimmer’s ear. I've also heard of people using mixtures of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and alcohol and white vinegar.

Who has used these mixtures and what are their pros and cons?

Sansho
09-09-2008, 19:23
Having looked into this recently .... The Navy did extensive work in the past on a solution to prevent ear infections, which you can buy by prescription only, and it's pricey. However, an equivalent substitute is a 50-50 solution of alcohol and white vinegar. The vinegar is important to keep the ph within the ear in balance, which may in itself be more important than the alcohol. Alcohol by itself, or in solution with glycerin, doesn't do the same job. See this article on the DAN site: DAN Divers Alert Network : More On Swimmers Ear (http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=49)

wgt
09-09-2008, 20:32
Alcohol itself is not a good antibacterial. The benefits of this substance applied to the outer ear are largely restricted to dehydrating effects. Removing the water from the ear removes water-born bacteria.

The vinegar, as suggested above, exerts it benefits through reductions in pH, acidifying the outer ear. Bacteria and fungi generally find an acidic environment to be quite inhospitable, and growth is thus suppressed.

maverick
09-09-2008, 21:03
Alcohol and vineger 50/50 mixture

SkuaSeptember
09-10-2008, 12:18
Alcohol and vineger 50/50 mixture
AKA Ear Beer! Works very well.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
09-10-2008, 12:40
I use a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and white vinegar which I keep in a container marked 'Holy Water'. Great for exorcizing the ear demons.

mm_dm
09-10-2008, 12:50
Alcohol and vineger 50/50 mixture
AKA Ear Beer! Works very well.


Ditto, Ear Beer for me (for the reasons already outlined by the eloquent Sansho & wgt).

Barberman
09-10-2008, 16:39
1/3 alcohol, 1/3 white vinegar, and 1/3 distilled water. I was reading on a website somewhere that the distilled water helps keep your ear from getting to dry.

wgt
09-11-2008, 09:18
Alcohol and vineger 50/50 mixture
AKA Ear Beer! Works very well.


Ditto, Ear Beer for me (for the reasons already outlined by the eloquent Sansho & wgt).

Sansho!!

mm-dm referred to us as "eloquent". Perhaps he meant to say "delinquent".

mwhities
09-11-2008, 11:25
Last week, my left ear started "aching" and that wasn't good since I had a dive trip planned for the following weekend. So I mixed up a 50/50 alcohol/vinegar and put it into my ear and let it set for about 4 minutes. Drained it out and left it alone.

By the next day, it was starting to feel better. By that Friday, I had no ear pain at all. (Although I did continue using it nightly before bed.) When Saturday's first dive came up, I added some to my ears and dove. Shortly after, did it again. I repeated these steps all weekend (After a fresh water dive, I get ear infections quite easily.) and even after stopping after my last dive Sunday, I still have no ear pains or infections.

YMMV. :)

Michael

Sansho
09-11-2008, 12:06
mm-dm referred to us as "eloquent". Perhaps he meant to say "delinquent".

:smilie39::smilie39::smilie39:

Sansho
09-11-2008, 12:11
(After a fresh water dive, I get ear infections quite easily.)

I believe one of the Navy findings is to have maximum preventative effect (prophylactic effect is probably more medically correct, but just doesn't sound right relative to ears), the ear solution needs to be in each ear for 5 mins before diving. I did this each day as a preventive measure during several days of fresh water diving, and didn't have any ear issues.

mm_dm
09-11-2008, 12:21
mm-dm referred to us as "eloquent". Perhaps he meant to say "delinquent".

:smilie39::smilie39::smilie39:


I'll go with that, but only if you can furnish some recent, attributable behavior- such as window shopping for a Harley, or "borrowing" a postage stamp at work.:smiley36:

kingsolo
09-11-2008, 18:16
Doesn't the swimmers ear (commercial over the counter stuff) handle this for you? It only runs a couple bucks, right?

CompuDude
09-11-2008, 19:03
Doesn't the swimmers ear (commercial over the counter stuff) handle this for you? It only runs a couple bucks, right?

It's also over 90% pure isopropyl alcohol. May as well use straight rubbing alcohol. It's just plain bad for the ears. It dries things out but doesn't kill the critters... and in fact, it makes the ear interior SO dry it can cause crackly skin, allowing the critters to get in deeper. It may be fine for the pool, where the chlorine has already killed most of the critters, but it's not good for natural environments.

The alcohol in the 50-50 mix helps dry, but more important is the pH of the white vinegar. That's what actually kills the critters.

Cheap store brand vinegar and cheap store brand rubbing alcohol and you've spent only a few bucks as well, but you have enough raw stock to last you the rest of your diving career, pretty much.

Read the DAN Article (http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=49) on the topic for more.

trekkindave
09-11-2008, 19:27
Now the I have the recipe for ear beer... what container/dispenser are you guys using to deliver this "holy water" to the "ear daemons"?

Aussie
09-11-2008, 20:16
I use diluted Hydrogen Peroxide every few days. Especially when in the Tropics.

Alot of people think its very good for stopping you from coming down with colds and flu's.

Regards Aussie

CompuDude
09-12-2008, 01:15
Now the I have the recipe for ear beer... what container/dispenser are you guys using to deliver this "holy water" to the "ear daemons"?

Cheap plastic water bottle, recycled from one I already drank. Only mix 1/2" or so at a time, which is a good month's supply. Toss it and use a new one every 2-3 batches.

Just be sure to mark it well and don't get it mixed up with actual water bottles!

The Swim Ear bottles are handy for travel, though.

matt151617
09-12-2008, 01:56
I bought the commercial swimmer's ear stuff just for the bottle. I felt stupid paying $3.19 for an ounce of rubbing alcohol, but the bottle is great.

cooltravelnews
09-12-2008, 02:36
I use Domeboro Sol 2% OTIC by Bayer Phar

RX I have used it for 9-years and over 300+dives. Never had a problem. Of course I have used Doc's ProPlugs for the last 6-years with a full Lycra hood to keep the crud away from the ear canal.

mm_dm
09-12-2008, 07:30
Some sporting goods stores have the small bottles...usually the ones that have a good backpacking/camping section. They're made for making your own travel dispensers for soap, shampoo and such.

russp
09-12-2008, 14:33
I use Domeboro Sol 2% OTIC by Bayer Phar

RX I have used it for 9-years and over 300+dives. Never had a problem. Of course I have used Doc's ProPlugs for the last 6-years with a full Lycra hood to keep the crud away from the ear canal.

I thought using ear plugs caused a problem with equalization as you descend because of the air trapped in between the ear drum and the plug?

mm_dm
09-12-2008, 14:49
I use Domeboro Sol 2% OTIC by Bayer Phar

RX I have used it for 9-years and over 300+dives. Never had a problem. Of course I have used Doc's ProPlugs for the last 6-years with a full Lycra hood to keep the crud away from the ear canal.

I thought using ear plugs caused a problem with equalization as you descend because of the air trapped in between the ear drum and the plug?

The kind they're talking about are vented. Here's a link: Doc's Proplugs: The Doctor's Choice for Ear Protection (http://www.proplugs.com/scubadiving.shtml)

dirtydon
09-12-2008, 14:51
should you use the ear beer before diving? i get water in my left ear easily and am going on blackbeard first week in oct.

CompuDude
09-12-2008, 17:19
should you use the ear beer before diving? i get water in my left ear easily and am going on blackbeard first week in oct.

It's not going to hurt you, but it's not going to help anything either. If you like pouring stuff in your ear, go for it! :smiley20:

I generally get water IN my ear everytime I put my head under water. Both ears, for that matter. How is that unusual?

Ear beer is for making sure you don't get an infection AFTER you dive. Just put some in your ear, 5 minutes for each ear, at the end of the day. No strict timing guidelines... I just do it when I get home, just before I go do bed. That does the trick. I've even waited until the next day before, but that's pushing things, and I've paid the price once or twice by getting that lax.

Travelnsj
09-14-2008, 11:37
I use the Alcohol and Vineger 50/50 mixture. I usually use after every dive. I was once in Sipadan and forgot my home brew. My outer ear swelled up, jaw hurt etc etc....I finally found someone who had the mixture and it cleared up within a couple of days....I never leave home with out!

monant
09-19-2008, 09:41
Thanks everyone, I think the 50/50 mixture of alcohol and white vinegar may be the cheap way to go.

USF_Diver
09-20-2008, 08:22
I am going to have to make this stuff, sounds easy enough.