More than $500 million is spent annually on healthcare for patients suffering from swimmer's ear, a condition that can be easily avoided by correct hygiene, a new study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reveals.
Swimmer's ear, also known as acute otitis externa, is the infection of the external ear canal caused due to the presence of water in the ear canal for a long time, allowing germs such as bacteria to grow and cause the infection. The condition can be easily prevented either by using bathing caps or ear plugs and drying your ears completely after a swim or a shower.
The researchers checked insurance claim and payment databases and found that more than 2.4 million cases of swimmer's ear annually and it cost around $200 for every case that did not end in hospitalization with less than 3 percent of the total cases requiring hospitalization.
"Most people think of swimmer's ear as a mild condition that quickly goes away, but this common infection is responsible for millions of illnesses and substantial medical costs each year. By taking simple steps before and after swimming or coming in contact with water, people can greatly reduce their risk of this painful infection", CDC's Michael Beach said.