ZocdocAnswersCan swimming cause hearing loss?

Question

Can swimming cause hearing loss?

I swim and it takes a while for me to regain my full hearing after coming out of the pool. Is this to be expected?

Answer

Swimming should not be a cause of hearing loss, however it is common that people get a small amount of water in their ear canal. Until this water comes out, your hearing may be somewhat distorted, which is likely what you are describing. That is why you will often see people trying to hit their ear with their hand (not recommended!) or trying other methods to remove the water. Alternatively, many people wear ear plugs when they swim, so as to avoid the problem in the first place. From your question, it appears that this is the problem that you are describing. Alternatively, there are other things that can affect your hearing that are associated with swimming. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the external auditory canal that can often occur and requires treatment. Generally, this would have many other symptoms before it would actually affect your hearing, and most people will seek medical attention long before that time because of the very painful ear that often occurs. This would also likely not improve by itself over a short amount of time. Please speak with your doctor if you are having any difficulty hearing, or to explain your problem more fully and have a physical examination including the use of an otoscope.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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