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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Swim Safely with Diabetes

Since the inner ear has fluid, and a tube connecting it with the insides of the mouth, this part of the body is a favorite haunt for fungi and bacteria. Microbes also find it convenient to live in and around the outer ears.

The fluid in the inner ear is acidic to keep pathogens under control, but swimming, getting drenched in the rain, and even a vigorous shower can all add to the fluid volume inside the ears, diluting the acidity, and introducing new colonies of microbes as well.

People with diabetes are more vulnerable than others when it comes to fighting infection, so the inner and outer ears need special protective measures.

Here are 5 tips to protect your ears when swimming, or if exposed to unusual volumes of water for any length of time. These steps can help everyone, but they matter most for people with diabetes:

1. Swim in clean water

2. Use ear plugs

3. Dry outer ears thoroughly as soon as you out of the water

4. Use cotton buds to keep outer ear canals dry and to remove wax-never insert sharp or moist objects in these areas.

5. Ask your physician for drops which you can use to prevent infections after swimming or getting drenched. Products are available to restore natural acidity in and around the ears, and some of these drops do not even require prescriptions.


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