• Royal Life Saving

Is Swimmers Ear Affecting Your Learn to Swim Numbers?

Updated: Mar 27, 2019


A recent survey of swimming instructors in the UK examined their experience in ear protection practices and the impact of ear problems on their students.


Result showed surprising and hidden issues reinforcing the views that ear protection practices when in the water are inadequate and have a dramatic impact on the attendance of students to swim lessons.


In a survey of over 200 instructors, an overwhelming 96% responded saying that trapped water, water related ear infections and painful ears were issues impacting their swimming groups. (Fig 1)



Fig 1: Water related ear problems


Nearly every swimming instructor reported water/ear issues disrupting attendances at their classes. 37% reported that trapped water was an issue and 33% said infections adversely impacted classes. The level of instructors who experienced drop outs from classes (permanent) was a staggering 88%. This is not non-attendance for a few classes, this was cancellations of lessons. (Fig 2)


Fig 2: Drop out (cancellation) of lessons due to ear problems


The primary practice of attempting to protect the ears from water was the use of ear plugs yet the effectiveness of ear plugs was also astonishing. Only 8% of instructors responded saying ear plugs were effective. Nearly half of the responders said students not being able to hear them was a major issue and 43% said they leaked and fell out. A small but never the less interesting response (3%) said that impact on students balance was observed.


Fig 3: The (in) effectiveness of ear plugs.


Swim instructors and schools constantly deal with the frustration of inconsistent class numbers and it is clear that water related ear problems play a very disruptive role.

Exposure to water, especially when it becomes trapped, can deplete the natural protective layer of ear wax that lines the ear canal. Without this protective layer of wax, water can easily remain causing irritation with resultant pain and swelling. This painful inflammation can become infected with bacteria and fungi known as swimmer’s ear.


QUOTE: “Trapped water is one of the causes of outer ear infections.”

(Drs.Patrick H Allwright and Peter Tunguy-Desmarais ENT Surgeons and developers of SwimSeal Ear Drops)


This infection, (otitis externa), can be common in children or anyone with repeated water exposure. Water trapped in the ear canal from swimming, diving or simply showering is a primary cause of this condition. So yes, even the cleanest water, if retained in the ear, can cause ear problems. Swimmers Ear symptoms include pain, itching, dulled hearing and a discharge from the ear.


It is little wonder that parents are sick of relentless, constant ear infections (Swimmers Ear) and pain disrupting swimming lessons, countless visits to the doctor, nights spent consoling distressed children and turning the best holiday plans on their head.


SwimSeal Protective Ear Drops are a preventative solution to ear issues caused by water activity. The unique solution creates a waterproof coating in the ear canal that expels water from the ear, preventing common water related ear problems.


If you would like to find out about stocking SwimSeal Protective Ear Drops for your swim school and pupils then contact Vorgee on Tel: (07) 3841 8871 or Email: sales@vorgee.com.


For further information on SwimSeal Protective Ear Drops visit: http://swimming.swimseal.com.au/swimming


Click here to listen to an interview with e Health Radio about ear health.