As a kid I loved swimming for hours, but it was more of a bad thing for me as I suffered from otitis all year long. This was my biggest problem, as every time I would start my swimming practices, water would get stuck in my ears, cutting my trainings short.
Otitis Externa is commonly known as “swimmer’s ear”; it is basically an ear canal infection caused by extensive moisture in the ear, which can cause blockage, itchiness and pain.
I stopped training during winter to prevent catching infections and getting sick, and when finally summer would come, I would have less than two months to train and prepare for the Lebanese National Swimming Championship. I had the chance and the potential to be among the winners, but unfortunately couldn’t compromise my health for that.
Recurrent otitis got my parents worried about its effect on my hearing abilities, so they presented me to a doctor who told me that I didn’t have to stop swimming, and all I needed was the « magical blue » earplugs.
Earplugs prevent water from getting into the swimmer’s ears and protect them from infections. The ones I got can’t be found in common sports shops or pharmacies around the corner; they are usually made by ENT Doctors who tailor-make them based on the shape of your ear.
But there are other types that are easier, and cheaper to buy as well:
– Silicone earplugs (cheap but inconsistent)
– Conical earplugs (cheap, reusable but very unattractive)
– Custom-moulded earplugs (cheap and practical)
– Avoid Foam earplugs because they protect from noises not water
The first time I tried my “magical blue” earplugs on, I felt as if I was suddenly cut off from the world; the noises vanished, and when I got into the pool, the only noise I could hear was the sound of my heart beat. The sensation was amazing, and the more I would swim, the more I was comfortable and confident that my ears were “waterproof” now.
This solution helped me in my swimming practice, and gave me back the chance to give my swimming the time it deserved.
This was more than 15 years ago and ever since, I never go swimming without my “magical blue” earplugs…
My advice to you:
– Wear earplugs to prevent infections; make sure you keep them clean
– Get the earplugs that suit you best, because if they don’t fit, you’ll harm your practice
Protect your ears and enjoy your swim!
Who is Karin?
Since her early childhood, Karin has participated in multiple races such as the Ski World Cup, the Asian Skiing Championship and several Lebanese National Championship in various disciplines (Skiing, Swimming and Athletics).
She graduated from the American University of Beirut as a Civil and Environmental Engineer. She holds a MSC degree with a specialization in Financial Markets and Real Estate from ESSEC Business School in France, where she was part of the Basket ball team that won the French tournament. She recently accepted a job offer at Deutsche Bank in their Sales and Trading Floor.