Lucknow: Ear infections, also known as otitis externa or swimmer's ear, occur when water gets trapped in the ear canal, creating a moist environment that promotes bacterial growth.
Doctors have warned about the increasing number of ear infections, particularly among children, caused by frequent visits to water parks.
Symptoms of this condition include pain, itching, redness and swelling of the ear canal. If left untreated, it can lead to temporary hearing loss.
Medical professionals in the city have noticed a surge in patients seeking treatment for ear infections, coinciding with the rise in water park visits during the summer season.
Children, in particular, are more susceptible due to their smaller ear canals and tendency to spend extended periods in the water.
Otolaryngologist Rajesh Kapoor said that he has witnessed a significant increase in daily cases, emphasising the need for simple preventive measures while enjoying water park attractions.
"Visitors to water parks should use earplugs specifically designed for swimming to prevent water from entering the ear canal. Thoroughly drying the ears after the visit is crucial. Additionally, using a clean towel or a low-heat blow dryer on the lowest setting can aid in gentle drying," he advised.
Head of otolaryngology at KGMU, Dr Virendra Verma highlighted the rise in infection cases following water park visits. He identified spending extended periods underwater as a primary reason for increased risk.
Dr Verma recommended using a mild, pHbalanced ear cleaning solution to remove residual water and prevent bacterial growth.
A former ENT surgeon from Balrampur hospital, now operating a private clinic in Aliganj, cautioned against self-treatment. He emphasised the importance of seeking medical attention if symptoms such as water trapped in the ear canal, whistling sounds, itching or pain persist. Attempting self-care measures without professional guidance may aggravate the infection and cause further complications.
In addition to individual responsibility, water park management teams should implement measures to reduce the risk of ear infections. Regular cleaning and disinfection of water facilities, including pools, slides and splash pads are essential to maintain hygienic conditions for visitors, according to the former ENT surgeon.
Experts recommend park management should display signs throughout the park, urging guests to take precautions to protect their ears. By raising awareness and implementing preventive measures, both visitors and water park management can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience during the summer season.