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Friday
May202011

'Swimmer's Ear' Proves to Be Costly, Report Finds

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As summer approaches and more people spend time swimming in bodies of water, the prevalence of "swimmer's ear," an inflammation of the external ear canal, grows.  And although it's common, a new report shows that the minor ailment can be costly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that each year there are 2.4 million doctor visits in connection to "swimmer's ear."  Futhermore, the condition is responsible for close to $500 million in health care costs annually.

The latest report also calls into question the cleanliness of public pools.  Keeping a pool's pH and chlorine level at its proper measurement reduces the chances of getting "swimmer's ear," according to the CDC.

"We're calling on swimmers to take an active role in keeping pools healthy.  We want them to 'dip before they dive,' that is, before getting in the pool, swimmers should dip a color-coded test strip into the water to check the pool chemistry.  When Americans head to the pool this summer, they can make packing a pool test strip with them as routine as packing a towel and sunscreen," said Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council.

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ABC News Radio