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Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's Ear




What is it?

Swimmer’s ear (also known as Otitis Externa) is a type of infection that occurs in the ear canal. The ear canal is warm, dark, and can become moist-which is a great breeding ground for bacteria.

As the name implies, swimmer's ear occurs frequently in youngsters who spend a lot of time in the water. Too much moisture within the ear can irritate and damage the canal skin, allowing germs or fungus to enter. It is particularly frequent during the summer, when swimming is popular.

You don't have to be a swimmer to acquire a swimmer's ear though, damage to the skin of the ear canal can be aggravated by dry skin, atopic dermatitis, injuring the ear canal, cleaning the ears with a cotton swab, or inserting foreign objects such as bobby pins or clips.

And, if a person has otitis media, pus can be leaked into the ear canal through the hole in the eardrum, producing the condition.

When to see a doctor?

If your outer ear remains red and itchy for more than a week, or if you have any of the following, contact your doctor:

  • Presistent Itching
  • Pain that gets worse when you tug on your outer ear
  • Drainage or pus leaking from the ear
  • Fever
  • Difficulty Hearing, muffled hearing
  • Moderate to severe pain in the neck, face or side of head
  • Swollen lymph nodes or swelling in the neck or near the ear