Acute otitis externa, often called Swimmer’s Ear, is a common condition that can affect those with frequent water exposure that results in moisture staying in the ear canal. Prompt evaluation is necessary to prevent extension of the infection into the surrounding critical structures. Symptoms
  • Ear pain or otalgia
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Drainage from the ear or otorrhea
  • Redness and swelling near opening into the ear
Causes
  • Moisture in the ear canal allows bacteria and fungi to grow
  • Scratches or trauma
  • Excessive ear cleaning with cotton swabs
Diagnosis
  • Our physicians will perform a microscopic examination of your ear canal to determine if you have swimmer’s ear and the extent of infection
  • A culture may be taken to determine if the infection is fungal or bacterial
Treatment
  • A thorough in-office cleaning of your ear canal
  • Topical antibiotics or anti-fungal medications are used for 7-10 days
  • An ear wick may be used if the ear canal is swollen shut
  • Oral antibiotics will be used if the infection extends out of the ear canal
  • In severe cases pain medications may be prescribed