Otitis externa is a skin infection of the outer ear canal. This is the area from the eardrum to the outside of your ear. It is also called swimmer's ear. With treatment, the infection should be gone in seven to 10 days.
Otitis externa is caused by germs called bacteria or fungus. Swimming in dirty water or swimming a lot in pools with chlorine may cause swimmer's ear. Other causes may be too much wetness in the ear, past ear infections or skin allergies.
Signs and symptoms
Your ears may feel plugged and you may feel ear pain that is worse when your ear lobe is pulled. You may have itching, or pus may come out of your ears. You may have a fever or a short-term hearing loss.
Your doctor may gently clean your ear. You may need antibiotic ear medicine to fight the infection. Over-the-counter pain medicine and warm packs placed over the ear will help your pain. Use a shower cap when showering.
For more information about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital’s audiology and hearing services or to make an appointment, call 313-966-4725.