If you are struggling with a blockage in the ear that causes sounds to become muffled or difficult to hear, you may be dealing with a condition known as otitis externa, more commonly referred to as “Swimmer’s ear.” Swimmer’s ear is an infection that happens within the ear canal. The ear canal is a warm and dark place where water can remain, causing it to contribute to the development of infection due to bacteria growing in the area. When water enters into the ear canal and remains, it can be problematic. The name “swimmer’s ear” has been used to describe this condition as it is a common problem for individuals who are regularly in the water.
What are the symptoms of swimmer’s ear?
- Chronic/spreading ear pain in one or both ears
- Pus oozing from the ear (yellow or green)
- Temporary hearing loss or decreased hearing
- Redness/swelling of the outer ear
- Possible low-grade fever
How is swimmer’s ear treated?
First, patients will visit their doctor at Daneshrad Clinic to get a definitive diagnosis. Antibiotic ear drops are sometimes prescribed along with oral antibiotics. If the ear canal is blocked with ear wax, this is addressed with irrigation to open the ear canal and remove trapped water or wax. Patients should utilize the antibiotics until their medication has been used up to reduce the risk of redevelopment. Patients may also be given corticosteroids for itching and inflammation and over-the-counter pain medications for pain relief.
How can I keep swimmer’s ear from recurring?
- Maintain dry ears whenever possible
- Turn the head to help water drain from ears after showering or swimming
- Avoid putting any objects in the ear
- Do not swim in pollute water
- Visit the doctor if you experience symptoms of swimmer’s ear
Are you troubled by swimmer’s ear?
If so, it may be time to work with a professional who can provide solutions and make recommendations for prevention along the way! Call Daneshrad Clinic at (310) 453-6500 to book an appointment with Dr. Payam Daneshrad at either practice locations in Santa Monica and Torrance, California. He is a board-certified orolaryngologist who regularly assist patients with concerns regarding the ear, nose, and throat and is accepting new patients.