Swimmer’s Ear

At the outset, swimmer’s ear infection might be of a mild nature but they may become dangerously infected  if not treated in a timely manner. Doctors often classify swimmer’s ear according to mild, moderate and advanced stages of progression.

Mild signs and symptoms

  • Itching in your ear canal.
  • Slight redness inside your ear.
  • Some drainage of clear, odorless fluid.

The medical term for swimmer’s ear is otitis externa.

When water keeps getting into your ear, the unrelenting moisture welcomes the formation of bacteria that can only be expelled by a round of antibiotics.  The accompanying pain can sometimes be excruciating because of the moisture that becomes a veritable hotbed of a lingering infection.

Moderate progression:

  • More intense itching
  • Increasing pain
  • More extensive redness in your ear
  • Excessive fluid drainage
  • Discharge of pus
  • Feeling of fullness inside your ear and partial blockage of your ear canal by swelling, fluid and debris
  • Decreased or muffled hearing

Advanced progression

  • Severe pain that may radiate to your face, neck or side of your head
  • Complete blockage of your ear canal
  • Redness or swelling of your outer ear
  • Swelling in the lymph nodes in your neck
  • Fever

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor if you’re experiencing any signs or symptoms of swimmer’s ear, even if they’re mild.

 Call your doctor immediately or visit the emergency room if you have:
  • Severe pain
  • Fever

Illustration showing outer ear infection


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