Otitis externa, commonly referred to as swimmer's ear, is an inflammation of the ear canal, a small tube running from the outer ear to the middle ear where the eardrum resides. Typically, only one ear is affected by otitis externa at a time; the condition presents with itching, swelling, and ear pain. Left untreated, otitis externa may last several months. However, there are several methods of prevention and treatment that reduce the risk of developing, and the severity of, swimmer's ear.
Otitis externa is a type of inflammation and leaves the ear canal red and swollen. The inflammation itself is not generally visible because of its location, but there are obvious symptoms associated with the ailment. Itching, discharge such as pus or liquid, temporary hearing loss, and pain are common. The ear may also feel blocked or full due to the inflammation. Some cases of otitis externa cause the glands in the neck or near the ear to become enlarged and sore.
Receive updates on the latest news and alerts straight to your inbox.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.