Swimmer's Ear - Otitis Externa
Swimmer’s Ear (ear ache) is an infection of the ear and/or outer ear canal. It can cause the ear to itch or become red and inflamed so that head movement or touching of the ear is very painful. There may also be pus that drains from the ear.
What causes Swimmer’s Ear?
Swimmer’s Ear is often caused by infection with a germ called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This germ is common in the environment (soil, water) and is microscopic so that it can’t be seen with the naked eye. Although all age groups are affected by Swimmer’s Ear, it is more common in children and young adults and can be extremely painful.
How is Swimmer’s Ear spread?
Having contaminated water get in the ear can give people Swimmer’s Ear. Swimmer’s Ear usually occurs within a few days of getting contaminated water or placing contaminated objects in the ear.
Is there a difference between a childhood middle ear infection and Swimmer’s Ear?
Yes. Swimmer’s Ear is not the same as the common childhood middle ear infection. If you can wiggle the outer ear without pain or discomfort then your ear infection is probably not Swimmer’s Ear.
Can Swimmer’s Ear be prevented?
Yes. Here are four Healthy Swimming tips for protection against Swimmer’s Ear:
If you think you have Swimmer’s Ear, consult your healthcare provider. Swimmer’s Ear can be treated with antibiotic ear drops.