Otitis externa (or swimmer's ear)
Inflammation and swelling in your out most (external) ear canal is called otitis externa.
Sometimes called “swimmer's ear”, otitis externa is often caused by repeated exposure of the canal to water. Water washes away ear wax that naturally protects your ear canal from bacteria.
Symptoms of otitis externa can include:
- Ear pain – moderate to severe
- Feeling of pressure in your ear
- Temporary hearing loss
- Discharge from the ear
- Itching or scaling skin around your ear
- Feeling of tenderness when you move your jaw
Often symptoms ease after 1-2 days. Home treatment including avoiding getting water into your ear, using over the counter pain medication or applying a warm face cloth or heating pad to your ear may ease any symptoms.
If your otitis externa persists you should see your GP. Medicated ear drops or antibiotics are sometimes prescribed.