What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is infection, irritation, or inflammation of the outer ear and the ear canal. It is different than the common childhood middle ear infection. It can come about suddenly and acutely (short-term) or chronically (long-term). It is more common among teenaged children and young adults and is not contagious.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear:

  • Drainage from the ear – yellow, yellow-green, pus-like, or foul smelling.
  • Ear pain – may get worse when you pull on the outer ear.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Itching of the ear or ear canal.
  • Redness and swelling of the ear.

Causes of Swimmer’s Ear:

Acute swimmer’s ear may be caused by:

  • A respiratory infection, such as a cold.
  • A middle ear infection.
  • Swimming in unclean water (bacterial infection).
  • Fungal infection (rare).
  • Scratching the ear or inside the ear.
  • Getting something stuck in the ear.

Chronic swimmer’s ear may be caused by:

  • Allergic reaction to something in the ear.
  • Chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema.

Information provided by:https://medlineplus.gov