Infection of outer ear that is called “swimmer’s ear” is an infection of the part between outer ear and ear drum. Most common causes are swimming, placing objects like ear plugs or headphones, hearing aids, cotton swabs, scratching ear or removing ear wax. People with outer ear infections most likely have itching, pain, trouble hearing and discharge from the ear canal. Sometimes pain can be very intense.
Outer ear infections are easily diagnosed by qualified medical provider by looking inside of an ear canal. Treatment usually includes using ear drops that contain topical antibiotics that treat infection with or without corticosteroids that reduce swelling. If infection is severe, systemic antibiotics are used. Pain medications are needed for a severe pain.
Few simple things may prevent outer ear infections for frequent swimmers. Over-the-counter drops that dry ear canal or simply shaking ears after swimming. Wearing ear plugs also prevents outer ear infections by preventing water getting inside of ear canal.