Otitis Externa is also known as Swimmer’s Ear. If your ears get wet, the skin inside the ear canal can become softened, which can make it easier for infection to occur. But swimming is not the only cause- anything that irritates the skin of the ear canals can also lead to Otitis Externa, for example cleaning of the ears with cotton buds or fingernails, irritation from chemicals in hair products, or skin conditions such as eczema. People with Diabetes may also be at higher risk, as well as people who have a weakened immune system. And some people just have narrower ear canals that are prone to infection.
Treatment for Otitis Externa depends on the symptoms, but topical antibiotic or steroid drops are often used, and sometimes oral antibiotics. In this section we look at the causes of Otitis Externa, and how it is diagnosed, treated and prevented.