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What is Swimmer's Ear?
Swimmer's ear (also known as Otitis Externa) is an infection in the ear canal. It's often brought on by water that stays in your ear, creating a moist environment that makes bacteria grow. Swimmer’s ear will start out mild, but it can worsen if your infection spreads or isn’t treated.
- Itching inside your ear
- Slight redness inside your ear
- Mild discomfort that's made worse by pulling on your outer ear or pushing on the tragus (the small, pointed part in front of the ear)
- Drainage of clear, odorless fluid
- Feeling of fullness inside your ear
- Decreased or muffled hearing
- Severe pain that might radiate to your face, neck, or side of your head
- Redness or swelling of your outer ear
- Swelling in the lymph nodes in your neck
UR Medicine's Treatments for Swimmer’s Ear
To determine the cause of the infection, your provider will examine your ear and may take a sample of discharge. They will recommend treatment to stop the infection from spreading and allow the ear canal to heal.
Treatment may include:
- Cleaning the ear with a suction device or ear curette
- Ear drops
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
While receiving treatment, do not:
- Wear earplugs, hearing aids, or earbuds
- Get water in your ear while showering or bathing (We recommend using a cotton ball coated with petroleum jelly to protect your ear.)
What Sets Us Apart?
Our world-class audiologists, in association with field-leading doctors and surgeons at UR Medicine, provide patients with a complete range of services using the latest techniques and technologies.
Our ENT physicians are trained in non-surgical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck. They perform hundreds of procedures and surgeries every year, so your care is always in the hands of well-practiced experts.
In fact, as part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, our physicians are exposed to more complex conditions and unusual complications than most physicians in the upstate New York region. Many of our physicians are also involved in research to find new treatments for ENT-related conditions.
All our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.
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