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Outer Ear Infection, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

An ear infection is something that at least once in life bothers us. And it is a nightmare for anyone who faced it.

Ear infection can easily be avoided if you follow proper precautions.

This article tries to cover some of the most common questions on the internet about an ear infection.

What Causes an Ear Infection?

An ear infection is a widespread problem among children and adults.

In medical terms, an ear infection is given the name “Otitis.” An ear infection occurs because of bacteria or viral infection attacks on the ear tube. This infection can be temporary(acute) or recurring (chronicle). An acute ear infection is always short-lived and painful.

But chronicle is a long-time infection that takes place again and again.


Swimming (Or Possibly Even Bathing Or Showering Too Frequently) Can Lead To An Outer Ear Infection?

Swimming, even frequently bathing, also causes an ear infection if water is trapped inside your middle ear. An ear is a hearing organ.

It is a susceptible part of the body. It has three parts the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. So there are three types of ear infections.

Swimming Can Lead To An Outer Ear Infection

They are:

· Otitis externa

· Otitis media

· Otitis internal

What Is An Outer Ear Infection?

An outer ear infection is also known as the swimmer’s ear. It affects the skin between the opening of the ear and the eardrum, i.e., the ear canal.

Outer ear infection develops among people because of fungal and bacteria issues, but it often occurs due to viral ailments like flu or eczema.

The pain is in the outer ear canal or near the ear opening in the swimmer’s ear. The pain increases when the patient touches the ear or moves it.

In the middle ear, infection pain is found in the inner side of the ear, near the eardrum. And it increases when a patient bends down or lye down.

Causes An Outer Ear Infection

An ear gets infected because of certain reasons:

  • When a person ruptured an eardrum while removing the ear wax, with a finger, cotton buds, or hairpins.
Causes An Outer Ear Infection
  • One may guess the risk factor of the perforated eardrum with the help of the second name of this infection, i.e., “swimmer’s ear.
  • ” Yes, swimming is a pervasive factor that causes the ear to fill with water—swimming or taking a shower, particularly in dirty water that is full of bacteria.
  • Due to oppressive or moist climates
  • Excessive use of earphones
  • Due to born ear problems like a narrow ear canal.
  • Skin allergy occurs after using jewelry, hair products, or chemical soaps.
  • An ailment that causes rough and dry skin like eczema.
  • Tumors such as basal carcinoma in the outer ear.


Outer ear infections generally happen in one ear at a time. Symptoms of Ear infections are mention below:

  • It commonly starts with itching in the ear.
  • Swelling
  • Redness of ear skin and ear canal.
  • Draining fluids and yellow pus from the ear.
  • Mild or severe ear pain.
  • The feeling of fullness or weight in the ear.
Symptoms of Outer Ear Infection
  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Permanent Hearing loss
  • Sense of noise or buzzing in the ear.
  • Increase in pain while eating, yawning and speaking, etc.
  • Increase in pain while moving or touching the ear.
  • Swollen glands in child’s neck.
  • Muffled hearing in children

Who Is Most Likely To Get An Ear Infection(Otitis Media)?

A middle ear infection very commonly occurs in children. It is a childhood illness that mainly occurs in children aged three months to 3 years.

It generally happens till the age of 8. It primarily causes by flu or cold in children.

Who Is Most Likely To Get An Ear Infection(Otitis Media)

Who Is At Risk For An Outer Ear Infection?

Children and adults both may get outer ear bacterial infections from swimming, playing in dusty or moist places, eczema, and so on.

Children get a fungal infection due to plying in mud and taking showers in polluted water. But the problem is that adults can tell

That they have pain or itching in their ear.

But children mostly are not able to tell the exact problem they are facing. Children mostly get caught in blocked Eustachian tubes.

Because of which they face the problem with the auditory nerve. Because an ear has delicate tissues.

Infection in Children and adults both may have signs of infection like excess water in the ear, loss of hearing, for the time being, loss of appetite.

Feeling of fullness in the ear, etc. Parents must understand the gesture of their children.

They must know the difference between the common symptoms of a swimmer’s ear and middle ear infection.

Parents may get the knowledge of outer ear infection if :

  • The child is not sleeping well.
  • The child is restless all the time.
  • Most of the time, crying.
  • The child rubs his ear time by time.

Such are some symptoms with the help of the parents may get the idea of the problem the child has. There are many treatment options.

For mild infection, you may give any counter pain medications or pour down antibiotic ear drops into an ear tube of adults or children to cure this problem at home.

But if it is not healing well at home, you must have medical treatment from your doctor.

Treatment For Outer Ear Infection

Treatment for Otitis External depends on the different factors and causes so that the curing way may differ from person to person.

Your doctor will prescribe any painkillers and ear drops for outer ear infections that contain the acidic solution, a steroid to lessen swelling and redness.

The medication is base on antibiotic and anti-fungal formulas.

The doctor first will take the debris out of the ear canal. A wick can be inserted into the ear if the ear canal is closed by inflammation.

The wick will be removed after the infection has cleared.

No one knows that ear wax is a natural safeguard that protects your ear tube from excess water or bacterial infection.

But it becomes inevitable to clean it out when it gets extra in substance in the ear. As we know that people often get hurt the ear while cleaning ear wax at home.

So don’t try it at home; go to your doctor; he will carefully clean earwax, pus, or discharge using a suction device or using the cotton ball stick.

Home Remedies For Outer Ear Infection

Swimmer’s ear is not a very serious or untreatable condition of allergic reactions. Natural and home remedies can cure it.

  • Always keep your ears clean to avoid bacterial infections and viral infections.
  • To prevent serious outer ear infections, try to keep ears dry well after taking a shower or swimming.
  • Be cautious while using a hairdryer and hair spray.
  • First of all, stop swimming until you get rid of this infection.
  • Second, don’t swim in dirty and stagnant water.
Home Remedies For Outer Ear Infection
  • Always use a hairdryer on the lowest setting.
  • Don’t use cotton swabs or hairpins to clean the ear canal.
  • Try to wear a swimming cap while swimming.
  • Use ear drops with acetic acid after swimming.
  • Avoid much use of earphones or handsfree, as they enhance the risk of a swimmer’s ear.
  • Follow the medication instructions of your doctor.
  • Use pain killers like paracetamol without prescription if you have a slight earache.
  • You can use any home remedy to cure it suggested by your elders

Outer Ear Infection In Children

As we discussed above, it is an infection caused by bacteria, fungus, viral infections, and swimming in dirty water.

So children also get this severe infection and allergic reaction from showering, swimming, poking beads, or getting insects in the ear.

How Is An Outer Ear Infection Diagnosed?

Your doctor might ask some routine questions about medical history during your meeting that may reveal symptoms like itching, pain, swelling, pus draining, bleeding, etc.

After specific queries, the doctor will examine your outer ear and eardrum with an instrument called an ” otoscope.”

It is a device with a light and magnifying lens. It is used to check your ear. A horoscope can emit a puff of air in the ear that pushed against your eardrum.

How Is An Outer Ear Infection Diagnosed?

In this process, the eardrum movement helps to diagnose the exact problem of the outer ear. The doctor also takes a tympanometry test to evaluate a possible ear infection.

If a man has some hearing loss issues, the doctor may take a little hearing test.

When To Consult With The Doctor?

External Otitis is not a severe ear infection and can easily be treated if appropriately handled. But when left untreated.

It may spread to the nearby tissues and surrounding bone of the outer ear. And this condition is a complicated one, called “necrotizing otitis externa.”

Complications usually have to face those who have a weak immune system, who already have any ailment or allergic reaction from hair dyes or skin conditions, etc.

Some people show negligent behavior at the start of this infection and later have to face serious consequences.

Long lasted Otitis external can narrow the ear canal or eustachian tube. It may affect the hearing.

An untreated infection can mild fever, vision changes, one side neck, face swelling, etc. So now it is not a time to sit with ease.

it is time to go for a doctor to consult.

Notice the changing symptoms of mild pain to severe pain, itching to redness, and pus draining to bleeding from the ear.

So in these circumstances, don’t delay consultancy with a doctor because it may be less risky at the start but may have serious consequences, as discussed above.

Do Outer Ear Infections Go Away On Their Own?

Yes, most of the time, outer ear infections go away on their own. But it would take few days to few weeks to fully recover.

How Long Does An Outer Ear Infection Last In Adults?

It would take few days to few weeks to fully recover. But in case of any complications, it might take longer than that.

Can An Outer Ear Infection Spread?

Yes, the outer ear infection spreads to the other parts of the body if it is not treated at a time. It may cause permanent hearing loss.
It also can prove dangerous for skull bones. It can cause a rupture ( tear) of your eardrum.

Can I Travel By Air Or Be In High Altitudes If I Have An Ear Infection?

It is not too dangerous to travel by air if you take antibiotics for an outer ear infection. Because it happens rarely,
That eardrum bursts out with the pressure of air. But it is good to avoid air traveling until this infection is gone.

Why Does The Outside Of My Ear Hurt To Touch?

If the outside of your ear is hurt or swollen, these are signs of otitis externa.
This infection lives in the outer ear canal, which is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection.


An ear infection is a prevalent infection. All it requires care and hygiene, and if you have a frequent ear infection,

You should use earplugs while doing any activities that include water exposure. You can try some remedies to treat minor ear infections.

But if it causes severe pain or shows any fluid buildup or liquid discharge symptoms, Immediately concern the doctor.

We hope you learn something new from this article; we write this article after doing proper research, we hope you find it helpful.

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