Earache is a common symptom with Otitis media from the middle ear infection. This can cause great discomfort for the sufferer from the inflammation of the infection swelling can occur.
Otitis Externa is a condition that causes inflammation of the external ear canal, the tube between your outer ear and your eardrum. It is often referred to as 'swimmers ear', because a common cause is water remaining in the ear canal after swimming. With treatment, any symptoms should clear up within a few days, but some severe cases it may persist for several months or longer, despite normally only affecting one ear at any given time.
Otitis externa can be attributed to a wide range of causes, as well as some triggers that might make you more susceptible to the condition.
Otitis Externa can also occur when a hair follicle in your ear becomes infected by bacteria, developing into a boil. Even if you can reach this boil with your fingers, it is very important not to squeeze or pop it without the advice of a medical professional, as it may spread the infection elsewhere.
Otitis Externa can usually be remedied with a simple course of eardrops, as prescribed by your local GP. If your symptoms linger or your case has been particularly severe, you may be referred to a specialist who may undertake, micro-suction or dry swabbing to remove earwax and other debris to make your drops more effective. Severe cases may require an earwick, a plug made from soft cotton gauze that helps insert medication into your ear.
While you take your medication, it is important to take certain steps at home to help aid your recovery. Avoid getting your ear wet by wearing a shower cap when you bathe, and gently remove any discharge by gently swabbing around your ear rather than in it. Remove any hearing aids, ear plugs and earrings will also help prevent the spread of bacteria.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Otitis Externa, it is important to make an appointment with your local doctor. To learn more about other ear infections, visit our Otitis Media, Labyrinthitis or ear infection pages.