What Is Otitis Externa?

Otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear, is an infection in the outer ear canal that causes pain, redness, itching, drainage and temporary hearing loss.

Swimmer’s ear is most common in children and swimmers of any age, but it can happen to anyone. When skin is inflamed by moisture, vigorous cleaning or items stuck in the ear, such as hearing aids, ear buds or earplugs, it can create a hospitable environment for bacteria and viruses to grow.

Keeping the ear canal dry and cleaning it gently and without swabs can help you minimize the chances of getting swimmer’s ear.