Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa) Treatments

Treatment for otitis externa (swimmer’s ear) is important to avoid recurrent infections, hearing loss, and damage to bone, cartilage, nearby tissue and nerves.

Treatments include:

  • Antibiotic eardrops
  • Antifungal eardrops
  • Corticosteroid eardrops
  • Pain medication
  • Avoiding getting the ear wet until it is healed

Prevention of swimmer’s ear is important if you or your child spend a lot of time in the water or are susceptible to swimmer’s ear because of other habits. Preventive techniques include:

  • Using waterproof earplugs in the pool or shower
  • Never cleaning the ear canal with a foreign object
  • Letting excess water drain out after swimming or showering by tilting the head
  • Gently drying the ear out with a hair dryer on a low, cool setting


  • Medications