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While the outer ear infection is commonly known as “swimmer’s ear” is usually associated with young children and the summer months, it can occur at any age, at any time of the year. Moreover, swimming is only one possible cause. This outer ear infection occurs in the ear canal between the outer surface of the ear and the eardrum. Symptoms include itching, redness, swelling, pain, a feeling of fullness in the ear, and muffled hearing. The infection is most often caused by bacteria that invade the skin in the ear canal. Ordinarily, the ear canal is protected by earwax (cerumen) that forms a protective barrier, which inhibits bacterial growth. However, improper cleaning with a cotton swab can damage the skin.

P.S. To avoid an outer ear infection, it is necessary for those wearing in-the-canal hearing instruments to clean their devices regularly and to carefully insert and remove them from their ears.

To diagnose swimmer’s ear, your otolaryngologist will look for redness and swelling in your ear canal. Your doctor also may take a sample of any abnormal fluid or discharge in your ear. With proper treatment, most infections should clear up in 7-10 days. For more information, please call EAR & HEARING CLINIC. We are registered members of the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario. “Hear the Sounds of Life.”

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Book your appointment online, by calling 1-833-669-4425 for more appointment options and availability or by texting 226-220-7982

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