If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
Otitis externa is an inflammation or infection of the ear canal (the passage leading from the external ear to the eardrum) that may develop when water, sand, dirt, or other debris gets into the ear canal.
Symptoms of otitis externa (also called swimmer's ear) are pain in and discharge from the ear.
Other causes of inflammation or infection of the ear canal include:
Treatment for otitis externa may include nonprescription pain relievers and antibiotic ear drops (with or without steroids).
Last Revised: August 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.