Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear)
Otitis Externa, also known as Swimmer’s ear is a painful disorder caused by infection and inflammation in the outer ear canal. It is called swimmer’s ear as it is often caused due to water remaining in the ear after swimming, providing a moist environment for bacteria to grow. The bacteria penetrate the skin inside the ear canal, leading to inflammation and irritation. Otitis externa may also be caused by fungal infections.
Even though swimmers who spend a lot of time in water are more prone to developing this disorder, especially children and teenagers, you may not necessarily get affected by swimming only. Moisture trapped in the ear after a bath or shower can also cause otitis externa. It can also be caused by any other disorder which can cause a break in the skin of the ear canal, such as dry skin, eczema, vigorous scratching or cleaning of the ear canal with objects like bobby pins, paper clips or other foreign objects. In case someone has middle ear infection, pus can drain into the ear canal through a hole in the eardrum, causing otitis externa.