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Otitis externa (swimmer's ear)

Also known as Swimmer's ear

Otitis externa (also known as "External otitis" and "Swimmer's ear") is an inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. Along with otitis media, external otitis is one of the two human conditions commonly called "earache". It also occurs in many other species. Inflammation of the skin of the ear canal is the essence of this disorder. The inflammation can be secondary to dermatitis (eczema) only, with no microbial infection, or it can be caused by active bacterial or fungal infection. In either case, but more often with infection, the ear canal skin swells and may become painful or tender to touch.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with otitis externa (swimmer's ear), 94% report having ear pain, 38% report having fluid in ear, and 36% report having redness in ear. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of otitis externa (swimmer's ear) are ear pain, fluid in ear, redness in ear, plugged feeling in ear, diminished hearing, itchy ear(s), and bleeding from ear, although you may still have otitis externa (swimmer's ear) without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with otitis externa (swimmer's ear) often receive other diagnostic procedures (interview; evaluation; consultation), other therapeutic ear procedures, ophthalmologic and otologic diagnosis and treatment, culture wound, incision and drainage, nonoperative removal of foreign body, diagnostic procedures on ear and diagnostic endocrine procedures .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with otitis externa (swimmer's ear) include ofloxacin, neomycin (septa), carbamide peroxide otic, acetic acid topical, fluocinolone otic, chloroxylenol/hydrocortisone/pramoxine otic, m-cresyl acetate otic, colistin/hc/neomycin/thonzonium otic, dicloxacillin, ciprofloxacin-hydrocortisone otic, hydrocortisone/neomycin/polymyxin b topical, acetic acid and antipyrine .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for otitis externa (swimmer's ear) include age 5-14 years.

Age

< 1 years
0.6x
1-4 years
1.3x
5-14 years
2.7x
15-29 years
1.1x
30-44 years
1.0x
45-59 years
0.8x
60-74 years
0.5x
75+ years
0.5x

Sex

Male
1.1x
Female
0.9x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.7x
Hispanic
1.0x
White
1.1x
Other
1.0x
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