Otitis Externa, otherwise known as Swimmer’s Ear is a painful condition which is indicated by redness, inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal.
Swimmers Ear occurs when wax coating diminishes, making water to be trapped in the outer ear canal for a long time and leading to the outer ear being infected by bacteria. It cannot be spread from one person to another.
There are several causes of Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa) which include swimming in contaminated water, improper cleaning of the ears, prolonged exposure to most environments, humid weather, scratches inside the ear canal from using a cotton swab or other objects, heavy perspiration, skin conditions or allergies.
The risk factors include swimming, excessive ear cleaning, use of hearing aids and headphones, cuts in the skin of the ear canal and skin conditions.
The symptoms of Otitis Externa are mild at first but can quickly progress. They are discomfort or pain in the ear, redness of the outer ear, excessive itching of the ear, fever, swollen glands in the neck, fluid drainage from the ear, muffled hearing and swollen ear canal.
Laboratory diagnosis is by microscopic examination and culture of ear swabs to identify the bacteria responsible for the infection. This will aid in proper treatment. Otitis external can be prevented by keeping the ears as dry as possible, avoiding foreign objects from entering the ear and preventing irritants from entering the ear.
Visit MedBioTechLab for laboratory tests to detect bacteria present in the ear.
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