Swimmer's ear

Ear infection - outer ear - acute; Otitis externa - acute; Chronic swimmer's ear; Otitis externa - chronic; Ear infection - outer ear - chronic

Swimmer's ear is inflammation, irritation, or infection of the outer ear and ear canal. The medical term for swimmer's ear is otitis externa.

Swimmer's ear may be acute or chronic.

Ear anatomy

The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the three tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

Medical findings based on ear anatomy

The external structures of the ear may aid in diagnosing some conditions by the presence or absence of normal landmarks and abnormal features including: earlobe creases, preauricular pits, and preauricular tags.

Swimmer's ear

Swimmers ear is an infection of the skin lining the ear canal. Bacteria can enter the skin of the ear canal and cause an infection through a scratch, injury from a foreign object, or if the ear is wet for a prolonged period of time. Swimmerss ear is more common in  pre-school and school-age children. Symptoms include itching and pain in the ear canal, which is often accompanied by a small amount of clear discharge.

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