Swimmer’s Ear or Acute External Otitis is a bacterial infection in the outer ear canal. It is brought on by water that remains in the ear after swimming. The dark, warm, moist canal of the ear makes a perfect spot for bacteria to grow.
Sticking objects into your ear like cotton swabs and fingers can also cause swimmer’s Ear because the objects can damage the fragile skin that lines the ear canal.
Doctors classify symptoms into three categories: Mild, Moderate, or Advanced.
Mild signs and symptoms
- Itching in your ear canal
- Slight redness inside your ear
- Mild discomfort that's made worse by pulling on your outer ear (pinna, or auricle) or pushing on the little "bump" (tragus) in front of your ear
- Some drainage of clear, odorless fluid
- More intense itching
- Increasing pain
- More extensive redness in your ear
- Excessive fluid drainage
- Discharge of pus
- Feeling of fullness inside your ear and partial blockage of your ear canal by swelling, fluid and debris
- Decreased or muffled hearing
- Severe pain that may radiate to your face, neck or side of your head
- Complete blockage of your ear canal
Our Neighborhood Walk-In Clinic is:
- Walk-in friendly
- Open 7 days a week 8am-8pm
- In-network for most Washington insurers
- Open extended hours
- Equipped with X-Ray and Lab on-site
- Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners