Otitis externa is the inflammation of the skin of the ear canal.

Causes of Otitis Externa

  • During swimming, water can get into the ear cannel and cause infection.

  • Ear picking with cotton wool bud may cause trauma to the ear canal and may result in infection.

  • Abuse of the antibiotic ear drop result in the extinguishing of normal flora in the external ear, leading to fungal otitis externa.

  • Immunocompromised patient, such as diabetes, are more prone to otitis externa.

  • The inflammation of the skin of ear canal may be secondary to eczema.

Treatment for Otitis Externa

To prevent otitis externa, we should keep our ear dry. Avoid swimming in polluted water. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal. The use of cotton buds or swabs is the most common event leading to acute otitis externa.

Consult an ENT doctor when you get otitis externa. Ear cleaning under microscope will be performed to remove dirt, wax and discharge from the ear canal. Antibiotic ear drop (or antifungal ear drop in case of fungal infection) will be prescribed.

For recurrent infection, investigation including blood test for diabetes will be conducted.

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