Swimmer’s ear, also known as “Otitis Externa”, is a bacterial infection of the outer ear canal. It is mainly caused by prolonged contact with water in the ear.
Swimmer’s ear is very common in children who spend a lot of time swimming in water. It is caused by excessive moisture and humidity irritating the skin in the ear canal, creating the perfect environment that allows bacteria and fungi to enter.
Your child does not need to swim in order to get swimmer’s ear. It can also be caused by dry skin or eczema, and scratching of the ear canal. Anything that causes an opening of the skin in the ear canal that would allow germs to enter can cause swimmer’s ear.
Symptoms of swimmer’s ear are usually mild at first, then progressively get worse if left untreated. Signs and symptoms can include itching, redness, fever, drainage, and pain (refer to chart for full list).