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Tips to Prevent Otitis Externa

Eusebi Matiñó Soler
Otorhinolaryngology consultations, specialist in vertigo disorders, vestibular tests
28 Jun 2024
2 Min
Health tips

Definition and Causes

Otitis Externa is an infection of the skin of the external auditory canal, typically caused by bacterial infection.

With the arrival of warmer weather, there is often an increase in cases of otitis externa (or swimmer’s ear) due to swimming in pools or the sea. Moisture and heat promote the growth of bacteria and fungi in the auditory canal.


The symptoms of Otitis Externa include:

• Ear pain and discomfort when pulling on the outer ear.
• Slight redness inside the ear.
• Itching in the ear or auditory canal.
• Ear discharge, yellow or yellow-green in color.
• In more severe cases, hearing loss.


To diagnose Otitis Externa, an interview about the patient’s symptoms and medical history is necessary, along with a physical examination. An otolaryngologist may perform an otoscopy to check if the auditory canal is red and inflamed and confirm the diagnosis.
A differential diagnosis with Acute Otitis Media and Otitis Externa (among other more serious conditions) must be made, as the prognosis and treatment may differ.


To prevent Otitis Externa, it is advisable to follow these tips:

1- Keep the ears dry, especially the outer part of the ear and the entrance to the canal. Dry them after swimming.

2- Avoid manipulating the ears. Using cotton swabs to remove earwax from the auditory canal can increase the risk of infections in the outer ear.

3- Avoid prolonged submersion to minimize water entering the ears. Use earplugs or swim caps for those prone to infections.

4- Do not use earplugs outside the pool unless absolutely necessary. Earplugs can damage the skin of the auditory canal and prevent ventilation and cleaning of the ear, which can facilitate infections.

5- Avoid swimming in contaminated or dirty waters, such as polluted lakes or ponds. Chlorinated pool water can also cause otitis as it alters the pH of the skin in the ear canal and facilitates infections.

6- If you tend to form earwax plugs, see an otolaryngologist before summer for a cleaning. Earwax plugs can facilitate infections if they have affected the skin of the auditory canals, making them more susceptible to infections.


If you experience any discomfort or symptoms of an auditory canal infection, it is always advisable to see an otorhinolaryngology. The Otorhinolaryngology specialists at CreuBlanca will evaluate your case and, after making a diagnosis, provide a personalized treatment plan for you.

Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.


Health tips
Otitis Externa