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Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Swimmer's Ear?

The symptoms of swimmer's ear include:

  • Itching inside the ear
  • Watery discharge from the ear
  • Severe pain and tenderness in the ear, especially when moving your head or when gently pulling on the earlobe
  • A foul-smelling, yellowish discharge from the ear
  • Temporarily muffled hearing (caused by blockage of the ear canal)

Recommended Related to Ear Infection

Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- the Basics

Known to medical professionals as otitis externa, swimmer's ear is an inflammation of the ear canal. Its common name comes from the fact that it often occurs in children and young adults who swim frequently. However, any cause of dampness in the canal can lead to irritation and chafing, very similar to diaper rash in babies. An inflammation of the skin can sometimes lead to an infection that can be very painful. Despite its name, you don't have to be a swimmer to get swimmer's ear. It can...

Read the Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- the Basics article > >

Call Your About Doctor Swimmer's Ear if:

  • You are experiencing any of the symptoms of an ear infection.
  • You are experiencing dizziness or ringing in the ears (tinnitus); such symptoms may indicate a more serious problem that needs medical attention.
  • You have severe pain; your doctor can provide medications to relieve it.
  • You also notice a rash on your scalp or near your ear; you may have seborrheic dermatitis, for which your doctor can provide treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 11, 2015

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