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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)

 

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Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- Treatment

Swimmer's ear is usually not a dangerous condition and often clears up within a few days after starting treatment. However, if untreated, it can become extremely and surprisingly painful. In rare cases, especially in diabetes patients or anyone with problems with their immune system, the infection may be more difficult to treat and can spread and damage underlying bones and cartilage, requiring hospitalization. Your doctor may gently clean your ear with a cotton-tipped probe or a suction device...

Read the Understanding Swimmer's Ear -- Treatment 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 Daniel Brennan, MD on March 12, 2014

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