PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What are complications of swimmer's ear?

ANSWER

Most of the time, swimmer's ear starts to feel better within 2 days of starting treatment. But sometimes, it can get worse or lead to other problems, such as:

Treatment for these infections include more powerful antibiotics, either by mouth or through a needle (IV).

  • Long-term swimmer's ear (chronic otitis externa). This is when swimmer's ear doesn't go away within 3 months. It can happen if you have hard-to-treat bacteria, fungus, allergies, or skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Your doctor may need to test a sample of any fluid in your ear to help you decide on the best treatment.
  • Other infections. Sometimes, the bacteria can spread deeper into your skin or to other parts of your body. One rare condition is malignant otitis externa, which happens when the infection moves into bone and cartilage in your head. It's a medical emergency, and it's most common in older people with diabetes and people with HIV or other immune system problems.

From: What Is Swimmer's Ear? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

UpToDate: "Outer Ear Infection (The Basics)," "External Otitis (Including Swimmer's Ear) (Beyond the Basics)," "External Otitis: Pathogenesis, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis," "External Otitis: Treatment," "Malignant (Necrotizing) External Otitis."

American Family Physician: "Acute Otitis Externa: An Update."

Mayo Clinic: "Swimmer's Ear."

CDC: "Facts About 'Swimmer's Ear."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Swimmer's Ear."

American Academy of Otolaryngology: "Swimmer's Ear."

Cleveland Clinic: "Otitis Externa (Swimmer's Ear)."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2019

SOURCES:

UpToDate: "Outer Ear Infection (The Basics)," "External Otitis (Including Swimmer's Ear) (Beyond the Basics)," "External Otitis: Pathogenesis, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis," "External Otitis: Treatment," "Malignant (Necrotizing) External Otitis."

American Family Physician: "Acute Otitis Externa: An Update."

Mayo Clinic: "Swimmer's Ear."

CDC: "Facts About 'Swimmer's Ear."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Swimmer's Ear."

American Academy of Otolaryngology: "Swimmer's Ear."

Cleveland Clinic: "Otitis Externa (Swimmer's Ear)."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What is swimmer's ear?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.