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Why do people get swimmer's ear?

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Most of the time, your ear fights off the germs that cause swimmer's ear on its own. You can thank your earwax for that. While it doesn't get much respect, earwax helps protect the ear canal from damage and makes it hard for germs to grow.

If the skin gets scratched, though, germs can get into your ear canal and cause an infection.

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

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How can sticking stuff in your ear cause swimmer's ear?

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