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Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is inflammation or infection of the ear canal, the passage that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. Any water, sand, or other debris that gets into the ear canal and stays there can cause swimmer's ear. Inserting cotton swabs or other items in the ear to clean it can also cause swimmer's ear.
Swimmer's ear can be very painful. But if you treat the pain and infection with medicines, you should feel better in a few days.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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