Otitis Externa or swimmers ear is the inflammation of the skin of the external ear channel. Unilateral or bilateral, it can happen to all age groups.
It is characterized by intense pain in the ear that sometimes spreads to the jaw and neck. The skin of the canal and sometimes the ear shell is swollen, hyperemic and warm, and often there’s a leak from the ear or itching. There is an acute pain because the skin of the external ear canal is directly attached to the bone, there is no subcutaneous tissue, and the periosteum is directly attacked, which is a cause of severe pain. Sometimes it is accompanied by increased pain on the touch, lymphatic glands around the ear and neck.
Causes Of Swimmers Ear are Bacterias
The causative agents of this disease are usually bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, D and G streptococcus groups, gram-negative bacteria, Pseudomonas Aeuriginosa, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, anaerobic bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some of these bacteria are natural skin inhabitants who under special conditions such as a change in acidity of the skin, trauma, a fall in immunity become pathogenic and cause infection. Some bacteria, directly from the water in which we are bathing, enter into the shell and create inflammation.
Factors That Bring the Risk Include Moisture, Skin Conditions or Sticks and Headphones
The predisposing factors for the emergence of this disease are repetitive wetting, lack of cerumen or ear fat, high humidity, water retention in the UV, a local trauma of the skin caused by excessive cleaning using sticks, hearing instruments or headphones as well as changing ph skin. Previous skin conditions or joint diseases such as eczema dermatitis, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, diabetes, leukopenia, malnutrition, are also factors that precede otitis externe. Bathing, wetting, increases the risk of this disease because water makes the skin very dry. Such skin is more accessible to crack, a natural barrier that prevents the passage of bacteria is reduced, and in the ointment a suitable environment for the growth and development of microorganisms from the skin, as well as those in the ear getting from dirty waters.
It’s Important to Know:
- Do not use sticks – they are never a smart choice – you’ll just push the wax deeper into the ear and cause even more problems.
- Do not ignore even the slightest pain – ignoring the pain will not disappear, it will happen exactly the opposite, it will become unbearable.
- Shake your ears after swimming – it does not matter what looks silly, nothing that will keep you healthy is silly. And by jumping, you may lose some calories.
- And old gold rule: “It’s better to stop than to treat.”