Do you know what external otitis is? Also known as “swimmer’s ear”, it is an infection that affects the outer ear (part of the ear and auditory canal that connects the eardrum – it is the outermost region of the ear, hence the name). To identify and treat the problem, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of external otitis, which is quite common in winter. Thinking about it, the Life Care interviewed physician Ana Jannuzzi, who clarified the signs of this disease and the best forms of treatment. Check it out!
What are the causes of external otitis?
External otitis does not appear in the ear overnight. According to the doctor. Ana, the infection reaches the external region of the ear (part where we can place the cotton swab), because it has greater contact with moisture. She is also popularly known as swimmer’s ear, as it occurs more frequently in athletes and people who practice swimming. In addition, this is the most common type of otitis in babies and children due to the accumulation of water, which ends up favoring the proliferation of fungi and bacteria.
Symptoms of otitis externa (swimmer’s ear)
The main symptoms of external otitis are ear pain, hearing loss and discharge. Know other symptoms of otitis externa that the patient may develop:
- Sensation of blockage in the ear;
- muffled hearing;
- ear itch.
“The main way of prevent otitis is to keep the ear region always dry, drying it gently after swimming in the pool or at the beach. It is also important to avoid using cotton swabs or other types of sharp objects in the ear.” One way to keep the place away from moisture without causing damage is to dry the ear with the towel wrapped around the little finger or pass the cotton swab only on the outside.
Is external otitis more common in winter or summer?
The doctor reveals that otitis in the ear can appear at any time of the year, but there is a specific type for each season: “In fact, external otitis is more common in the summer (given its association with the use of swimming pools with humidity in the ear region). pinna), while otitis media is more common in winter (this one has a lot of association with respiratory infections, by the way)”. However, this does not mean that a person is exempt from developing otitis externa in winter, as many people who swim do not stop practicing the sport even on the coldest days.
The doctor also points out that external otitis is more common in children due to the anatomy of the ear, which is a little more open compared to adults, and risk factors, such as the use of swimming pools and going to the beach. But in addition, there are other causes of otitis in the ear, such as:
- Improper use of cotton swabs;
- skin allergies and eczema;
- skin damage in the ear canal;
- non-ear canal trauma;
- foreign body in the ear canal;
- lack of ear wax.
External otitis: treatment can be done with medications
External otitis may take a few days to pass, but everything will depend on the severity of the infection. Usually, treatment is done with the use of antibiotics or analgesics that help to control the infection and the symptoms of otitis externa, such as earache. In addition, if the doctor deems it necessary, the patient may undergo an ear drainage. This procedure is 100% safe when performed by a professional in the area, in addition to accelerating the improvement of otitis. Ah, a reminder: no using home remedies or prescriptions without a prescription, okay?
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