Swimmers Ear, or Otitis Externa, is a condition often seen as people return from summer holidays abroad. It tends to occur due to infection picked up during swimming in a pool or the sea. It leads to pain, which can be severe, together with a discharge from the ear (otorrhoea), and reduced hearing. The ear canal can become quite swollen, leading to further pain and difficulty in administering eardrops.
The first step in treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis. This is usually 80% from the history and the other 20% from examining the ear. It may be necessary to remove debris from the ear. This is best done by using something called microsuction. This involves the ENT Consultant looking down a microscope whilst applying a very small suction tube to the ear canal. This is the safest, and most comfortable way to clean the ear.
Depending upon the degree of infection present, and the type of bacteria or fungus causing it, a type of eardrop or earspray is then prescribed.
It is important to use the treatment for as long as it is prescribed and to keep the affected ear completely dry during treatment. If hearing has been affected this usually improves as the swelling in the ear canal resolves.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Mr Banerjee to look into this condition further please contact us.