Help for Swimmer’s Ear

Whether it is during gym class or in an after-school program, swimming can be a fun form of exercise. While kids are working on their form, they also need to watch out for “swimmer’s ear.” Dr. Diane Heatley, a UW Health otolaryngologist, explains what swimmer’s ear is, and how it can be treated.

Swimmer’s ear, or “otitis externa”, is a bacterial or fungal infection of the skin of the ear canal.

The ear canal is the skin-lined opening from the side of the head that ends at the ear drum. The skin of the ear canal includes specialized glands that produce cerumen, or ear wax. Ear wax provides some protection to the ear canal skin against infections.

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