If, after frequent bathing and diving, you have problems with itching and irritation in the ear, it can be ear canal inflammation – external otitis. This is a harmless but often troublesome external ear canal disease. There is help to obtain and preventative alternatives.
Itchy ear canals that turn into pain and fluid from the ear are a scourge for many people, not least swimmers and divers. It is therefore sometimes called “swimming tube”, but is actually called external otitis and is an inflammation of the external ear canal – ear canal inflammation/eczema. It occurs in both children and adults and is most common during the bathing season.
Sour environment in the ear
The reason is that water and moisture interfere with the ear’s naturally acidic environment and the production of ear wax, with its protective properties. This then provides a good breeding ground for the growth of bacteria and fungi. Also, excessive showering with soap and shampoo, ear piercing and eczema, can cause inflammation of the ear canal.
Ear pain may be the only sign, but other symptoms are itching, irritation, pain, swelling and hearing loss. It hurts when you press the little skin flap, tragus, outside the ear canal. Sometimes there is fluid from the ear as well. In case of pronounced complaints, tenderness around the ear and hearing loss, consult a doctor.
Cleaning with ear suction or flushing
The most important treatment for external otitis is that the doctor cleans the ear canal with ear suction or gentle rinse. The patient is given information about not piercing the ears and applying the water vessel. Grease is recommended for showers for at least two months. The ear must not be clogged and therefore use any hearing aid as little as possible.
Prescriptions are given cortisone drops which in some cases also contain antibiotics. These preparations are not usually given as a preventative. Now there is also Otinova, which acts as a local bactericidal agent and also has a dehydrating and debilitating effect, but without antibiotics and cortisone. This can be used preventively in periods of frequent contact with water and/or moist environment, but also as treatment. Otinova has a pump on the bottle that provides an aerosol (mist) of the medicine, which can make it easier to get the drug into the ear canal in a reasonable amount.
Tips & Advice for Preventing and Relieving Initial Ear Inflammation:
- Don’t poke your ear.
- No water in the ear (use earplugs/grease).
- Avoid soap and shampoo.
- Use ear drops as needed (primarily ear drops without antibiotics).
- Avoid wax plugs.
- In case of pronounced complaints, tenderness around the ear and hearing loss, consult a doctor.