Physical Health

Ear Canal Infections (Otitis Externa)


An ear canal infection, also known as external otitis or swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the ear canal, which is the tube that connects the outside of the ear to the eardrum. There are two main types of ear canal infections: acute and chronic. Acute ear canal infections are more common and usually clear up quickly, while chronic ear canal infections can last for a longer period of time.


Causes of ear canal infections include water that stays in the ear after swimming, which can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria or fungus, and injury to the ear canal, such as from using cotton swabs or ear plugs. Symptoms can include ear pain, itching, redness, and swelling of the ear canal, and sometimes drainage from the ear.

Diagnosis of an ear canal infection is typically made by a doctor during an examination of the ear. Treatment options include ear drops or ointments, which can help to clear up the infection, as well as pain relievers to help with pain and discomfort. In some cases, ear canal infections will clear up on their own without treatment.


To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.


To learn more about ear canal infections, please click on


Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych

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