Swimmer's Ear - Symptoms

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Describe the symptoms you experienced with swimmer's ear. What were your first symptoms?

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What are the symptoms of swimmer's ear?

The first symptom of infection is that the ear will feel full, and it may itch. Next, the ear canal will swell, and ear drainage will follow. At this stage the ear will be very painful, especially with movement of the outside portion of the ear. The ear canal can swell shut, and the side of the face can become swollen. Finally, the lymph nodes (glands) of the neck may enlarge, making it difficult or painful to open the jaw. People with swimmer's ear may experience some temporary hearing loss in the affected ear.

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Comment from: WaterBaby75, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I am a Pisces and a water lover by nature! I recently moved into a lakefront condo with a beautiful swimming pool, so my husband and children and I all took swims on a regular basis, sometimes as often as three or more times a week. I had only heard of swimmer's ear but had never experienced it firsthand. On a Friday evening at around 6, I noticed my ear beginning to itch. The itching went on throughout the night, and by the next Saturday morning, I woke up with crust around the opening of the ear and it felt full like I had water in it. I used Q-tips to try to clear the "water-in-the-ear" feeling (which I can't stand!), but it didn't help. This went on throughout the day. I woke up Sunday morning at around 2:30 a.m. in excruciating pain. The whole side of my right face was swollen and throbbing in pain. I knew it was the ear, but I also felt pain in my head, face, neck, throat, and jaw. It was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life! I ended up in the ER where they informed me that I had otitis externa (swimmer's ear) and prescribed antibiotic and numbing eardrops. I will never ever swim again without earplugs!

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