How Long Does it Take to Cure Swimmer's Ear?

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

How long does it take to cure swimmer's ear?

Doctor's response

Swimmer's ear is a local infection of the ear canal of the outer ear. Swimmer's ear is also known as otitis externa. Swimmer's ear is caused by infection of the ear canal from bacteria. Swimmer's ear typically resolves within two weeks in response to local ear drop medication. Infrequently, swimmer's ear can become complicated by extensive skin infection of the ear (cellulitis) or with the development of chronic outer ear infection (by an unusual bacteria or fungus, or allergic reaction to the antibiotic drops).

For more information, read our full medical article on swimmer's ear signs, symptoms, and treatment.


"External otitis: Treatment"

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Reviewed on 10/16/2017