What Can Cause Swimmer's Ear?

Last Editorial Review: 8/24/2017

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What causes swimmer's ear infection?

Doctor's response

Acute external otitis is commonly a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, or Pseudomonas types of bacteria. Swimmer's ear infection usually is caused by excessive water exposure from swimming, diving, surfing, kayaking, or other water sports. When water collects in the ear canal (frequently trapped by wax), the skin can become soggy and serve as an inviting area for bacteria to grow.

Cuts or abrasions in the lining of the ear canal (for example, from cotton swab injury) also can predispose to bacterial infection of the ear canal.

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References
"External otitis: Treatment"
UpToDate.com
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