Swimmer's ear, also known as otitis externa, is a common ear infection caused by trapped water in the ear. As its name suggests, it can happen to swimmers and divers, as they often spend time with their head underwater. But trapped water can also happen when having a bath or shower, it's even been known to happen due to humid weather. Water left within the ear creates the perfect condition for bacteria to thrive in.


What are the symptoms of Swimmer’s ears?

The symptoms of Swimmer's ear are usually mild at first, but they can worsen if your infection isn't treated or spreads. Signs of Swimmer's ear include:

  • Itchiness within the ear
  • Redness inside the ear
  • Swelling in the ear canal or outer ear
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Discharge
  • Discomfort or pain while you're eating - or moving your jaw in general
  • Muffled hearing in the affected ear

Symptoms often start quite mild and may become severe over time.


How do I get help?

If you think you may have an ear infection, contact your GP as soon as possible. They'll likely prescribe ear drops to fight the infection. It's important to get help sooner rather than later, to prevent your infection getting worse and causing more pain and discomfort. You can also book an appointment and see one of our experienced Hearing Aid Audiologists.

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If you have noticed any changes in your hearing quality or clarity, no matter how slight they may seem, visit your local M&S Opticians for your free hearing health check.


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