Otitis Externa (Swimmer's Ear) | Overview

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What is swimmer's ear?

Swimmer's ear (also called otitis externa) is a type of ear infection that involves the ear canal. Because the canal is dark and warm, it can easily get infected with bacteria and fungus. Swimmer's ear is different from the kind of infection you get in the middle ear that causes a bulging painful eardrum. That kind of infection is called otitis media.

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Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/16
Created: 01/99

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