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Ear infections occur both in the outer ear and inner ear. Otitis externa is an ear inflammation that affects the ear canal’s skin lining.

Often, outer-ear infections are the result of a combination of different factors. Usually, there has been some skin trauma, and, additionally, there is a bacterial or fungal infection.

Otitis external can also be linked to skin conditions (such as dermatitis or eczema); with these conditions, your skin is more susceptible to infection.

IPSA Medical: Treating Outer-Ear Infections

Contact your IPSA Medical clinic for your appointment with our resident GP. IPSA Medical’s experienced doctors offer immediate treatment to relieve any distressing symptoms such as pressure and ear pain.

IPSA Medical patients are seen in clean and quiet settings. The environment is confidential.  Your IPSA Medical doctor offers immediate appointments; these are at a time that suits you. Your doctor always takes your symptoms seriously.

During your consultation, you will receive a full examination. This includes an inspection of the ear canal in order to rule out any serious causes for the symptoms you are experiencing.

Treatments that might be recommended to clear the infection include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Steroid sprays
  • Immunity boosters
  • Analgesia
  • Antibiotic creams

IPSA Medical also provides medical sick notes, if required.

IPSA Medical aims to give you total peace of mind alongside full accessibility to our doctors if you require the service after you have had your consultation.

If you have questions or worries after going home with your treatment, IPSA Medical provides easy access to our doctors over the phone.

Symptoms of Outer-Ear Infection

  • An outer-ear infection usually begins with an itchy ear.
  • There is often discharge from the ear.
  • There is pain in your ear (this worsens if you pull or push you ear lobe or if you move your jaw).
  • Any inflamed skin swells and the ear canal can partially close up.
  • Sometimes, if severe, your hearing can be reduced.

How to Avoid Otitis Externa

Outer-ear infections have a range of causes. An infection can start following irritation caused by a foreign object:

  • Cotton buds
  • Earplugs being left in the ear for some time
  • Hair products (such as hair spray or colouring)

You might develop an outer-ear infection if you are especially vulnerable through having diabetes or some other diseases. Otitis externa can also develop due to skin conditions and skin allergies.

You can take steps to limit the infection risk:

  • Cotton buds should never be used to clean your ears with.
  • Avoid water getting in your ears (use cotton wool coated in petroleum jelly to plug your ears with in the shower).
  • Do not swim in dirty water.

If you have previously had otitis externa and you believe the symptoms may be returning, then restarting any treatment early is advisable.

Very rarely, these types of ear infection may become chronic when the inflammation causes the ear canal to become so narrow that it is difficult to treat. However, with the appropriate treatment option, it usually resolves fairly quickly.

If you do suspect an outer-ear infection, then contact IPSA Medical to get an immediate appointment.

Alternatively, you can book a same-day appointment online with one of our experienced IPSA Medical doctors.

Request a call back

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