Quick Answer: Can swimmer’s ear be serious?

When should I be worried about swimmer’s ear?

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor if you have even mild signs or symptoms of swimmer’s ear. Call your doctor immediately or visit the emergency room if you have: Severe pain. Fever.

What happens if swimmer’s ear goes untreated?

Without treatment, infections can continue to occur or persist. Bone and cartilage damage (malignant otitis externa) are also possible due to untreated swimmer’s ear. If left untreated, ear infections can spread to the base of your skull, brain, or cranial nerves.

How bad can swimmer’s ear get?

“Swimmer’s ear is rarely serious, but the infection can become severe if it spreads to other areas around the ear, such as the skull,” says Dr. Paula Barry, physician at Penn Family and Internal Medicine Longwood. The good news: It is usually treatable with topical antibiotics.

Can your eardrum burst from swimmer’s ear?

It needs to be treated with antibiotics. Ruptured or perforated eardrums can also be a complication of outer ear infections caused by items inserted into the ear. This can be extremely painful. Symptoms include temporary hearing loss, ringing or buzzing in the ears, discharge, and bleeding from the ear.

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Should I go to the ER for swimmer’s ear?

Call your doctor if you are having any signs of swimmer’s ear. You should call even if your signs are mild. If you have severe pain or a fever, you should go to the emergency room. If swimmer’s ear goes untreated, you can have serious problems.

Why is swimmer’s ear so painful?

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is a painful inflammation and infection of the ear canal. It occurs when the protective film that covers the ear canal (lipid layer) is removed. This causes the ear canal to look red and swollen.

Will swimmers ear heal itself?

Will it go away by itself? In mild cases, swimmer’s ear can resolve on its own. But because of the discomfort, most patients will seek care as the treatments are very effective at decreasing the symptoms.

Can swimmer’s ear be cured?

Swimmer’s ear is usually treated with antibiotics, either in the form of pills or ear drops. A homemade cure can be mixed from a solution of half rubbing alcohol and half vinegar.

How do you know if an ear infection has spread to the brain?

The deadliest complication of otitis media is a brain abscess, an accumulation of pus in the brain due to an infection. The most common symptoms are headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, neurologic deficits and altered consciousness.

How do you sleep with swimmers ear?

Rest with your head on two or more pillows, so the affected ear is higher than the rest of your body. Or if the left ear has an infection, sleep on your right side.

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Can an ear infection spread to the jaw?

Otitis externa is a common ear infection also known as swimmer’s ear. It develops in the ear canal leading to the eardrum. In some cases, otitis externa can spread to surrounding tissue, including the bones of the jaw and face.

Does swimmer’s ear get worse before it gets better?

Most of the time, swimmer’s ear starts to feel better within 2 days of starting treatment. But sometimes, it can get worse or lead to other problems, such as: Long-term swimmer’s ear (chronic otitis externa). This is when swimmer’s ear doesn’t go away within 3 months.

How do you know if your eardrum is damaged?

Signs and symptoms of a ruptured eardrum may include: Ear pain that may subside quickly. Mucuslike, pus-filled or bloody drainage from your ear. Hearing loss.

How long does it take to get over swimmers ear?

With proper treatment from a healthcare provider, swimmer’s ear often clears up in 7 to 10 days. Treatment may include: Taking ear drops to kill bacteria (antibiotic ear drops) Taking ear drops to help reduce swelling (corticosteroid ear drops)