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Getting recurring otitis externa. Is there any permanent treatment?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6714 Questions
hi, i am a 39 year old female. for the last couple of years i have been getting recurring otitis externa, and i have it again at the moment. my doctor has prescribed Sofradex. i do not swim and have been so careful in not letting water get in my ears in the shower etc, so this is really frustrating. the worst side effect is my ears feel so heavy, like there is a pressure constantly weighing down on them, and its a sickening feeling. IS there anything that can be done medically to stop me getting this infection anymore?
Posted Sat, 19 Jan 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 7 hours later
Thanks for the query.
Although known as swimmer' ear,this condition may occur in spite of person not swimming or not letting water seep in your ear,as in you.
Inflammation of the skin of ear canal is the main cause or this condition and it can be brought about by
Local skin conditions like atopic or seborrhic dermatitis
Constant scratching of ear canal by ear buds or by your nails or keys etc
Use of poorly fitting ear plugs
Constriction of ear canal by some bony growth inside called as SURFER's EAR can trap water and debris inside the ear canal
A fungal infection may be co existing with the bacterial infection and getting flared up by persistent use of steroid ear drops
What to do
Avoid swimming and take care that water doesn't seep in
Avoid inserting any thing inside
You may use a OTC product called as BUROW's solution locally
Avoid using ear plugs and if they are to be used,they must be either disposable or properly cleaned ones.
Control diabetes,if it is there
Get the culture of ear drainage done to know the exact causative bacterial or fungal or both infections and then taking the medications accordingly.

I hope it helps however you may revert to me or any further query.
Best of luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting recurring otitis externa. Is there any permanent treatment? 9 hours later
thank you for your reply. At the moment, as well as the otitis, i have a sore jaw and the back of my head is also sore, behind the ears. I've never had these symptoms before. are these usual symptoms of otitis, or are they a sign of something else?
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 4 hours later
It could be because of local lymph nodes swelling behind ear or in throat or may be due to some other reason.
Very difficult to attribute thee symptoms to any particular thing.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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