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Swimmer's Ear (cont.)

Swimmer's Ear Diagnosis

The doctor can easily make a diagnosis of swimmer's ear after taking a brief history and performing a limited physical examination. Pain produced by gently pulling on the ear as the doctor attempts to examine the ear canal is a likely sign of swimmer's ear.

  • The doctor may look at the ear canal with a lighted scope called an otoscope. With this, the ear canal can be seen to be swollen, red, and sometimes coated with a whitish material called an exudate.
  • The doctor may examine the drainage from the ear under a microscope to determine if bacteria or fungi are causing the infection. This allows the doctor to prescribe either an antibacterial or an antifungal medicine.
  • X-rays and blood tests are rarely needed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/17/2013

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Swimmer's Ear - Causes

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Otitis Externa »

Otitis externa is an inflammation or infection of the external auditory canal and/or auricle.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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