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Swimmer's Ear (cont.)

What are the symptoms of swimmer's ear?

Early symptoms of swimmer's ear

  • The most common symptom of swimmer's ear is ear pain or earache. Pain gradually begins over a day or two. The ear pain almost always involves only one ear. The pain is especially intense when the ear is touched or pulled, or when chewing.
  • The ear canal may itch.
  • The outer ear may be red.
  • In severe cases the ear canal may be swollen shut.
  • The ear may drain fluid or pus. This drainage may be clear, white, yellow, or sometimes bloody and foul smelling. Some fluid may crust at the opening of the ear canal.
  • With severe swelling or drainage, the person may have trouble hearing.
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and dizziness or spinning sensation (vertigo) may also be present.
  • Fever is generally not present. If there is a fever, it is not usually high.

Other symptoms of swimmer's ear include:

  • A feeling of fullness in the ear.
  • In severe cases, pain that extends to the side of the face or neck.
  • Swollen lymph nodes if infection is present.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/7/2015

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