The occurrence of inflammation in the inner or outer ear due to bacteria or viruses is called an ear infection. Ear canal infection, which increases in the summer months and leads to serious health problems when not treated, is common due to unclean pool water. Any factor that eliminates the protective oily layer covering the external ear canal causes bacteria to enter the skin. This causes an ear infection.
Especially a long stay in the water and cleaning the outer ear with various tools, such as ear sticks, will damage the protective oily layer. Add to this swimming in polluted seas and pools that are not regularly maintained, and an infection in the ear is almost inevitable. Once it occurs, it becomes prone to recurrence.
Ear secretion is produced by glands located in the external ear canal; it protects the ear against certain substances. These substances are; are foreign substances such as dust, bacteria, fungi. In addition, the acidity of the external ear canal prevents harmful organisms from settling in this area. The thinness of the skin in the external ear canal, the dark and humid environment, and the introduction of foreign objects such as ear cotton into the ear canal are among the most important causes of the development of infection.
Symptoms begin with itching in the damp ear. Then symptoms such as pronounced tenderness and severe pain in the ear are observed. Fullness in the ear, hearing loss, and pain formation with touch or jaw movements is observed. In addition to these, redness, and edema (swelling) in the external ear canal are other symptoms that may cause swelling and pain in the lymph nodes around the ear.
Ear infections can be a very painful disease. Therefore, the first goal in the treatment is to control the feeling of pain.
Treatment options are usually as follows:
- Ear drops; antibiotics, and cortisone drops are used to remove edema. In addition, acidic ones are preferred to make the external ear canal acidic.
- Ear cushion applications; If the edema (swelling) in the external ear canal is excessive, this application is performed to facilitate the drug applications in the form of drops. At the same time, small ear tampons can be applied to ensure that the infection is evacuated. The time of the inserted ear cushions inside is between 48 and 72 hours.
- Use of systemic antibiotics; This treatment is applied especially if swelling is observed in the lymph nodes around the ear. If the infection is spreading, the use of systemic (affecting the whole body) antibiotics may be preferred.