Swollen Ear Canal Common Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Swollen Ear Canal Common Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

What Could Make Your Ear Canal Swell Closed?

To sum up

In their lifetimes, 10% of people will experience an enlarged ear canal, which is a frequent condition. A bacterial infection is the most frequent cause, although there are a few other possible reasons as well.

We’ll examine the potential causes of ear canal swelling in this post, as well as remedies for the disease.

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What could result in ear canal swelling?

The most frequent reason for an ear canal swelling shut is a bacterial infection known as a swimmer’s ear, though there are other possible causes as well.

Aquatic ear

A bacterial infection of your auditory canal is known as a swimmer’s ear. This is the path that connects your ears outside to your eardrum. Your external ear may occasionally be affected by a swimmer’s ear. Otitis externa is the medical word for a swimmer’s ear.

A 2011 study from the CDC projected that swimmers’ ears caused 2.4 million trusted Source medical visits annually. Although it can happen at any age, it most frequently affects children between the ages of 7 and 14.

According to a 2015 study, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus are the most frequent bacteria that cause this infection.

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When moisture is trapped within your ear, a perfect environment for germs to proliferate, a swimmer’s ear may develop.

Swimmer’s ear is more likely to occur if you:

swimming regularly, residing in a humid environment and having small ear canals

use earbud earphones when wearing a hearing aid

possess ear trauma

Additional root causes

  • Other possible reasons for an enlarged ear canal include the following:
  • an injury to the ear canal. Small scratches and wounds in your ear canal can become infected by bacteria.
  • bacterial infections. Fungi like Candida or Aspergillus may overgrow in your ear in extremely uncommon circumstances. Additionally, fungus infections might develop during extended antibiotic treatment.
  • ear injury. An ear blow could result in swelling and irritation. Sports-related injuries, auto accidents, and assaults are a few probable reasons.
  • Something foreign is in your ear.
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What signs are present?

Other signs of a swimmer’s ear might also include ear canal swelling, such as:

Redness or a color difference

heat in the affected ear causes hearing loss, fluid discharge, itching, pus, fever, and pain when you pull on the affected ear.

The level of pain associated with a swimmer’s ear can vary depending on the infection’s severity.

Similar symptoms may result from additional ear canal edoema factors. However, if a direct injury is a reason, you probably won’t experience fever or pus unless an infection later sets in.

When to seek medical attention

You might want to hold off on calling a doctor for a few days if you have a large ear canal, slight pain, and no other symptoms. A minor ear infection may occasionally go away on its own in a few days.

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However, it’s crucial to follow up with a medical expert if

The agony increases

You get a fever, you observe discharge coming from your ear, the discomfort and swelling don’t go away after one to two days, and you have trouble hearing.

How is an ear canal enlarged treated?

An ear infection may occasionally, especially in minor infections, recover on its own without any extra care.

The most typical therapy for a bacterial infection includes antibiotic ear drops and painkillers. Oral antibiotics are beneficial, according to a 2015 study of the literatureTrusted Source.

The following are some of the most typical antibiotics used to treat swimmer’s ear:

  • A combination of 3 drops of ciprofloxacin with hydrocortisone twice a day and a total of 3 to 4 drops of Polymyxin B, neomycin, and hydrocortisone four times each day.
  • If you have a fungus infection, your doctor will probably recommend antifungal drops.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are frequently beneficial for treating mild to moderate pain.

Decongestants and antihistamines may be used to treat allergy symptoms.

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Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are frequently beneficial for treating mild to moderate pain.

Decongestants and antihistamines may be used to treat allergy symptoms.

What can you do to stop an ear canal from swelling?

It’s a good idea to take care to prevent getting germs or moisture in your ears to prevent infection and swelling in your ear canal. The actions listed below can help you achieve this.

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  • When swimming, use earplugs or a cap that fits snugly over your ears to keep water out.
  • Avoid swimming in bacterially dense lakes or ponds.
  • After swimming, bend your head back and gently pull on your earlobe to remove the water. A hairdryer can also be utilized.
  • Using a fresh towel, dry your ears after swimming or taking a shower.
  • After swimming, use ear drops to dry them out. These drops shouldn’t be used by those who have ear tubes, a perforated eardrum, ear drainage, or a swimmer’s ear.
  • Keep your ear canal free of items like cotton swabs, fingers, and other objects.
  • Keep hearing aids and earphones clean.
  • Do not clean out your ear canal of earwax.
  • Avoid any spas or pools that don’t seem to follow proper cleaning procedures.