How is it treated?

If it is a minor infection, a visit to your GP and the prescription of ear drops alone may clear it fairly quickly. However, it is suggested to keep water out of the ear, especially when using shampoo for hair washing. Do not use cotton buds.

Antibiotic and steroid eardrops (usually combined in the one product) should be used three times per day and at least 5 - 6 drops each time. It is pointless to install eardrops into an ear canal filled with debris, as the medication will not be effective unless it makes direct contact with the skin. It is also advisable to visit your doctor after using the medication for seven days to ensure the infection is resolving. If the infection has worsened, an ear swab is advised, as certain bacteria and fungi may be isolated from a swab and appropriate eardrops prescribed.

If there is a large amount of debris, the ear canal is best cleaned by suction under direct vision with a microscope. Ask your doctor for an immediate referral an Ear Clinic . This ear cleaning is usually carried out on a regular basis until the infection has cleared. It is important to keep the ear clean and dry.

Ear syringing can result in worsening of the condition as water encourages  bacteria to grow. The most common cause of failed treatment is getting the ear wet. The entire sequence of events of Otitis Externa can easily be prevented if one uses antiseptic eardrops whenever water is thought to be trapped in the ear, e.g. Vosol or White vinegar and water.