Ear Canal Infection Treatment
Treatment for otitis externa usually includes ear wax removal, ear canal irrigation, and antibiotic ear drops, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Some may require the addition of oral antibiotics.
Treatment options for otitis externa include:
- Earwax removal
- Ear canal irrigation:
- Rinsing the ear canal
- Acetic acid solution (VoSol)
- Insertion of an antibiotic-soaked ear wick if ear canal swelling is severe
- Antibiotic ear drops for otitis externa
- Neomycin, polymyxin B, and hydrocortisone (Cortisporin Otic)
- Ofloxacin (Floxin Otic)
- Ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan, Cipro HC Otic)
- Ciprofloxacin-dexamethasone otic (Ciprodex otic suspension)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
Ear Canal Infection Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of otitis externa.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for otitis externa?
- Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?
Ear Canal Infection Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat otitis externa:
Continue to Ear Canal Infection Home Care
- Bhandary S, Karki P, Sinha BK. Malignant otitis externa: a review. Pac Health Dialog. 2002 Mar;9(1):64-7. 
- McCoy SI, Zell ER, Besser RE. Antimicrobial prescribing for otitis externa in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2):181-3. 
- Roland PS, Pien FD, Schultz CC, et al; Ciprodex Otic AOE Study Group. Efficacy and safety of topical ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone versus neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone for otitis externa. Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 Aug;20(8):1175-83. 
- van Balen FA, Smit WM, Zuithoff NP, Verheij TJ. Clinical efficacy of three common treatments in acute otitis externa in primary care: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2003 Nov 22;327(7425):1201-5.