Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Underlying Cause Anatomy

Swollen Ear Canal Overview

What is a swollen ear canal?
A person with a swollen ear canal has inflammation of the ear canal. The most common cause of a swollen ear canal is an infection, called otitis externa.

What are the symptoms of a swollen ear canal?
Symptoms that occur with a swollen ear canal include ear pain, ear discharge, and decreased hearing.

How does the doctor treat a swollen ear canal?
Treatment for a swollen ear canal depends on the cause. Treatment may include rinsing the ear canal, removal of ear wax, antibiotic drops, corticosteroid drops, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Swollen Ear Canal Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swollen Ear Canal References
  1. Bhandary S, Karki P, Sinha BK. Malignant otitis externa: a review. Pac Health Dialog. 2002 Mar;9(1):64-7. [12737420]
  2. McCoy SI, Zell ER, Besser RE. Antimicrobial prescribing for otitis externa in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2):181-3. [14872192]
  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. [15324520]
  4. 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. [14630756]
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