Otitis externa is an infection of the skin of the ear canal often especially during the summer and affects both sexes equally. Its incidence usually occurs more in children, but not due to age but they are more moments to soak adults.
Otitis externa in summer
Commonly, otitis externa is called "swimmer's ear" or "otitis pool" in fact is an infection that occurs during the change of conditions in the external auditory canal. During the summer there is the presence of more moisture and is more in contact with water by showers, the pool or the sea or simply sweating. This situation causes the ear canal is very conducive to bacterial or fungal development environment (it is 36 Cº, with skin debris, wax and moisture). In addition, specialists in Otolaryngology certain agents that contribute to this infection as the presence of wax, skin problems (eczema, psoriasis) or handling duct with foreign objects (rods, hooks, keys).
Symptoms and prognosis of otitis externa
The form of detection is the presence of pain, although the degree may vary from simple discomfort to severe pain, usually without fever. In cases of severe inflammation, the mobilization of the pinna is very uncomfortable for the patient and on the back of the ear swelling and redness, mastoidismo signal (not to be confused with mastoiditis) arises.
In most cases, the prognosis is positive and symptoms disappear within a few days, but in others its evolution can be durable and last for more than a week. Only in situations of patients with severe immune deficiencies or poorly controlled diabetes, evolution can be very aggressive and establish a serious infection needs even in the clinic.
The diagnosis is clinical and otoscopy, in which an inflammation of the skin of the canal and wax buildup and discharge appreciated.
Otitis externa: treatment
Importantly, being a delicate organ, the patient should always contact a specialist for treatment. The first step will the audiologist will be the realization of a good cleaning of the infected ear canal, because without it the treatment is not effective and thus allows the drops and prevent the material retained in the duct favors the emergence of new infections. Once the pipe is clean, eardrops and analgesics for pain apply and preventing the more water in the canal.
When infection is more advanced, it may mean that the ear canal is collapsed by inflammation and the drops are useless treatment because they are introduced. In that case, the specialist places a gauze with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory cream for two or three days, until the conduit can be supplied desinflama and ear drops.
In the event that the symptoms do not disappear in a few days the main cause may be a fungal superinfection. What symptoms besides pain, often intense itching. The otoscopy can quickly detect fungi in appearance cotton. The treatment would be carefully and thoroughly clean the pipe and apply a few drops covering fungi.
Prevention of otitis externa consists of cleaning the ducts before the summer in an ENT consultation is important not to manipulate the conduit with foreign objects. Only in patients with high predisposition to suffer these infections, steps must be taken as swimming with caps, bathing caps or use astringents drops after bathing to resect the duct and preclude infection.
Edited by Roser Berner Ubasos.