Ear Infection, Outer (Otitis Externa)

Otitis externa, also known as “swimmer's ear,” is defined as an inflammation of the external ear canal. It is the most common medical (nonorthopedic) problem seen in athletes involved in aquatic sports. Otitis externa can be classified into five different types: acute diffuse, localized, chronic, eczematous, and malignant or necrotizing. By far, the most common is acute diffuse, on which this entry focuses.


For purposes of study, the ear is divided into three parts: (1) the outer or external ear, (2) the middle ear, and (3) the inner ear. The ...

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