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Health Tip: Getting Swimmer's Ear

-- Swimmer's ear occurs when the outer ear and ear canal become inflamed, infected or irritated. Common causes include swimming in water that's polluted, scratching the ear or an object that becomes lodged in the ear, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Symptoms of swimmer's ear include pain, itch and drainage that may seep from the ear. Drainage may have a foul odor, and be green or yellow. The pain from swimmer's ear typically gets worse when you touch or pull on the outer ear.

A doctor should diagnose swimmer's ear and prescribe medication to treat it. Often, antibiotic ear drops or corticosteroids are recommended to alleviate infection and inflammation, the NLM says. It's important to first clean the ear before administering medication.

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Posted: August 2009