Otitis externa (also known as “swimmer’s ear”) is inflammation of the external ear canal. It is often caused by moisture being trapped in the ear canal or an injury to the ear. These can cause a bacterial or fungal infection that responds well to topical treatment. Some people are more susceptible to severe infection that can invade surrounding structures, which can require more treatment. When severe infections occur, it is called malignant otitis externa and can lead to serious disease and complications.
Otitis externa can be identified by redness and swelling of the outer ear and canal, pain when touching the ear, drainage, and itchiness inside the ear. Some individuals may experience temporary hearing loss if they have swelling or drainage.
To avoid otitis externa, it is recommended to dry your ears after bathing or swimming, wear earplugs or a swim cap, and avoid removing earwax from the ears as it helps protect against infections.
According to the CDC, Otitis externa is the most common waterborne illness in the United States. In 2014 there were 4,670,000 reported cases of otitis media. Over the course of the year, otitis externa was responsible for 567,000 ER visits, 23,200 hospitalizations, and 219 deaths. Statistics courtesy of: https://lnkd.in/e-b6bQYy
At Solaris Diagnostics we offer a PCR-based Ear Panel that quickly identifies all otitis externa pathogens with a simple swab. Results are available within 24 hours and can help clinicians target their treatment to the specific pathogen.
Benefits of Working with Solaris Diagnostics
Now you can provide patients with the quickest and most accurate diagnosis possible from our high-complexity, CLIA accredited laboratory. Choose Solaris Diagnostics for:
- Simple collection
- Results by 5:00 pm on the day the lab receives the specimen
- Direct access to experienced scientific staff
- Among the most personal customer service experiences in the industry
Our experts assist clinicians and health care providers in rapidly identifying the pathogens and underlying causes of disease. We know that fast and accurate diagnoses lead to better patient outcomes.