Otitis Externa “Swimmer’s Ear”

Written by: Solaris Diagnostics

Patient being checked for Otitis externa.

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.

For more information call 844-550-0308 to speak with one of our staff. You may also use the form on our Contact Us page.

Share this Article

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Recent Articles


Moraxella catarrhalis

Moraxella catarrhalis is a type of bacteria that is part of the normal flora of the human respiratory system. It is Gram-negative bacteria that can

Read More »

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a gram-negative rod that grows in aerobic conditions. It is a multidrug-resistant pathogen associated with hospital-acquired infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, sepsis, and urinary

Read More »
Doctor sitting and a table with a patient discussing vitamin B12. Patients hands are folded on the table.

Vitamin B12

The Vitamin B12 assay is an in vitro test used for the quantitative determination of Vitamin B12 in human serum and plasma. Vitamin B12 is necessary for DNA synthesis, cellular

Read More »
Female doctor reviewing notes with her female patient in the exam room.

TSH Assay

The TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) assay is an in vitro test used for the quantitative determination of TSH in human serum and plasma. This hormone regulates weight, body

Read More »
Mature woman talks with her doctor about giardia lamblia in clinic.

Giardia Lamblia

Giardia lamblia is a flagellated unicellular eukaryotic microorganism that is a common cause of diarrhea in humans along with other mammals all over the world. This

Read More »

Need a Reliable Diagnostic Partner?

At Solaris Diagnostics, we make it easy!

Our Results Portal allows you access patient reports quickly and securely online.

To request access to the Providers Results Portal, please complete our Provider Registration form.

Scroll to Top