What Is Otitis Externa?

 What Is Otitis Externa?

What Is Otitis Externa?

Otitis externa is a common ear malady involving the skin of the external part of the ear and the canal. Irritation, inflammation and infection all contribute to the condition. The following factors cause the problem.

Skin conditions. Eczema and psoriasis weaken the skin's defenses. Bacteria and fungi can make their way in and trigger the body's inflammatory cycles to start. Pre-existing inflammation alters the blood flow and prolongs the severity of the condition. The otitis may not settle until the underlying condition is under control.  Tiny cracks in the skin allow germs to enter.  Itchy, sore ears invite probing fingers. Sharp nails cause further damage and friction from the finger can abrade the delicate skin.  These cause further damage and introduce more bacteria.  It is particularly important to get these conditions under control before going on holiday.  Mediterranean ear is a recognised condition caused by holidaying in hot countries.  People tend to swim more whilst away.  The heat also results in sweaty ears.  Prolonged wetness of the ears results in the skin breaking down and fungi moving in.

Swimming. Repeated ear immersion can lead to otitis externa, hence it's common name, swimmer's ear. Warm tropical waters, detergents and irritants such as chlorine can set the problem off. These create inflammation in the skin. This weakens it's defense against infection.

Fingers. Do not poke fingers and pen tops into sore ears. Sharp nails and pointed implements damage the delicate skin. This delays healing and infection prolonged.

So how can you prevent the problem? The judicious use of molded ear plugs will help prevent the problem. ZenPlugs are particularly useful as they contain Steritouch.  This is a powerful antibacterial agent. It destroys all the nasty germs which cause ear infections in the first place.  They will also keep water and shampoo out of the ears.  In some cases regular use of ear plugs can be enough to keep the condition away.
 

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