Sunday, June 11, 2023

Risk factors for developing an ear canal infection

 An ear canal infection, also known as swimmer's ear, is caused by bacteria or, less commonly, fungi

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 Here are some of the risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing an ear canal infection:
  • Use of cotton swabs: Inserting cotton swabs into the ear canal can cause irritation and damage to the skin, making it more susceptible to infection
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  • Injuring the ear canal while cleaning it: Scratching or damaging the skin of the ear canal while cleaning it can create an entry point for bacteria or fungi
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  • Getting water in the ear: Water that remains in the ear canal after swimming or bathing can create a moist environment that promotes bacterial or fungal growth
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  • Use of earplugs or hearing aids: These devices can trap moisture in the ear canal and create an environment that promotes bacterial or fungal growth
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  • Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke: Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the likelihood of ear infections, especially for children
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  • Upper respiratory tract infections: Upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold, can increase the risk of ear infections in both children and adults
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  • Allergies: Allergies can cause inflammation and fluid buildup in the ears, which may contribute to ear infections
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It's important to note that getting water in the ears will not cause an acute ear infection unless the eardrum has a hole in it
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 Additionally, while allergies generally don’t increase the risk for ear infections in adults, they can in kids
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If you are experiencing symptoms of an ear canal infection, such as pain, discharge, or itchiness, it's important to seek medical attention. Your healthcare provider can diagnose the infection and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include antibiotic ear drops, pain relievers, and keeping water and cotton swabs out of the ear
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