Otitis Externa Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Otitis Externa
Treatment options include the following:
Your doctor will remove any drainage or pus from the ear canal using a suction.
Prescription ear drops containing infection-fighting medications and inflammation reducers, like antibiotics and corticosteroids, are the usual treatment for otitis externa. Sometimes, antibiotic or antifungal pills are prescribed. With treatment, symptoms of otitis externa usually decrease in severity within 24 hours to three days. If the ear canal is very swollen, it may not allow the ear drops to get in. A small sponge, called a wick, may be inserted in the ear canal to absorb the drops. It is usually removed after 24-48 hours.
Your doctor may also recommend:
- Keep the ear dry for 7 to 10 days.
- Take baths instead of showers.
- Avoid swimming.
- Do not rub or scratch the ear or inside the ear canal.
If you are diagnosed with otitis externa, follow your doctor's instructions.