Ear canal inflammation

Synonyms in a broader sense

Medical: otitis externa


As the name suggests, ear canal inflammation is an inflammation in the external ear canal. The inflamed skin is very painful.

The ear canal begins at the outer ear, measures around 3 - 4 cm in length and ends at the eardrum. It runs in an S-shape.

Read more on the subject at: Ear entrance pain

root cause

The cause of the ear canal inflammation lies in an I.infection of the hair follicles with a certain Bacterial species (Staphylococci). Usually this infection happens when cleaning the ear canal with cotton swabs. Here, the smallest injuries are caused by which bacteria can then penetrate. Likewise through the too frequent cleaning of the ear canal will Ear wax (Cerumen) removed and thus the physiological protection against dirt and bacteria canceled.
Such an inflammation of the ear canal can also occur when bathing in contaminated water if the water that has entered the ear canal cannot drain away again immediately.

Caution is also advised with hearing aids or other earmolds. Here can be behind the Hearing aid a chamber is created that is closed off from the air.


The Ear canal inflammation is with strong Pain connected. The pressure on the tragus is particularly painful. The tragus is the cartilaginous protrusion of the auditory canal towards the front, i.e. towards the face.

Pain also occurs when chewing the Temporomandibular joint is in the immediate vicinity of the external ear canal.

Even the train on the auricle causes pain. However, if the doctor wants the ear speculum in that ear introduce to the ear canal and the eardrum to judge is the pulling on the auricle unavoidable. By pulling back and up, the S-shaped ear canal is straightened somewhat, which makes it easier to see the eardrum.


The skin of the ear canal is swollen shut. Swelling and enlarged lymph nodes can also occur in front of or behind the auricle. Pain and redness are also important for the diagnosis.

If one or more hair follicles are inflamed, accumulations of pus can appear, which break into the ear canal.


Usually the pain is relieved. Alcohol strips are inserted into the ear canal. Later strips will be using Antibiotics soaked and pickled. Cortisone ointments can be applied to swell the corridor.

The pus plug can be cut open if the inflammation lasts too long.


Avoid cleaning your ear canal with cotton swabs. This will make that Ear wax just pushed inward and relocated the eardrum. The ear's self-cleaning system will do just fine. The ear wax transports dirt and bacteria to the outside.

The ear should be kept dry. If the ear canal is moist, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.