3 Possible Complications of Untreated Swimmer’s Ear Infections

swimmer’s ear complications

When water gets trapped in your ear as a result of a lot of swimming, you are at a higher risk of getting a swimmer’s ear infection. Although this infection is generally not considered a serious condition, it’s possible to develop several complications as a result of swimmer’s ear. This is especially the case if you suffer from chronic swimmer’s ear, when the infection lasts for a long period or keeps reappearing.

Here are some possible swimmer’s ear complications that can appear if the infection is left untreated.

Hearing Loss

One of the most common swimmer’s ear complications is hearing loss. Due to the damage done to the outer ear and the ear canal, people can sometimes experience muffled hearing if the infection is left untreated. However, the hearing problems usually go away once the treatment starts to work.

Cellulitis

An infection of the deep tissue, cellulitis happens when the swimmer’s ear infection spreads to the deeper layers of the skin. It usually starts with pain, redness, and tenderness in the affected area. The area will also feel warm and sore.

A more severe case of cellulitis can also be manifested with fever and fever-like symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, shaking, and chills.

Necrotizing Otitis Externa

A rare complication of the infection, necrotizing otitis externa happens when the infection spreads to the skin and bones of the lower skull, which causes severe pain. People with a weakened immune system or diabetes are more likely to develop this rare condition.

The Bottom Line

Now that you’re familiar with these swimmer’s ear complications, you understand the importance of diagnosing and treating this infection in time. Contact your doctor if you notice swimmer’s ear symptoms so you can get proper treatment and fight the infection.