Ensuring the safety of our patients is our utmost priority. We want you to know that we are closely monitoring the COVID- 19 situation and taking steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. At this time, in order to protect the safety of our patients and preserve our ability to staff our sites with our talented specialty doctors and teams, ENTA will be limiting patient access at several clinical locations. For a complete list, click here.

Many of our locations will be open for allergy shots and biologic therapies during this time, but also on a limited schedule. Please contact your office for the availability of these hours. For complete information on the latest restrictions and screening process, please click here.

In response to the current emergency situation all our locations will be offering Virtual Office Visits with your local ENTA doctors. For more information, please click here.

Ears

Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)

by Tahl Colen, M.D.

Otitis externa is inflammation of the external ear canal. The most common type is acute otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear. It requires two events- presence of bacteria and an injury to the skin of the ear canal. Moisture also creates an environment in the ear that contributes to infection. Symptoms include pain, decreased hearing, and ear drainage. Although a bacterial infection is most common, fungal infections occur as well.

Treatment involves cleaning of infected debris from the ear canal by an ENT, antibiotic ear drops and dry ear precautions. One can help prevent these types of infections by avoiding using q-tips and other instruments in side the ear. For those who suffer recurrent infections, using earplugs while swimming and using alcohol-based drops after swimming can be helpful.

Otitis externa can also be chronic. A common cause is eczema or seborrheic dermatitis of the ear canals. Sufferers from this condition have itchy, irritated ears and often feel compelled to scratch their ear canals with q-tips or other implements. This itch-scratch cycle tends to exacerbate the problem and can result in acute infection. Treatment involves strict dry ear precautions, avoiding scratching the ear, and use of steroid and/or antibiotic  drops or cream.