A staph infection is caused by a form of germ generally found ~ above the skin referred to as the Staphylococcus bacteria. While this germ commonly causes skin conditions such as abscesses, boils, or cellulitis, it can additionally infect your ear.

In fact, the Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureus) bacteria is one reason of one ear infection called acute otitis externa (AOE), likewise known as swimmer’s ear. Pseudomonas bacteria space the many common cause of otitis externa, yet the epidemic is likewise caused by numerous other bacteria and also fungi.

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Keep analysis to learn an ext about staph epidemic in the ear, consisting of symptoms, causes, treatment, and also prevention.


If you have actually AOE, you may experience the complying with symptoms:

drainage of clear fluidpain that boosts over timemuffled hearinga feeling of blockage in your ear led to by swelling and fluid

Symptoms may worsen as the infection progresses.

Contact your doctor if you endure these symptoms. Seek clinical attention immediately if the infection reasons severe pains or a fever.


A common reason of a staph infection in her ear occurs once excess water in your ear canal creates an setting for the S. Aureus bacteria come grow. When this is generally the an outcome of obtaining water in your ear when swimming, perspiration or humid weather can additionally cause the bacteria come grow.

If girlfriend tear the skin in your ear while clean it through a noodle swab or scratching an itch, the break in the skin could serve together an entry suggest for the bacteria. Additionally, gadgets such together hearing aids or earbuds that lug the infection might spread the microorganism into her ear.

Other reasons include allergic contact dermatitis — which deserve to be resulted in by allergy to particular metals, soaps, and also shampoos — or skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis.

Your medical professional will most likely diagnose a staph epidemic in her ear through performing a physics examination of her ear canal or eardrum to look for any type of lesions, redness, or swollen areas.


Treatments focus on protecting against the infection and enabling your ear time to heal.

AOE is usually treated v antibiotics. Because that mild to moderate infections, your doctor might recommend topical drugs that encompass a steroid, such as ear drops. Much more severe infections might require oral antibiotics.

Malignant otitis externa is a much more severe kind of infection usually seen in larger adults through diabetes. The epidemic spreads native the ear come the basic of the skull. It requires dental antibiotics and a referral come an otolaryngologist (ENT).

In severe cases, particularly if the epidemic is acquired during a hospital stay, treatment may take longer and also require antibiotics with an IV.

It’s precious noting the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is tougher come treat than many strains that S. Aureus. That’s due to the fact that it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.

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There room several methods you can aid prevent a staph epidemic in her ear:

Avoid scraping the skin in your ear when scratching or cleaning her ears.Dry your ears after bathing and swimming.Avoid swim in water v high quantities of bacteria.Drain water from your ears after swim by tilting her head to the side.

Many instances of a staph epidemic in her ear are treatable v antibiotics. However, certain strains that the bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics and require additional treatment.

If you endure the common symptoms of one ear infection, check out a physician for a appropriate diagnosis and certain treatment options.


last medically reviewed on October 9, 2019


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Medically reviewed by Cameron White, M.D., MPH — created by Scott Frothingham ~ above October 9, 2019

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