According to the Mayo Clinic swimmer’s ear, also referred to as acute external otitis or otitis externa, is an infection in the outer ear canal. Swimmer’s ear is caused by bacteria that invade the skin on your ear canal.

 

Although swimming is one of the most common ways to develop the infection, it is not the only way to contract swimmer’s ear. According to the Mayo Clinic, sticking a finger or a cotton swab in your ear can also damage the thin layer of skin that lines your ear canal.

 

While swimmer’s ear can cause discomfort it can be treated with ear drops, especially if treatment is started before the infection becomes too serious.