Differences between outer and inner ear infections

KYW Staff
October 10, 2019 - 2:57 pm
Ear pain getting check out by doctor.

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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Otitis media and otitis externa are big words that describe two common problems: outer ear infections and inner ear infections. 

An example of an outer ear infection is the classic swimmer's ear, which is the result of an irritation to the ear canal. People with swimmer's ear have pain that can be made worse simply by touching the ear or pulling on the ear lobe. 

As for the otitis media, this inner ear infection was once almost always treated by antibiotics. But now, we have realized that we don't always need these drugs. 

In either case, it makes sense to get a check up if you are experiencing discomfort.