Otitis Externa - Ear Infection

Otitis Externa - Ear Infection

Back to top

What is otitis externa?

Otitis externa, also known as outer ear infection, is a common inflammatory condition of the ear, usually caused by infection, and affects up to 10% of the population.1, 6

Back to top


It is especially common in children, and more likely to occur in those who are frequently exposed to water. 1, 3

Back to top

Causes and risk factors

Swimmer’s ear is a form of otitis externa caused when water gets trapped in the ear canal after swimming. 1, 3
Otitis externa not only affects swimmers but also those with eczema or excess earwax. It may even occur from excessive cleaning of the ear canal, contact with chemicals (such as hair spray), or contact with bacteria in hot tubs and Jacuzzis. 3, 4

Back to top

Symptoms and diagnosis

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Draining of fluids or pus
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diagnosis is mostly based on symptoms and physical examination of the ear canal with a lighted scope called an otoscope.
Back to top

What does the scientific literature say about treatment?

Laboratory tests conducted by Larry C. Ford MD from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UCLA School of Medicine, revealed that silver kills viral, fungal and bacterial organisms and over 650 bacteria, parasites, molds and fungi that have potential to sprout disease. The tests established that silver has no known side effects. 5

In Medscape, July 2016, an article by Ariel A. Waitzman states that the primary treatment for otitis externa (OE) should involve the management of pain, removal of debris from the external auditory canal (EAC) and the administration of topical medications to control oedema and infection. 1 Another 2012 article in the South African Pharmaceutical Journal confirmed this. 3

The panel at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery recommends that patients with swimmer’s ear be treated with eardrops and not oral antibiotics. 4 The Academy adds that treating swimmer’s ear with antibiotics is ineffective and promotes bacterial resistance. 4 In addition, a 2013 article in the Journal for Global Advances in Health and Medicine concludes that homeopathy appears equivalent to, and safer than, conventional standard care in comparative effectiveness trials for the management of uncomplicated otitis in children. 2

Silverlab SPORT Swimmer

Silverlab SPORT Swimmers Ear drops with Silver Repair™ – A New Generation Eardrop without the burn. The first line of defence and method of treatment against swimmer’s ear or otitis externa.

This creates the need for a single product in the form of a topical eardrop that is simultaneously antiinflammatory,
antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral, yet safe and nontoxic, without the risk of causing bacterial resistance or burning on application, without introducing added oils, alcohol or pH-altering substances into the canal, thereby respecting the unique nature and functionality of natural earwax.

Back to top

Silverlab’s solution for the safe and effective treatment of otitis externa

Silverlab SPORT Swimmers Ear is indicated for swimmer’s ear and the general condition of otitis externa. Each 8 drops of Silverlab SPORT Swimmers Ear Liquid contains Silver Repair™ Silverlab Ionic Silver
6mcg (18mcg/ml) in deionised purified water. Silverlab SPORT Swimmers Ear drops with Silver Repair™ may relieve and prevent outer ear infections through anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

It also reduces the overall surface tension within the ear canal to allow trapped water, impurities, debris and bloody crusts to drain freely. It does so without introducing artificial oils, alcohol or pH-altering substances into the canal, thereby respecting the unique nature and functionality of natural earwax.

For the above reasons, Swimmers Ear from the Silverlab SPORT range is not contraindicated in children with grommets or in those with perforated ear drums. Silver Repair™ can safely be applied to open wounds without any burning, unlike oils such as tea tree.

Back to top

Silverlab SPORT Swimmers Ear directions for use in the treatment of otitis externa

The removal of debris, impurities, bloody crusts and moisture from the ear canal is vital for treating otitis externa or swimmer’s ear.

Position the head with one ear facing upwards. Place 8 drops of Liquid into it.

For best results, hold this position for 2 minutes or more before draining the contents onto a tissue. Repeat if necessary.

Repeat the same process for the other ear and allow canals to dry.

The bottle may be warmed to body temperature by placing it close to the body, for example in a pocket, or warmed up by placing it in clean, warm water not exceeding 38°C.

To prevent contamination of the drops, the bottle should not be immersed in water past the top of the label.

The product may be used for extended periods of time.

More Information here Download PDF Medical References

Medical References

1. Medscape, 11 July 2016, ‘Otitis Externa Treatment and Management’: Ariel A Waitzman, MD, FRCSC Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Wayne State University School of Medicine’ 2. Glob Adv Health Med, 2013 Jan; 2(1): 32–43, Iris R Bell MD PhD and Nancy N Boyer RN NP PAC: ‘Homeopathic Medications as Clinical Alternatives for Symptomatic Care of Acute Otitis Media and Upper Respiratory Infections in Children’ 3. S Afr Pharm J 2012; 79(8):17-22, Karen Koch MB ChB: ‘Managing Otitis Externa’ 4. Health24, January 2015: “‘Swimmer’s ear’ Best Treated with Eardrops’ 5. Science Direct, March 1978, & Before It’s News, Saturday, July 28, 2012: ‘Ability of Silver to Kill Viral, Fungal and Bacterial Organisms’ 6. Nanomedicine, Sep 2008, 4(3):241-51; Nadworny PL, Wang J, Tredget EE, Burrell RE: ‘Anti-inflammatory Activity of Nanocrystalline Silver in a Porcine Contact Dermatitis Model’

Mental Health
Infant Health

For more health information

Click on the body area you want to know more about. Select a related health topic from the menu

Select a body area


World Immunization Week

World Immunization week 24 - 30 April 2022



Warts and how to remove them


Minor Cuts and Scratches

How to treat cracked fingers and heels


Corns and Calluses

How to get rid of a corn / how to remove a corn / how to treat a corn



Will there be a flu season this year?

Content Disclaimer:
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Dis-Chem website or app are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All of the content provided on the website, are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content is not intended to establish a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. You understand and acknowledge that you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. You also understand and acknowledge that you should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained in or transmitted through the website. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this website or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this website or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.
Back to top