Treating Acute Otitis Externa With Ciprodex
Otitis externa is an infection of the outer ear and ear canal. The ear canal is the part of the ear that connects the outer ear to the eardrum. The type of bacteria that commonly cause otitis externa include:
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Streptococcus bacteria types.
Otitis externa often results from excessive water exposure to the ear, which can happen when people swim a lot. This is the reason it is commonly called "swimmer's ear." When water enters the ear canal, it softens the skin in the ear, allowing bacteria to collect and more easily penetrate the skin.
Water exposure is not the only risk factor for an outer ear infection. Other things that may lead to an infection include:
- Excessive cleaning or removal of ear wax (ear wax protects the ear canal)
- Cuts or scratches in the ear canal, which can happen when things are put in the ear, such as cotton swabs
- Wearing objects or devices that plug the ear canal, such as hearing aids, ear buds, or earplugs.
The first sign of an outer ear infection is a feeling of fullness in the ear. Sometimes, the ear will also feel itchy. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain, especially when the ear is touched or pulled
- Ear drainage
- Facial swelling near the infected ear
- Decreased hearing.
Ciprodex is an antibiotic ear drop used to treat outer ear infections, and works by killing the bacteria that cause the infection. Specifically, it is indicated to treat outer ear infections caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. The addition of dexamethasone helps to relieve some of the ear infection symptoms, such as inflammation, itching, and pain.
Ciprodex does not prevent an ear infection from occurring. However, there are certain steps you can take to help reduce your risk of getting an outer ear infection. These steps include the following:
- Avoid excessive ear cleaning and wax removal. If you believe you have wax build-up in your ear, talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to clean your ears.
- Avoid sticking objects into your ear, including fingers, cotton swabs, or anything that may damage the skin in the ear.
- If you swim a lot, shake your ears dry after swimming, or use earplugs or ear drops made especially for swimmers. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider about these products.