What is Swimmers Ear?

Swimmers ear (also known as Tropical ear) is a condition that refers to recurrent episodes of infection in the external canal. Because this condition thrives in moisture, it is most often seen in swimmers, and in humid climates.

It is often a result of water trapping behind a build-up of wax and because the external ear canal is warm and dark, keeping the external canal moist is a great way to cause an infection.

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Signs and Symptoms

These infections can present with acute pain, discharge and a blocked ear. When they are particularly nasty, they can cause extreme pain, a swelling in front of the ear and pain on chewing.

Treating Swimmer’s Ear

The most important part of treating this infection is removing any debris in the ear that may be harbouring bacteria and fungi. Using drops alone in this situation may cause temporary relief, but as soon as the ear is wet again, the infection recurs.

Removing debris under the microscope, rather than syringing (which adds more moisture to the ear) is the best way to ensure complete removal of this infective material.

Our Doctors will then prescribe antibiotic, or antifungal, preparations as required.
Some people because of the shape of their external canals, the amount of wax they produce, and the frequency with which they expose their ears to water, might need to return on a regular basis which will be tailored to their individual needs

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Appointment referrals

All appointments for ENT services require a referral from either a GP, an audiologist, another specialist or a dentist. Many GPs already have a referral form to Malouf Medical in their practice management system or they may upload the template from the selection below.

Referral Templates

Below are download links to templates for use in Best Practice (BP) and Medical Director (MD) practice management software.


Instructions (PDF) ENT Referral (ZIP) Sleep Referral (ZIP)


Instructions (PDF) ENT Referral (ZIP) Sleep Referral (ZIP)

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