Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Factors that may increase your risk of swimmer's ear include:
- Swimming in water with elevated bacteria levels, such as a lake rather than a well-maintained pool
- A narrow ear canal — for example, in a child — that can more easily trap water
- Excessive earwax production
- Aggressive cleaning of the ear canal with cotton swabs or other objects
- Use of devices such as headphones, a hearing aid or a swim cap
- Skin allergies or irritation from jewelry, hair spray or hair dyes
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