Ear Infection - Otitis Externa

WHAT IS NORMAL?

The outer ear canal is a tunnel that runs from the ear hole to the eardrum. It is about 3 cm long and is lined with normal skin containing hairs and glands that produce wax. The outer ear canal is a blind, closed tunnel and normally drains only through the ear hole.

WHAT IS OTITIS EXTERNA?

Otitis externa is a condition in which the skin lining the outer ear canal becomes red and swollen due to infection. This infection occurs commonly because of water entering the ear canal and it is sometimes referred to as swimmer’s ear. In the tropics, the heat and high humidity cause to people to perspire excessively in summer, and this moisture may also play a part in otitis externa or tropical ear.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Pain and tenderness of the ear canal are typical, and in severe cases the pain and tenderness may spread to the outer ear and surrounding skin. Other symptoms include discharge from the outer ear canal, itching and reduced hearing.

WHY DOES IT OCCUR?

Water entering the outer ear canal can drain only through the ear hole. The outer ear canal is horizontal and curved; it may contain wax. Water may not drain freely and can cause skin to become soggy, so allowing bacteria or fungi, normally present on the skin, to cause infection.

WHO IS MORE PRONE TO OTITIS EXTERNA?

You are more likely to suffer from otitis media if your outer ear canal is narrow or long, or if the skin lining the canal is in a poor condition, that is, if it is not waterproofed by the wax and is wet by regular swimming. Incidentally, chlorinated fresh water is more damaging than salt water.

The skin lining will deteriorate too if it is prone to dermatitis or eczema and if exposed to chemicals, example hair shampoo, hair dyes, and ear ointments. The ear canal can be damaged by attempting to clean it with a hairpin.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

The basis of successful treatment is to clean the canal and keep it empty and dry. In mild cases your Dr will treat the infection by cleaning the outer ear canal using suction or a probe and then prescribing cream to insert several times a day. The ear cream is used about 5 days and contains chemicals that kill bacteria or fungus causing the infection.

If the infection is severe and the outer ear canal is swollen, the Dr may insert a cotton wick coated with the healing cream into the ear canal.

HOW CAN OTITIS EXTERNA BE PREVENTED?

You can take a number of steps to prevent otitis externa. Among them are:

  • Avoid getting water into your ear
  • If water enters, shake it out or use Aquaear drops
  • Use moulded earplugs or a bathing cap when swimming
  • Use earplugs or a cap when showering
  • Use earplugs when washing your hair
  • Coat cottonwool with Vaseline petroleum jelly before insertion in ears
  • Avoid poking objects such as hairpins and cotton buds in the ear to clean the canal.

The ear usually cleans itself naturally. Do not attempt to clean it and risk infection of the canal or damage to the eardrum. If you have a problem, contact your Dr for advice and treatment.

Please seek Medical attention as soon as possible if you are unsure of you or your family's health condition.


Sinopharm Vaccine available from 15 Sep 21

Latest Influenza Vaccine Available now
Protects against Flu 2021 and H1N1 Viruses
Make a Vaccination Appointment at Tel : 6694 1661

* Pre-Departure COVID-19 PCR  Swab & Serology Test for Travellers available at AIPC, Make your appointment at Tel: 6694 1661. Click here for more details.

Flu Subsidy Scheme eligible for Singaporeans & PRs (Pay subsidized rate of $10 for Consultation and Treatment) & Merdeka Generation /Pioneer Generation seniors (Pay subsidized rate of $5) for patients diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs). Please make your appointment at Tel: 6694 1661.

Ear, Nose & Throat Problems


Up to $400 per Medisave Account per year can be used for Vaccinations under the National Adult & Childhood Immunisation Schedule - Influenza, Pneumococcal (PCV13/PPSV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV2/HPV4), Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap), Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) and Chickenpox (Varicella).

AIPC is part of MOH's Swab & Go Home programme. Our clinic can carry out the COVID-19 Swab test for anyone who meets the MOH medical criteria. From 1 Jul 20, all individuals aged 13 and above, diagnosed with ARI will be COVID Swab-tested. Cost of Swab test to be borne by Ministry of Health Singapore.

AIPC is part of the National Influenza Sentinel Surveillance programme with MOH. If you have a fever of > 38 degrees with a cough, our clinic is able to test for COVID-19. For children below 12 years old with clinical diagnosis of HFMD (eg fever, oral ulcers, rash), our clinic can test for Hand Foot & Mouth Disease (The tests are for surveillance purposes only).


Health Assessment & Screening Packages


Co-infection of COVID-19 with other infectious diseases is possible.

Reduce your risk of getting sick with COVID-19

  • Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. People older than 65 years, and those with many underlying conditions, such as those who are immunocompromised or with significant liver disease, are recommended to receive vaccinations against influenza (Flu 2020) and pneumococcal disease (PCV). Click here for Vaccination schedules (NAIS/NCIS).
  • Do not delay getting medical care for your underlying condition because of COVID-19. AMDA International Peace Clinic has contingency MOH infection prevention protocols to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care for your underlying condition.
  • Continue your medications and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your doctor.
  • Make sure that you have at least a two-week supply of your chronic disease medications.
  • Call AMDA @ Tel: 6694 1661 for a medical appointment if you have any concerns about your underlying medical conditions or if you get sick. AMDA is a PHPC-accredited medical clinic. Under the MOH Swab & Go Home programme, our doctors can do a COVID-19 PCR Swab test if you meet the MOH medical crtieria.

Up to $400 per (Parent's) Medisave Account per year can be used for Vaccinations under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule - Influenza, Pneumococcal (PCV13/PPSV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV2/HPV4), Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap), Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) and Chickenpox (Varicella).

National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) Singapore @ AMDA International Peace Clinic. Make your child's vaccination appointment at Tel: 6694 1661


These other webpages below may also interest you, click to learn more about your health condition.

Eye & Ear Problems


How a Gluten-free Diet can Improve your Chronic Illnesses

Healthy Diets for Optimal Health


Public Health Preparedness Clinic

National University Health System Primary Care Network

Singapore Ministry of Health Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP)

The information provided in this website is for knowledge purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice.

Should you encounter any medical problem that you are unsure of, always consult your doctor or health care provider for assistance and medical advice.

Dr Don V H LAU   Chairperson of AMDA Singapore

MBBS (Monash), B.Med.Sc.(Hons) (Monash), Grad.Dip.Derm.(Wales,UK)

AMDA International Peace Clinic is a part of AMDA (Association of Medical Doctors of Asia). We are part of the network of AMDA Peace Clinics & Friendship Hospitals around the world. We participate in AMDA's worldwide Emergency Disaster Aid Relief missions, Social Development projects and Vaccination programmes.

AMDA, founded in 1984 has carried out more than 200 medical missions, contributing medical expertise and supplies in 65 countries over the last 36 years. AMDA holds General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic & Social Council (UN ECOSOC) since 1995.

AMDA International Chapters   Afghanistan Albania Bosnia & Herzegovina Bangladesh Bolivia Cambodia Canada Colombia Guyana Haiti Honduras India Indonesia Kazakhstan Korea Kosovo Malaysia Mongolia Nepal New Zealand Pakistan Peru Philippines Sakha Republic Singapore Sri Lanka Sudan Taiwan Uganda Vietnam Zambia

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AMDA International Peace Clinic

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Tel : 65-6694-1661  Fax : 65-6694 1771

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Clinic hours:

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Please contact us at Tel: 6694 1661 to make an appointment.

OUR MEDICAL TEAM

Dr Don Lau – Medical Director

MBBS (Monash), B Med Sc (Hons) (Monash), Dip Pract Derm (Wales, UK)

Chairperson of AMDA Singapore

Takanori Fujiwara DC

Doctor of Chiropractic Southern California University of Health Science

The Chiropractic Association Singapore, Japan Chiropractic Register, American Chiropractic Association, California Chiropractic Association

Physiotherapy-trained NBCE The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners

Medical Conditions Treatable with Chiropractic:  

  • Head & Neck – Neckaches/ Spondylosis/ Wry Neck/ Whiplash/ Headaches/ Migraine/ Facial Palsy
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Dr Lee Sao Bing – Opthalmologist (in-house Specialist)

MBBS, MMed(Ophth), FRCSEd(Ophth), MD, FAMS

Dr Pang Yoke Teen – ENT (Visiting Consultant)

FRCS (ORL), FRCS(EDIN), (FRCSGLASG), FAMS, MBBS

AMDA International Peace Clinic

Medical Services

Minor Surgical Procedures :

·       Injection for Supraspinatus or Bicipital Tendonitis / Epicondylitis / Trigger finger / Plantar Fasciitis

·       Tendon Sheath Injection

·       Excision of small Skin tumours / Lipomas / Nail bed / Ear lobe cysts / Meibomian cyst

·       Removal of Skin sutures / Skin tags / Sebaceous cysts / Various foreign bodies / Corneal foreign body

·       Liquid Nitrogen Therapy

·       Treatment of Plantar Warts / Calluses / Corns / Ganglions

·       Splinters under nails

·       Olecranon and Pre-patellar Bursitis

·       Ear syringing

·       Embedded earring stud

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