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Clinical Question Recurrent otitis externa


Well-known member
I have a patient with recurrent otitis externa. He's in his mid 20's, no real issues with it until a few months ago where just developed recurrent infections, usually on the same side.

He has had multiple courses of various drops. Swabs done at various times have either grown normal flora or occasional fungus, occasional bacteria.

Have had a 3 or 4 patients come through with similar stories too.

I spoke with an ENT reg who suggested:
- weekly bilateral ear toileting
- treatment with sofradex or Cipro HC
- daily use of aqua ear for 2 weeks
- aqua ear every second day for 1-2 weeks after that
- early use of aqua ear in future particularly when swimming etc

This seemed like a reasonable plan.

Does anyone else have any further suggestions or experience with this?
Last edited:


Well-known member
Just to provide an update re the above.

Have a patient who has followed the above regimen exactly, has presented for weekly ear toilets for the past 6 weeks and still have not been able to get a good result. Every week he has a lot of debris that has re-accumulated. Have referred him to ENT clinic - though unsure exactly what else they will do?


New member
Thanks for the post Kris. I will use this regimen for the difficult ones I see in future. These recalcitrant otitis externa are a real challenge.


Nice treatment plan, thanks for sharing. We don't have access to ear suction where I work so this can be a bit of a challenge.