You don’t have to go swimming to get “swimmer’s ear.”
Whenever water gets into the ear-from swimming, showering, or hair washing-it can bring in bacterial or fungal particles. Usually, the water runs back out of your ear. But sometimes water is trapped in your ear canal, allowing bacteria and fungi to grow and infect the outer ear. You may have “swimmer’s ear” (otitis externa) if you experience the following symptoms: your ear feels blocked and itches; your ear canal is swollen; your ear drains a runny, milky liquid; or your ear is very painful and tender to touch. If you experience these symptoms, or if your glands become swollen, see your doctor.