1. Swimming or exposure to water: Otitis externa, also known as swimmer's ear, is commonly caused by water remaining in the ear canal after swimming or bathing. The moisture creates a favorable environment for bacterial or fungal growth, leading to infection.
2. Humid climate: Living in a humid climate can increase the risk of otitis externa. The high humidity levels contribute to excessive moisture in the ear canal, making it more susceptible to infection.
3. Trauma or injury to the ear canal: Any trauma or injury to the ear canal, such as scratching the ear with sharp objects or inserting cotton swabs too deeply, can damage the protective lining of the ear canal. This damage can create an entry point for bacteria or fungi, leading to otitis externa.
4. Allergic reactions: Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to certain substances, such as hair products, jewelry, or earplugs. These allergic reactions can cause inflammation and irritation in the ear canal, increasing the risk of otitis externa.
5. Ear canal abnormalities: Certain anatomical abnormalities or conditions, such as narrow ear canals or excessive earwax production, can predispose individuals to otitis externa. These abnormalities can trap moisture and debris in the ear canal, creating an ideal environment for infection.