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Otitis is characterised by inflammation of the outer, middle or inner ear, commonly associated with an infection. The most common types of otitis include; ear infection, swimmer's ear, and Labyrinthitis.

Ear Infection

An ear infection is the inflammation of the middle ear, where the ossicles are located.

The most common causes of ear infections are considered to be germs and bacteria. This occurs when the eustachian tube - along with nasal passages and the throat - becomes congested as a result of other illnesses; such as the flu and common cold.

Most ear infections go away on their own. However, if symptoms don't subside or improve, Dr Makhaye will prescribe antibiotics.

Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's Ear refers to an infection of the outer ear canal to the eardrum.

This occurs when water remains in the ear after swimming. The water often creates a moist environment in the ear canal, which promotes the growth of bacteria. Cleaning your ears with cotton buds or wearing earbuds can cause small scratches and abrasions in the ear canal, making you more susceptible to the growth of bacteria.

For patients suffering from Swimmer's Ear, Dr Makhaye will prescribe ear drops as well as advise you to keep the ear dry.


Labyrinthitis is the inflammation of the vestibulocochlear nerve.

The vestibulocochlear nerve is responsible for transmitting sound waves from the inner ear to the brain. When it is inflamed, patients experience vertigo, hearing loss, and in some cases, involuntary eye movement. The most common causes include respiratory illnesses, viral ear infections, and stomach viruses.

In most cases, Labyrinthitis goes away on its own, but Dr Makhaye may prescribe medications that will help manage your symptoms. In other instances, vestibular rehabilitation may help.