Are Ear Infections More Common in the Summer? Here’s What You Need to Know

Middle-aged man holding his ear wincing in pain.

Ear infections most commonly affect kids between 0 to 17 years old.

Although one to two ear infections a year is considered normal, experiencing more than that may categorize you as someone with chronic ear infections, which may require more advanced treatment options to rectify them for good.

If you notice an uptick in ear infections during the summertime, your suspicion that ear infections are more common in the summer is confirmed.

The number of ear infection cases seen in the summer is slightly higher than in other months due to various factors, like higher humidity and heat and an increase in summer water sports and activities that can leave ears wet long after leaving the pool or ocean.

What is an ear infection?

Ear infections are medically referred to as acute otitis media and involve inflammation and infection in the ear’s inner, middle or outer portion. Ear infections can affect one or both ears and are more common in children than adults.

There are three major types of ear infections.

  1. Middle Ear Infection affects the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the small, vibrating bones of the ear.
  2. Swimmer’s Ear, or otitis externa,is a bacterial infection that affects the outer ear canal caused by water that stays in the ear canal too long, providing a warm and moist environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.
  3. Labyrinthitis is the inflammation of the inner ear or the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain, usually caused by a cold or flu.


Ear infection symptoms vary based on type and severity. Still, the most commonly reported symptoms often include:

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Fluid drainage from the affected ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of balance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tugging at the ears (especially in infants, toddlers and young children)
  • Difficulty hearing

Are ear infections more common in the summer?

Yes, ear infections are more common during the summer months due to environmental temperature and humidity increases.

One of the biggest factors to consider regarding ear infections in the summer is how much time you or your child spends in the water. Swimmers, or those who frequent the water, are at higher risk of developing an ear infection, especially if they don’t dry out their ears sufficiently after time in the water.

Other common reasons for ear infections include:

  • Wearing headphones frequently
  • Using cotton swabs regularly
  • Scratching the ears often

Ear infection treatment

If you or your child are experiencing any symptoms consistent with an ear infection, we highly recommend visiting Amory Urgent Care for further evaluation and care today. Offering comprehensive ear infection treatment, we can help you feel better sooner. We are open seven days a week with no appointments necessary; just walk in.