Your outer ear infection can spread, if left untreated. It can spread across the skin and even form an abscess.
One uncommon risk is that the infection can become more severe, known as malignant otitis. This happens when the infection spreads to the bones located around the ear in the skull area. While this can be life-threatening if untreated, it is rare. Those with diabetes and immune system disorders are more prone to outer ear infections becoming malignant otitis.
Untreated ear infections can result in hearing loss in one ear, since the ear canal can become narrower or even completely blocked.