Fungal infection sounds terrifying, isn’t it? The word fungus and that too in ear will scare any normal person. To understand the disease better, let us first know what exactly is a fungal ear infection? The medical term for a fungal ear infection is Otomycosis and it causes inflammation, parched skin and discharges bad odor through the ear canal. Let us further understand what causes this problem.
Earwax (Cerumen) protects our ear from coming into contact with the fungus, but if in any way this wax is reduced which can be due to splashing of water into our ear canal or due to overuse of earbuds, this allows the fungus to enter our ear and cause the infection. The main species which cause Otomycosis are Aspergillus and Candida. Otomycosis is more common in hot regions as that is the ideal place for the fungi to grow. People who swim in adulterated water are more prone to Otomycosis. (Also Read: What does Ear Wax Indicate for Your Health? )
Other than this, people with weak immune systems, injured ear or a persistent skin disease are under the risk of being infected by fungus.
Fungal ear infection causes a lot of discomfort as well as discharges from the ear. So, it’s always advised to consult a doctor as soon as symptoms start showing up rather than taking it lightly and waiting for the pain to go away. Ear drops available at medical stores will reduce the inflammation but may not treat the infection completely.
Consult an ENT specialist as soon as possible if:
- There’s a lot of pain in the ear canal
- Your ear seems to be dry
- Outer ear starts being red
- Discharge of fluid from ears
- Hearing loss (Also Read: 10 Effective Healthy Habits to Prevent Hearing Loss )
If the above-mentioned symptoms arise, an ENT specialist should be consulted immediately so that the correct treatment is provided to you. A physical exam using an instrument named otoscope is done to look inside your ear and ear canal to diagnose the infection. Sometimes the doctor might take samples of the fluids present in your ear to differentiate between bacterial and fungal infection.
There are several ways in which fungal ear Infection can be treated by a specialist. They include a total clean up, ear drops or oral medications.
The ear needs to be completely cleaned by the doctor. There are different tools available for this purpose. This is done to get rid of flaky skin and build-up material so that the medication can work in a better way. In the next step, the ear is completely dried to restrict the fungal growth. Please note, one should not try to clean their ear themselves using cotton swabs as it can make the infection more complicated.
Ear Drops :
The doctor might prescribe you Burow’s Solution which removes the muck from your ear and also slows the rate of inflammation. According to research published by the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 1% clotrimazole ear drops cure your ear problems and prevents it from recurring.
Other solutions which are used to treat fungal infection are:
- Aluminum acetate
- Salicylic acid
- Hydrogen peroxide
When fungal infections such as Aspergillus develops resistance to the regular ear drops, doctors might recommend oral medication. Itraconazole (Sporanox) is used to treat such infections, but it has a major drawback – it causes problems for people with liver disease.
If all these don’t give you relief within 2 weeks, you should consider going back to the doctor. The doctor might perform more tests to understand the underlying cause of the infection and also clean your ear using advanced tools like suction pumps.
Following things should be kept in mind to prevent Otomycosis :
- Always dry your ear after showering
- Don’t swim when the water is stagnant
- Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear
- Avoid scratching your ears
- Keep acetic drops handy if the problem reoccurs
- Use earplugs every time you swim (Also Read: Know about swimmer’s ear and its treatment)
Also Read: Know the Do’s and Don’ts to Clean your Ears
Therefore, do not ignore your ear infection and consult a specialist as soon as possible to make sure it doesn’t grow and cause further problems. Pristyn Care has highly trained ENT specialists who are capable of treating various kinds of problems related to the ears. The doctors at Pristyn Care are highly professional with a successful surgical background. In case of any troubles, the doctors can take care of it all. If you have any ear-related problems, get treated now at Pristyn Care in a safe procedure!