Otomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the outer ear. It may affect one or both ears at a time. The infection causes dryness, inflammation, itching and smelly discharge in the ear canal.
Otomycosis can be treated with the help of topical antifungal medications, ear drops or oral medications.
How is otomycosis caused?
Otomycosis is caused by a fungus, there are many different kinds of fungus that can cause this infection but mostly aspergillus species are related to Otomycosis infections.
What are the symptoms of otomycosis?
Some common symptoms of Otomycosis are:
● redness on the outer part of ear
● itching in the inner ear
● inflammation or swelling
● discharge from the ear
● flaky or scaly skin
● pain in the ears
● ringing in ears also known as Tinnitus
What are the risk factors of getting Otomycosis?
Other than the exposure to fungi that causes Otomycosis following are the risk factors of getting Otomycosis:
● People who are habitants of hot and tropical places might be more likely to experience Otomycosis, the reason behind this is that fungi thrives better in warm and damp places.
● People with weak immune systems can catch fungal infections frequently when compared to people with strong immune systems.
● Trauma to the ear from cotton swabs or hearing aids.
● Being diabetic.
● Frequently participating in water sports like surfing or swimming.
● A lack of earwax or cerumen may cause Otomycosis because earwax helps suppress fungal growth and prevents the air canal from drying out.
● Swimming in contaminated water.
How can Otomycosis be diagnosed?
If you have symptoms of an ear infection you must visit the Best ENT specialist in Lahore to get them evaluated and treated. For diagnosis doctors take complete medical history from the patients to see if they have any risk factors and then they collect samples of cells or fluids from the ear to take a look at them under a microscope.
An Otoscope is also used in some cases to look closely at the eardrum and ear canal.
Then after completing all the diagnostic procedures they are able to tell if you have been infected by a fungal or bacterial infection.
This evaluation is really important because it helps in treating the infection by prescribing medications accordingly.
How can Otomycosis be treated?
The first step to treat Otomycosis is cleansing the ear. This is usually done by using a rinse or a suction tool. Cleaning gets all the buildup and debris out, which helps the medication penetrate better. After cleanup the ear is dried to prevent further growth of the fungus. Doctors strictly prohibit the patients from cleaning their own ear as this may worsen the situation.
Secondly, ear drops are prescribed that contain antifungal agents. Studies show that 1 % clotrimazole drops work better than others in terms of curing and preventing otomycosis.Go there cvs covid testing for better health.
Some doctors may also prescribe anti-fungal ointments (topical medications) which contain hydrogen peroxide, aluminium acetate and salicylic acid. These agents treat the fungus and soften the inner layers of the ear which helps the medication penetrate better.
Oral medications (Itraconazole and Voriconazole)
may also be prescribed to patients whose condition may not be getting better with ear drops or topical medicines.
Over-the-counter medicines are also prescribed to some patients, to relieve any discomfort or pain in the ear.
What are the home remedies to treat Otomycosis?
Following are a few things that you can do at home to treat Otomycosis:
● Add 2 to 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide in the infected ear with the help of a medicine dropper. Let it sit in your ear canal for a good 7 to 10 minutes and then tilt your head to let it drain. Hydrogen peroxide works by softening the hardened debris in the ear canal and washes away any fungal colonies from the ear.
● Use a hairdryer, set it on the lowest setting and place it at least 10 inches away from the infected ears so that you don’t burn yourself. The air from the hair dryer will dry out any moisture that is present in your ear which will stop the growth of fungus.
● Mix rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and add a few drops of the solution in the infected ear with the help of a medicine dropper. Let these drops sit in your ear for 10 minutes then tilt your head to drain them out. This mixture disinfects your ear and dries it out, hence helps in lessening the duration of infection.
● Take a garlic oil capsule, puncture it and pour it in your infected ear. Let the oil sit for 7 to 10 minutes then tilt your head to drain it out. Garlic oil has antifungal effects so it works in the treatment of fungal infections.
● To relieve the ear pain you can do hot compresses on the infected ear with the help of a towel. What you need for this method is a clean towel dipped in warm water. Place the warm towel over the infected ear and let it cool down. Repeat the process until you feel relieved.
You should always consult with an ENT before you try any home remedies to treat Otomycosis.
What complications can arise from Otomycosis?
It is very rare that Otomycosis turns itself into something complicated, but in some cases the condition may become chronic if it is not treated timely or if the treatment is not working for the infection. It can only happen if a person has continuous exposure to contaminated water that may have fungi.
Otomycosis is capable of invading past the outer ear and traveling to the inner ear or base of the skull. These forms of complications may require surgical management and heavy doses of oral antifungal medication.
How can Otomycosis be prevented?
Following are a few things recommended by the Best ENT specialist in Islamabad that you can follow to prevent Otomycosis:
● Leave a small amount of earwax in your ears so that your ear canal doesn’t dry, also earwax helps prevent infections because it has antifungal properties.
● Avoid scratching your ears vigorously as it can damage the skin, and expose you to the risk of getting Otomycosis because damaged skin is the easiest to invade for fungus.
● Never forget using earplugs when you indulge yourself in watersports.● Dry your ears thoroughly either with a towel or a hairdryer on low-speed after swimming and bathing.