Otomycosis is an infection of the external auditory canal caused by fungi, most often involved are Aspergilus nigricans or Candida. This infection can often be hidden. We can have it without feeling it.The infection may be mild at first, with no clinically visible symptoms.
Fungal otitis externa, also known as ear fungal infection, is caused by fungi. This type of infection that can sometimes affect even both ears occurs more often in people who swim, suffer from diabetes or other chronic diseases. Those living in the tropics have a higher risk of developing otomycosis in the warm season.
The infection occurs on the outside of the ear, in the back, but can also affect the external auditory canal. When this happens, hearing loss may occur. Otomycosis can be caused by over 60 species of fungi, but in about 75% of cases, Aspergillus nigricans is to blame for the fungal infection.
All fungi responsible for otomycosis are harmless, but can turn into pathogens if the immune system is weakened or the body is affected by other diseases. In these cases, the infection may get worse.
Symptoms of otomycosis
People with otomycosis may experience the following symptoms:
- Itching in the affected area;
• Pain and inflammation;
• Redness of the skin;
• Feeling of ear fullness;
• Whistling in the ears;
• Shells in the ears;
• White, yellow, gray or green fluid leaking from the ears;
• Hearing problems.
Usually these symptoms only occur in one ear, but there is a possibility that the infection may affect both ears.
Diagnosis of otomycosis
When symptoms of fungal infection occur, the patient should see a doctor. He will analyze the ear canal with an otoscope (a device equipped with light, used to investigate the ear canal), will observe the clinical changes in the ear, external ear canal and only then will make a diagnosis. The doctor will also ask questions about the patient’s medical history.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend additional investigations such as mycological examination of the secretion and testing the sensitivity of the fungus to antifungals. In this case, use a special swab to collect the fluid that is leaking from the ear.
Otomycosis – treatment
The treatment is determined by the type of fungus responsible for otomycosis.
The fungal infection usually goes away in about a week, but the patient should be monitored by a doctor until the problem is completely gone.
Patients with otomycosis should always follow the treatment prescribed by their doctor. The use of natural remedies without your doctor’s consent is not recommended.