Fungal Infection of the Ear
Otomycosis is a fungal infection in the outer ear. People most likely to be affected are those who live in warm, tropical countries and those who participate in water sports. Other risk factors include trauma to the ear from cotton swabs & diabetes mellitus. Patients usually complain of intense itching and pain in the ear, ear blockage and ear discharge. Treatment consists of clearance of the discharge and debris and use of ear drops or oral medications.
Otomycosis or Fungal infection in the ear is a common monsoon condition. Dark (devoid of sun exposure), moist & humid ear canal skin is a haven for fungus to thrive & grow. Once fungus gets access inside the ear it starts giving rise to symptoms such as Itching in ears, Blockage, Discharge, Pain, Diminshed hearing
If you experience these symptoms you need to visit an ENT specialist at the earliest for treatment.
Tips to Prevent Otomycosis
1. Use Ear plugs / Caps when swimming to keep water out.
2. Dry the ears externally with a soft cloth / tissue paper after swimming and head shower
3. Occasionally a hair dryer can be used to blow dry the ear (care to be taken).
4. Avoid scratching by inserting foreign objects in the ears eg. Ear buds, keys, tooth picks, finger nails etc. as this may cause skin abrasions and make it easier for a fungus to invade the eroded area.