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  • Writer's pictureDr. Koralla Raja Meghanadh

Symptoms of Fungal Ear Infection (Otomycosis Symptoms)

Updated: Apr 1

Fungi can thrive in our ears, leading to a condition known as Otomycosis or Fungal Diffuse Otitis Externa. This type of ear infection is often characterized by severe itching symptoms, which is a crucial symptom. Treating this condition requires medical attention, so it’s essential to consult an ENT specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, which may include ear cleaning.


It is important to note that bacterial and fungal ear infections can coexist in the external ear, complicating the situation.

Otomycosis or fungal ear infections symptoms - severe itching


Fungi that cause ear infections are Aspergillus Niger and Candida, whose seeds are present in the environment and only affect the ear when localized immunity of the ear goes down.


Localized immunity of the ear can go down due to something as simple as a scratch of the skin in the ear canal.


Fungal Ear Infection Symptoms

Fungal ear infection symptoms occur in the given particular order.


1.       Itchiness in the ears

2.       Pain in the ear

3.       Deafness - perforation of the eardrum


Itchy Ears

When a fungal infection develops in the ear, the wax can serve as a source of nutrition for the fungus. The fungus feeding on the wax can lead to intense itching.


Ear Pain after Severe Itching

Once the fungus has consumed the wax, it can start to invade the ear canal’s skin, leading to the new symptom of ear pain.


Deafness due to Perforated Eardrum

In otomycosis, the fungus can spread to the eardrum or tympanic membrane, creating a hole or perforation. This perforation can result in deafness, as the eardrum is essential for transmitting sound vibrations. Unlike perforations caused by other factors, those resulting from otomycosis are less likely to heal naturally and can become a permanent hole in the eardrum. While doctors may initially wait for natural healing, they are often forced to opt for a surgical intervention to reconstruct the eardrum.


Speedy Progress of Otomycosis Symptoms

Typically, the progression from severe itching to eardrum perforation occurs over time, providing a window to seek medical attention and receive a proper diagnosis. However, home remedies or self-prescribed medications without a correct diagnosis can shorten this window. It’s essential to consult an ENT specialist for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment to prevent potential complications.


Home remedies, like putting oil or other concoctions in the ear, are often attempted by individuals who suspect they have a dry ear or an ear infection. However, self-treatment with antibiotic ear drops without a proper diagnosis can be harmful. In the case of a fungal otitis externa, the condition can rapidly deteriorate, potentially leading to permanent damage to the eardrum. It is essential to seek medical advice from an ENT specialist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for otomycosis. Until then, avoiding putting anything in the ear is best to prevent further complications.

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