We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Otomycosis?

By Clara Kedrek
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Otomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the external portion of the ear. A variety of fungal species can cause this infection, resulting in symptoms such as pain, redness, and decreased hearing. The diagnosis of the condition typically relies on observing the clinical symptoms and studying the discharge produced as a result of the infection. Treatment of the infection is usually accomplished with topical or oral antifungal medications.

A number of different fungal species can cause otomycosis. The most common etiologic agent is Aspergillus, which accounts for over 80% of cases. Candida, a different type of fungus, is the second most common cause. Rarer causes can include Rhizopus, Actinomyces, and Phycomycetes. Many of these fungal species are prevalent in the environment and only cause an infection of the external ear in at-risk patients, such as those who have decreased immune systems or who have diabetes mellitus.

Symptoms of otomycosis can include pain, redness of the external ear canal, and itchiness. The condition is often associated with a discharge from the ear that can be thick and yellow in nature. Other times this discharge can be white or black. Many patients report having a sense of the ear being full, and can have problems hearing on the affected side.

The diagnosis of otomycosis relies on understanding the clinical symptoms of the patient as well as knowing what other diseases the affected patient has. Patients with diabetes mellitus or suppressed immune systems are at an increased risk for developing this condition as compared to the general population. Regardless, patients are often misdiagnosed and given antibiotic ear drops because their physicians assume that the external ear infection is caused by bacteria instead of fungi. When patients do not improve with antibiotics, fungi might then be considered as a cause of infection. The diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a sample of the discharge from the ear and examining it under the microscope for the presence of fungi.

Treatment of otomycosis relies on prescribing antifungal agents. The ear is often initially cleaned after the diagnosis is made in hopes of removing as much of the fungus as possible. Patients are then typically given antifungal ear drops containing active ingredients such as clotrimazole or ketoconazole. Some physicians alternatively provide ear drops containing the active ingredients thimerosal or gentian violet. More severe otomycosis infections might require oral antifungal agents.

Although otomycosis is typically easily treated, some patients, particularly elderly patients with diabetes mellitus, are at risk for the infection spreading past the ear and into the base of the skull. Further invasion can be deadly, particularly if the bones of the skull are affected. The treatment of this condition requires hospitalization and treatment with intravenous medications.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.