Otomycosis: symptoms and treatment
Otomycosis is an ailment of a fungal nature that affects the middle and outer ear. By localization of the disease in most cases, the disease is one-sided, and only in one of ten cases the problem occurs simultaneously in two ears. The disease is caused by Candida, Penicillium and Aspergillus fungi.
The problem of this disease is that at the initial stage of its development there are no specific symptoms. Initially, it can be tinnitus and stuffiness, a decrease in auditory perception and weak pain sensations. Then there may be a discharge from the auditory orifice. The diagnosis of «otomycosis» can be made only after clinical studies of the fungal environment.
This ailment is most common in children. Adults are less susceptible to the disease, equally can hurt both men and women. Risk group — children from one year to five years. Otomycosis can affect people who have suffered mastoidotomy or use a hearing aid. The danger of this disease threatens also swimmers. In addition, observations have shown that the spread of fungal infection, which can cause otomycosis of the ear, is more active in a humid tropical climate.
Causes of the disease
The main causative agent of otomycosis of the ear is a fungal infection. It spreads in a warm climate, but some fungi can enter the body if there is candidiasis of the skin or genital candidiasis. This disease can also stimulate dermatophytes or actinomycetes.
In some cases otomycosis appears due to an ear trauma or foreign body entering. Impact on the development of the disease can be excessive sweating or minor scratches in the scratching. Violation of the rules of hygiene can also provoke an ailment.
Another cause of the disease may be dysbiosis. If a person was sick, for example, with otitis, and specific procedures (washing, taking antibiotics), this can lead to otomycosis of the external or middle ear. Also, the disease can cause weakening of the immune system, allergy or diabetes.
Depending on the localization of inflammatory processes, these types of otomycosis are distinguished:
- fungal myrugitis
- Mycotic otitis media;
- otomycosis of the postoperative cavity.
About half of patients suffer otomycosis of the external ear. Very rarely occurs the average fungal otitis media. As for the mechanism of development, this affliction has three stages. At the initial stage, there are uncomfortable sensations and itching. The ear can be stuffed. Then the acute stage develops: the pain sensations increase, redness, ear swelling is noted.
Chronic otomycosis does not have such vivid symptoms. Periodically, there is an exacerbation of the pathological process, at which time the otorrhoea resumes.
Symptomatic of the disease
Termination of the production of a fat film of the ear may indicate external otomycosis. This happens due to injury to the skin or moisture. Appears edema of the hearing aid and a blockage of the glands of the skin. Feeling of itching and stuffiness are the first symptoms of ailment. Patients write off these symptoms for contamination of the ear canal, so try to clean it. This leads to damage to the skin and the wound gets infected, the disease progresses. So, small symptoms, careless movements can aggravate the situation and sharply lead to an acute form of otomycosis.
Next, edema of the external ear with pronounced hyperemia occurs.
Excretions, the number of which becomes more in a few days, is also a characteristic symptom of the acute stage. Over time, the auditory opening completely overlaps, there is a hearing loss and noises, sounds are perceived extremely poorly. All this is accompanied by severe pain.
Often otomycosis can provoke regional lymphadenitis. The infection itself affects the outer part of the ear, and the middle ear cavity «attacks» in rare cases. This can happen in patients with leukemia or with diabetes.
If a person develops an inflammation of the tympanic cavity, then against the background of this may develop a mycotic otitis media. During these diseases, pain increases and well-being worsens. The state of hearing drops sharply, there is a noise in the ears, the head hurts.
When a fungal infection spreads in the ear, it affects the skin. This can cause fungal myringitis. There are such symptoms: a decrease in hearing abilities, painful sensations.
After tympanoplasty or radical mastoidectomy, otomycosis of the postoperative cavity may appear. There may be pain in the ear and around it. The danger of the condition is that the patients perceive these symptoms as the consequences of previous procedures.
In addition to the above characteristics, with otomycosis, intoxication and an increase in body temperature to high digits can occur.
Diagnosis and treatment
To establish the diagnosis, it is necessary to take a smear for culture and microscopic analysis. This diagnosis is indicated by fungal spores and mycelial filaments in the smear. These studies provide an opportunity to determine the type of fungi that caused the disease.
In addition to laboratory studies, one must also collect anamnesis of life and disease, conduct clinical diagnostics, microscopy and otoscopy.
If suspected otomycosis of the ear should be conducted with a tuning fork and acoustic impedance measurement. You also need to do audiometry and otoacoustic emission.
After the examination, the doctor will be able to prescribe an adequate course of treatment with the use of antifungal drugs. Treatment of otomycosis is a complex exercise that includes taking medications and carrying out various procedures. First, the doctor prescribes antimycotic and antifungal drugs. Secondly, the organs of the hearing aid can be flushed. For this purpose, quinazole and nystatin, amphotericin, clotrimazole and Castellani liquid are administered. Before this procedure, it is necessary to cleanse the ear of excreta and sulfur. Third, to treat the disease is necessary with the help of medications with fungicidal activity (fluconazole).
Treatment of otomycosis should include strengthening the immune system. To treat this disease, it is important to normalize the microflora of the ear. To do this, doctors prescribe drugs with vitamins.
If the patient has more illnesses, they should be eliminated urgently. Also desensitizing therapy is relevant, because often otomycosis can provoke an allergic reaction of the body.
Treatment of otomycosis should be carried out only in a complex manner. The complex includes high-quality medicinal preparations, therapeutic procedures, intake of vitamins and strengthening of immunity. If otomycosis is accompanied by background diseases, they should also be treated intensively to eliminate the causes and diseases of the external and middle ear.