Author(s): Visweswara Rao Suraneni1, Nagamanohar Kapilavaya2, Sarath Babu Rayapu3, Suneel Kudamala4

Otomycosis is a superficial fungal infection of the external auditory canal. Its main presenting symptoms are itching, aural fullness, earache and hearing loss.
The aim of the study is to identify the most common fungal pathogen and predisposing factors for otomycosis and observe the response to treatment.
We conducted an institution-based prospective study on 50 clinically-diagnosed cases of otomycosis attending the ENT Outpatient Department. According to a predesigned proforma, each patient was studied for gender, age, occupation, presenting symptoms, predisposing factors, co-existing systemic diseases, fungal species identified and response to treatment with conventional antifungals.
Out of 50 patients, 30 were females and 20 males. In this study, age group 11-20 years were more affected. Otomycosis was found to be predominantly unilateral with the left side of ear being more affected when compared to right. However, bilateral infection was also observed and few cases reported negative for growth of fungi after microbiological study. In this study, Aspergillus niger (52%) was the commonest isolate followed by Candida (16%). Most of the clinically-diagnosed cases responded to topical antifungal ear drops with only few cases requiring additional treatment at follow up.
In this study, we found that otomycosis is more common in adolescent age group and in females than males. Aspergillus niger is the major aetiological agent. The major predisposing factors for otomycosis are hot and humid climate repeated manipulation with unsterile sticks and swabs in the external auditory canal, use of unsterile coconut oil and swimming. Thorough cleaning of external auditory canal and instilling topical antifungal drops still remains the gold standard treatment option for otomycosis per se.

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