Otomycosis in Children: Care Instructions

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Anatomy of child's ear, including outer ear, ear canal, eardrum, and inner ear.


Otomycosis is a fungal infection in the ear canal. It causes pain and itching. Sometimes fluid leaks from the ear. The infection can also cause a feeling of fullness in the ear and sometimes hearing loss.

Children who have diabetes or a weak immune system are more likely to get this problem.

Children who were treated with antibiotics for an ear infection may also get this fungus.

After your child has had an infection, they may get it again. Your doctor may have you put medicine in your child's ear. Treatment also includes cleaning the ear often.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Have your child take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Clean your child's ear canal and put in the medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow the schedule your doctor gives you.
  • Do not let your child put anything in the ear unless your doctor says it is okay. This includes cotton swabs or any other objects, such as your child's finger.
  • If your child has diabetes, keep your child's blood sugar in the target range. This will help your child fight the fungal infection.
  • Keep your child's ears dry.
    • Have your child take baths until your doctor says your child can take showers again.
    • When you wash your child's hair, use cotton lightly coated with petroleum jelly as an earplug. Do not use plastic earplugs.
    • Do not let your child swim until your doctor says it is okay.
    • If your child gets water in the ears, turn your child's head to each side and pull the earlobe in different directions. This will help the water run out. If your child's ears are still wet, use a hair dryer set on the lowest heat. Hold the dryer several inches from your child's ear.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has a new or higher fever.
  • Your child has new or worse pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around or behind the ear.
  • Your child has new or increasing pus or blood draining from the ear.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child has hearing changes.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter D815 in the search box to learn more about "Otomycosis in Children: Care Instructions".

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.