How to Avoid Fungus Balls from Growing in Your Ears

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Playing Is There Fungus Growing in Your Ears?

You have heard of an ear infection and might deal with them from time to time, but a small number of infections are actually fungus balls -- The Doctors share how to avoid fungal growth in your ears.

Otolaryngologist Dr. Sina Joorabchi says most people have around a 10 percent chance of getting an ear infection, and 1/8 of these ear infections are actually fungus balls or a fungus infection. He says this issue is more common in areas with high humidity, along with:

  • People who wear earphones and earplugs often, as the moisture can get trapped in the ear
  • For those who use cotton swabs in the ear, as the wax can be pushed against the eardrum and trap moisture in the ear
  • Swimmers
  • People who use hair dye or hairspray, as these chemical irritants can be a risk factor if they enter the ear

Dr. Joorabchi says a fungus ball will feel similar to having wax in the ear but will be accompanied by more itching and says a fungus ball can look like "wet newspaper."

To prevent fungus balls from growing your ears, the otolaryngologist recommends:

  • Keep your ears dry
  • Keep ear acidic by combining equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water, and mixing it together, followed by adding a few drops into the ear to prevent and treat
  • Do not use cotton swabs, and instead use a small amount of mineral oil or olive oil in an ear dropper bottle to address any ear itching

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