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phacker

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Posts: 132
Reply with quote  #1 
I have been dealing with a fungal ear infection for about 3 weeks with pain, itching, H worse, and ear fullness. I have been taking Clotrimazole ear drops but, the drops were not solving the issue.  I went to an ENT yesterday and the fungus needed to be removed form the ear canal.  We talked about my H and possible solution to remove the fungus. If it was done manual, he felt all the fungus could not be removed and a reinfection may happen. The best option to remove the fungus was a suction devise, but it was loud.  I opted to try the suction removal if it got too loud I would have him quit. I made a poor decision.  Once the suction device got hold of some of the fungus, the sound level was as loud as anything I have ever heard.  With the loud sound I got a shot of nerve pain that went through my whole body and I was stunned from the nerve pain.  Today, I am dealing with a H setback and distorted sounds in my right ear.  I will never again allow a suction device to be used to clean anything from my ears. 
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gutsygirl

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Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm dealing with frequent, recurring fungal ear infections. It's misery and makes my H worse as well. I've used Ciprodex several times, but that doesn't cut it because it's antibacterial instead of antifungal. 

For now, this is what I've found that really helps me, and it really does. Obviously...don't try this unless you feel comfortable with any possible risks! 

I use an empty eye dropper bottle (buy Equate (Walmart) brand of eye drops and pull out the plug, empty the contents, and fill with your own ingredients). I fill it with a 1:1 mix of isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar. THIS IS PRETTY STRONG SO YOU MAY WANT TO WATER IT DOWN (and I would suggest doing so for the first few trials until you know how your ears and H respond, if you decide to try it)! Again, this is just what works for me.

Anytime I take a shower or wash my head in the sink, I use about 7 drops per ear and only let them set in there a few seconds before I quickly tip my head to let them come out onto a tissue. If I wait too long, it can cause irritation. But doing it this way I can use the drops once a day and it really has made my fungal issue much better. 

I found that my ears were overproducing wax and white fungal puss stuff. Ick. Before I found this trick, I was using Q-tips in my ears to get the extra junk out but that was a bad idea and I got some cotton (that I couldn't notice) stuck in my ear canal which started an infection. Note to readers: cotton swabs should NEVER be used INSIDE the ear canal! Lesson learned. 

So now I use only Debrox (or a knock-off) and a ear syringe bulb to clean out any excess wax or ick. But now that I am regularly using the alcohol and vinegar mix, I don't have nearly as much build-up and ears are happier.

If I stop using the alcohol and vinegar mix, my ears get miserable within about a week and the cycle starts over again (including increased H). Any itching, pressure, piercing ear pain or changing H tips me off that the fungus is again winning. 

Interestingly I've got a lot of fungal issues all over. I shave my head because I have dermatitis really bad and have to use antifungal shampoos, plus I use antifungal body wash (Fungicure from Walmart)...and between all of that plus occasional spot treatment I'm able to barely keep things from the level of utter misery. But thus far, my ear drops have been the best thing to help my ears.

Please do consider diluting the solution and don't let it set...it's a quick process...because you don't want to cause more irritation. 

Removing the excess wax with Debrox and a bulb syringe has really helped my comfort level too. Naturally gets that fungs and excess wax out. Then the ear drops to dry out the ear canal and provide a "natural" antifungal. 

That's really how they work. The alcohol and vinegar together have the function of quickly removing water from the ear canals and being fungus-unfriendly. Fungus loves living in dark moist places! Decreasing the moisture is why I always do this after a shower or washing in the sink. 

I really hope this helps you and anyone else suffering with fungal issues. I know it's horrible. Good luck! 

Please, if you try it, leave a comment to let me and others know how it worked or didn't work for you. If you have any adverse events, please also let us know. And remember to dilute until you know how you respond!!
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gutsygirl

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Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #3 
Side Note:

Headphones or anything that closes yours ears off from full circulation, including ear plugs and various methods of hearing protection....they all can increase moisture in the ear canals which can make a perfect breeding ground for both fungus and bacteria. 

Fellow Hyperacusis folks, I really *do understand* how distressing it can be to remove our hearing protection or headphones or ear plugs. I live it too.

But if you are getting fungal infections, you need to get those ear canals to dry out. Our hearing protection methods fight nature's means of keeping our ears fungus-free. 

Hugs to you all. Keep trooping. 
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phacker

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Posts: 132
Reply with quote  #4 
Gutsygirl, thanks for the reply. 

As part of my current treatment after a manual removal of the fungus, I am taking Clotrimazole twice a day and once a day with alcohol and vinegar and I go back to the ENT doctor on Wednesday. I do not have any issues using the alcohol and vinegar. 

The Debrox does not work for me as it only softens the tip of the ear wax.  I have been using water in a ear syringe bulb to clean out the wax and after cleaning out the ear wax with water, I got the fungal infection.  Gutsygirl, what do you think of using the alcohol and vinegar in a  syringe bulb to clean out ear wax, so I do not get water in my ears? 


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gutsygirl

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Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #5 
I would not recommend using the alcohol and vinegar in an ear syringe bulb. Quantity is much more than necessary. I only use a few drops from a little ear dropper into each ear canal and tip my head to drain within a few seconds. I feel like leaving it in there longer could be too irritating to the ear canals, as well as using that amount of alcohol and vinegar. 

The purpose of the alcohol mixed with vinegar is to:
1) dry the ear canals quickly and
2) create an environment less conducive to the growth of fungus

A little goes a long way.

Preventing water from getting in, at least for me, has been less of a problem once I started treating my ear canals with the alcohol and vinegar mix as soon as I was out of the shower and dried off. But I understand you've got a wax blob stuck, and yes, that may need manual removal by the doctor. 

Hope things are improving for you!
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debk_1

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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #6 
I suffered my first fungal ear infection last summer.  I had no idea what was going on.  Saw a nurse practitioner who prescribed antibiotic pills.  That didn't work.  Saw my primary doc.  He sent me to an ENT who then suctioned it all out.  I can only sleep with either ear buds in my ears or earphones due to my T & H.  In the mornings when I wake up, my ears are sooo wet--just feels like liquid.  They told me to not use q-tipsโ€ฆ.which I went for several months not doing....but just couldn't stand it anymore and went back to using them.  I cannot stand not having clean ears and since the H & T, my ears itch all the time (esp. at nite) and, as I said, are super wet in the morning.  Yuck.  I am trying to keep my earbuds clean now, but I am writing down this recipe of 1/2 vinegar plus 1/2 rubbing alcohol...slightly diluted.  Easier than making a dr. app't and much cheaper!  Thanks for the idea.   Deb
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gutsygirl

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Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #7 
You're welcome, Deb! But you really have my Gran to thank for the idea. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She's in heaven now, but she'd get a good laugh knowing that her "recipe" for fungal ear infections was helping folks beyond her grave! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I know she'd be laughing for sure. 

She also used to use ear candles. Those are interesting! Be careful with them if you try, and definitely use tin foil between your head and the candle to prevent dripping wax. They worked pretty well for me. 
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