Ear infections are painful and never welcome no matter how they are contracted. They are generally a result of inflammation and fluid buildup in the ear but can be triggered by other factors including altitude changes, cigarette smoke exposure, pacifier use, climate changes, and recent illness or ear infection. Given all of these risks, can mold cause ear infections? The answer is: it depends.
Does Mold Cause Ear Infection?
When mold finds its way into the ear canal, a fungal ear infection may take place. Sometimes, if q tips or antibiotic ear drops are overused, it can result in fungal outer ear infections. Mold has been known to cause hearing loss. For instance, if you get a sinus or a severe throat infection, it is likely that you will feel as if your ears are clogged up and may not be able to hear as well as you normally do.
Since the ears, nose, and throat are all connected, an infection in any of these areas will affect your hearing. You should be able to hear normally once the infection clears up. The more serious the infection, the longer it will take to gain back normal hearing. In some cases, hearing loss can be permanent.
The Connection Between Tinnitus and Mold
Tinnitus is an ear condition in which you may hear a sound that can’t be linked to an external source. It may be in the form of ringing, buzzing, or hissing with no known cause. According to the American Tinnitus Association, these sounds are not caused by mold but are the direct result of changes in ear pressure caused by an infection. Sometimes, it can be so severe that it interferes with normal hearing.
What About Black Mold?
Can black mold cause ear infections? Black mold or toxic mold can be just as harmful if present in the ear, nose, or throat. Toxic mold has been known to cause sinus problems and make the body vulnerable to more serious infections. When the immune system is suppressed by black mold, infections easily enter the body and wreak havoc.
Ear Infection Symptoms
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms due to mold exposure, make sure to visit your doctor right away:
- Ear itching
- Diminished hearing
- Loss of balance
- Temporary hearing loss
- Discharge from the ear
- Pain from the ear
- Coughing up blood
Getting Rid of an Ear Infection
Ear infections, also known by their medical term of acute otitis media, can be a pain, literally. Repeated exposure to mold will prevent the body from healing quickly from an ear infection. Getting rid of the root cause of the ear infection will ensure it doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, you’ll need some ways to treat ear infections.
- Hydrogen peroxide – This is a great home remedy that usually works very well. Using an eardropper, place a few drops of the hydrogen peroxide into the infected ear while tilting your head to let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This will soften any hardened debris inside the ear and wash out any fungus, including mold.
- Hair dryer – Placing your hair dryer on its lowest setting, and placing it 10 inches away from your ear will dry out any moisture and fungus still lingering inside your ear canal.
- Warm compress – Using a clean towel soaked in warm water, place it on the infected ear to relieve pain and increase blood flow, leading to faster recovery.
- Rubbing alcohol + apple cider vinegar – Using a 1:1 ratio and an ear dropper, let the drops settle in the ear for 10 minutes. This should be repeated every four hours for two weeks. The rubbing alcohol acts as a drying agent, getting rid of the moisture and mold that may be present inside the ear. The acidity from the apple cider vinegar slows the growth of any mold or fungus.
Mold can have numerous harmful effects. It’s always best to visit a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. In the meantime, our customer service at Mr. Mold goes beyond the quality of our products to keep our customers informed. Give us a call for questions and inquires about our services.