Fungi are often commensals that can either be on the skin or inhaled and often don’t produce any problems.  They can however infect, and this is usually when there is decreased local or systemic immunity.  Any organ can be involved and this is very commonly found in the Ear Nose and Throat where the anatomy is dark or moist.  In the following blogs I will talk about fungal sinusitis. 

The Ear is often infected with candida (thrush) and can also be infected by bread mould like black fungus and this is called In otomycosis.  The fungus can grow in the ear often after prolonged antibiotic and steroid ear drop use.  Usually the patients present with a blocked itchy ear with a discharge not responding to conservative antibiotic treatment.  This fungal ear infection can be severe enough to destroy the ear drum.  The management is to take a culture to confirm the infection and to clean and treat the ear with an anti-fungal topical drop or cream.  Occasionally anti-fungals are used by mouth. 

In the Throat, candida is often found related to prolonged antibiotic use and decreased immunity such as HIV disease.  The management of thrush in the throat which can extend down into the oesophagus is topical anti-fungal drops and of course treating the underlying cause.