How To Get Rid of Itchy Ears – Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Ears are the most sensitive sense organ, which gets prone to the infections easily.  These infections in the ear will cause an irresistible urge to stretch your ears by some sharp objects. These sharp objects like bobby-pins, coat hangers, cotton swabs, and toothpicks can cause you the ear trauma in the ear canal and the damaging of tiny bones inside the ear can produce the risks of hearing loss. The most common cause of itchy ear(itching in the ear) is a nervous habit, fungal infection or maybe some skin diseases like Dermatitis, dead cells and dry skin. Relief from the itchy ears depends on the reason for its occurrence.

One of the main reason behind itching in ears is excessive use of headphones or exposure to the loud noise which can increase the risks factor of occurring Tinnitus and hearing loss

The skin of the ear canal is very thin and that’s why it is more prone to dryness and dangerous effect. Therefore, to avoid the problems of itchy ears always clean the area around the earbuds of listening devices like headphones.

Some of the common causes of Itchy Ears

The causes of itching in the ear can be anything from insects bite to fungal infections, which can make the skin of the ear highly inflammatory. The causes of the itchy ear are categorized as the bilateral and unilateral ear itch. The bilateral ear itch can occur due to bacterial or fungal infection whereas, the unilateral are caused due to internal ear problems. There are many reasons for the itchy ears. Some of the major reasons which cause itching in ears are discussed as follows:

Earwax Buildup

Earwax BuildupThe human ear has its own phenomena to excrete out the dirt and dead skin cells from the ear in the form of earwax. This earwax is not only dirt but also preserve your ear from foreign particles entering the ear canal. Earwax is also responsible for itchy ear if the amount of earwax produced by your ear is more or the present earwax are pushed too far into the ear canal. Thick and hard ear wax block the ear canal and people trying to clean it through cotton swabs can, even more, worsen the condition. Blocking of ear canal also tends to other severe problems.

The ways to remove earwax from the ear canal are enormous which can be adopted without hindering the hearing ability of an individual. Avoiding cotton swabs and another pointed object to the ears is a must.

Do read – Why cleaning ear with Cotton Swab should be avoided?

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is the chronic skin disease in which red scales and patches are visible over the skin. It causes the rapid growth of skin cells before the time of fall off. Inflammation and redness around the patches are very common in psoriasis. They might develop anywhere in the body including

  • Scalpersaffect of Psoriasis on hands
  • Neck
  • Ear
  • Hands
  • Feet and
  • Rarely around nails, face, and genitals.

You can get over with psoriasis or eczema with the help of ear drops and in the severe conditions, you might have to take steroid pills.

Outer ear infections(swimmer’s ear)

Swimmer’s ear is also known as the type of otitis externa or the outer ear infection. It usually occurs in the opening of the outer ear and the ear canal connecting to the eardrum. Its common to the teen and adults spending a lot of time while swimming. You do not really have to be a swimmer for having swimmers ear, bathing in dirty water can also produce this ear infection. In this cases, earwax can provide protection to some extent but the itching is normal.

You can protect your ear from outer ear infection by draining out the water from the ear after swimming and if the infection has occurred then consult your doctor for some ear drops.

Do read – How to remove water from the ear?

Malignant otitis externa

Malignant Otitis Externa is similar to the swimmer’s ear which causes itching but they are not caused due to water remaining in the ear canal unlike the outer ear infection but the causes behind malignant is bacteria. 90% of people suffering from malignant otitis externa are patient with diabetes. It occurs to the person having a low immune system and suffering from diseases like:

  •  Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • HIV
  • AIDS

The bacteria enters your ear canal and causes infection. This infection reaches up to the tissues of the ear canal and destroys them along with the bones at the base of your skull. If they are left untreated it can reach up to the brain and the nervous system.

Do read – Ear Infection Symptoms | Causes | Home Remedies | Relief & Treatment

Allergic Reactions

signs of allergic reactionItchy ears can be caused by the inflammation in the lining of the ear canal due to an allergic reaction. And this reaction is caused due to shampoos, soaps with an expiry date or metal earrings. Sometimes the itching in ears is also caused due to the change of products because the ear canal is very sensitive.

Loss of Cerumen

Loss of cerumen can also cause itchy ears because the skin of ear canal is so thin and if you remove all cerumen from the ear canal it will make ears so dry and it results in the itching in the ears.

Some of the common symptoms of Itchy Ears

Itchy ears show some of the common symptoms which involves the continuous desire to scratch your ears. The symptoms of the itchy ear can be variable along with scratching which is dependable on its cause so, the symptoms of ear itch are divided as:

  • Bilateral ear itch
  • Unilateral ear itch

Some of the causes of the bilateral itchy ear are the common cold, swimmer’s ear, dermatitis and normal congestion which shows the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue, Congestion
  • A headache
  • Pain in the ear canal
  • Ear fullness/pressure
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Ear pain that gets worse when moving
  • A sore throat
  • Dry skin, Scalp itchiness
  • Ear itch, Ear redness, Scabbed area of the ear
  • Feeling itchy or tingling all over, Flexor surface rash

Whereas, some of the common causes of the unilateral itchy ear are swimmers ear, chronic earwax buildup and it shows the following symptoms:

  • Fever,
  • Pain in an ear canal,
  • Ear fullness/pressure,
  • Continuous ear pain that gets worse when moving,
  • Dizziness,
  • Ringing in the ears or tinnitus,
  • Drainage from the ear.

Treatments 

The ear itching is almost always manageable and curable if you seek appropriate medical assistance in a timely fashion. The treatment prescribed for the itchy ear will vary depending upon the root cause of the itching and there are various options available. The very common causes like loss of cerumen, common cold, congestion can heal up on their own so the doctor might prescribe you to manage the home condition in which your ear cannot be affected further or they might prescribe you with some antibiotic ear drops for excessive pain and ear infection. So the treatment for the itchy ear is

Wear shower caps

These shower caps are prescribed commonly to prevent the affected area from getting moist. They can be used by the person having itchy ear due to swimmers ear, allergic reaction and unsuitable hearing aids.

Moisturizing ear drops

These ear drops are used to treat the dry skin of the ear canal caused by loss of the cerumen. Sometimes cotton swabs are used with high precautions to clean the ear gently. In this cases, swimming should be highly prohibited.Moisturizing ear drops

Antibiotic ear drops

In case of ear infection, these drops are used to tackle the pathogens causing irritation. Corticosteroid drops or anti-fungal drops are prescribed for swelling around the outer ear. They are easily available and its cost ranges from $5-$10.Antibiotic ear drops

Ear Syringing

In case of earwax buildup, ear syringing process is used to clear the ear canal full of earwax.

Ear Syringing
Ear Syringing

Allergic reaction

In case of allergic reaction, patients are tested to determine the allergic factor. Some products or activities like swimming are prohibited.

Natural ear infection remedies

Bacteria and viruses cause an ear infection. Some of the Natural Remedies that can be adopted to get rid of the itching ear are :Natural ear infection remedies 

  • Garlic oil: Garlic has antimicrobial properties and quality of pain-relieving, therefore it is helpful in the treatment of infections.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It is a good option to get rid of fungus infection.
  • Warm water-Bottle: It is helpful in removing micro-organism.
  • Olive oil: It removes the obstruction of the Eustachian tube blockage.
  • Salt: It is the most easily available home remedy to remove the ear infection.

Preventions

Yes, itching in the ear can also cause Hearing loss. But hearing loss caused by itchy ear is temporary and can be recovered easily. Hearing impairment due to an ear infection is temporary and it can be eliminated by using antibiotics. Antibiotics successfully treat the infection and your hearing should return to normal. Your hearing specialist can drain the fluid out from your ear canal and your ear becomes capable to hear properly and clearly. Another major reason for hearing loss is when the Eustachian tube fails to do its job and you need to find a long-term measure to manage your hearing. You can adopt some of the safety measures to prevent itchy ears from returning such as:

  • Bathing with the compulsory wearing on the shower cap or cotton wool balls.
  • Headbands or swimmers earplugs are available to escape the moist ear
  • Antihistamine medications are used by the person having sensitive skin allergic to shampoos or formulated shower gels.
  • Earphones or hearing aids should be of a perfect fit.
  • Use of moisturizing cream or oils is suitable for excessive dryness.

Outlook

Severe Itching in the ear can be so much frustrating with the chances of permanent hearing loss if not treated on time. And if you are suffering from it then it’s time to arrange a consultation. Don’t delay and ensure your hearing returns to its normal condition.

What can you do about Itching Ears?

  • If you are using a hearing aid and it starts itching then you should consult your Audiologist.
  • Avoid using unnecessary liquids in the ear.
  • Avoid using continuous use of headphones.
  • If your skin is allergic, then consult with the dermatologist before changing your products.
  • Always try to clean the ear wax but not with the cotton swabs or pointed object.
  • Visit an Audiologist for your ear cleaning once in 6 months as over cleaning may also result in dry skin and itchy ears.
How To Get Rid of Itchy Ears – Causes, Treatment & Prevention
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