Have you ever had itchy ears? What causes this common yet bothersome affliction? How can you treat it? We answer these questions and more in the following blog article.
What Causes Itchy Ears?
The most common causes of itchy ears include:
- Ear infections: Itchy ears may in fact be a result of an ear infection, and can be caused by a buildup of earwax, bacteria, or even the common cold or flu.
- Dry Ears: Ears naturally produce oil and earwax in order to keep the ear(s) healthy. Cleaning one’s ear can cause dryness which in turn can cause irritating itchiness. In some cases, insufficient earwax production can also result in dry ears.
- Food Allergies: Allergic reactions to certain foods can cause people to have itchy ears; common food allergies include nuts, milk, seafood, fruit, wheat and soy. Itchiness due to an allergic reaction may affect more than just your ears; one may experience itchiness on the rest of the face.
- Earwax Blockage: An excess buildup of earwax can cause itchy ears as well as affect one’s hearing. Earwax blockage can trap bacteria in the ear and cause an infection which can result in itchy ears.
- Swimmer’s Ear: If water gets trapped in the ear, it can cause a condition called acute otitis externa. This condition is also known as swimmer’s ear because it frequently affects swimmers. Bacteria can multiply in the trapped water, causing an infection and can make the ear feel very itchy.
- Allergic Rhinitis: Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, happens when people have an allergic reaction to common particles found in the air, such as pollen, dust mites, or animal fur. This type of allergic reaction can cause itchiness in the ears, eyes, and throat along with other symptoms.
- Skin Conditions: People who have a skin condition near the ear(s) may experience itchy ears. Some people might also notice inflamed, scaly patches in or around the ear. Common skin conditions that may cause itchy ears include psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
Tips on How to Avoid Itchy Ears?
- Practice good ear hygiene.
- If you wear earrings, make sure they are made of hypoallergenic metals.
- Avoid getting excess amounts of water in your ears.
- If you are a hearing aid user, try to insert your device(s) carefully and gently.
How to Treat Itchy Ears?
First of all, do not attempt to insert something in your ear to scratch the “itch.” This can indeed make the problem worse as you risk damaging the eardrum while ironically, increasing your urge to scratch the itch even more. In most cases, it is recommended that you treat the underlying problem. If the problem persists, you may need to seek advice from a medical healthcare professional.
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