Discomfort and itching in the ears are common symptoms that all people experience. Most don’t even pay attention to it. After all, discomfort most often quickly passes without causing any problems.
However, this is not always the case. In what situation should a person start to worry? Let’s look into this issue together.
What is an itchy ear?
Each person experienced a feeling of irritation and tingling in the ear area. It’s an unpleasant feeling of discomfort. A person wants to scratch his ear to get rid of discomfort. A person suffers from irritation and cannot help himself, because getting to the site of inflammation is not always easy. The ear canal has a narrow and winding structure, so it is not so easy to get to the point of irritation. Moreover, audiologists recommend to stay away from using q-tips. Firstly, you are unlikely to get to the right spot, and secondly, you risk causing serious damage.
As a rule, the itchy ear quickly passes by itself without causing any problems. With a rare manifestation and the absence of discomfort, the symptom can be easily ignored. But if such sensations appear more and more often, this is a clear signal to seek help!
What are the symptoms and causes of itchy ears?
Before we look at the methods of getting rid of the problem, let’s look at the causes and symptoms of Itchy ear. Treatment will depend on them.
Any adult at least once in his life felt the symptoms of itchy ears. We are talking about tingling, discomfort, and irritation. They appear near or inside the ear. In addition, there may be:
Peeling of the ear canals, etc.
Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro notes that such symptoms won’t bring you anything good. Symptoms of Itchy ear indicate problems that should not be ignored. Have you noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one? Then immediately seek help from a doctor! Don’t wait for things to get out of control, causing serious complications, including hearing loss. If for one reason or another, you begin to notice hearing impairment, you can always check it with a free online hearing test. The results can show the presence or absence of a problem for further decision-making.
Of course, an itchy ear is an unpleasant sensation. What are the causes of the itchy ear?
Earwax blockage is the most common cause of discomfort. Earwax has a protective function. Its main purpose is to protect against infections, dust, etc. Improper ear hygiene with cotton swabs (a very popular cleaning method) forms an earwax plug. It significantly reduces hearing acuity. In addition, earwax blockage causes persistent itching. To help a person get rid of discomfort, it is necessary to remove wax buildup.
An allergy is a response of the immune system to exposure to certain substances that the body perceives as dangerous. Sources of an allergic reaction can be different. These are food, plant pollen, animal hair, etc. One of the symptoms of an allergy is itching all over the body, including the ears.
Infections often cause discomfort and pain in the ears. By no means should they be ignored. Without proper treatment, you risk hearing loss due to complications. Colds, flu, and other illnesses can cause inflammation of the inner ear. Similar problems often occur when water enters the ear. The penetration of pathogenic microflora occurs from the nasopharynx directly into the tympanic cavity. Pain, endless itching, and discharge indicate the severity of the problem, which requires prompt treatment.
When water gets into the ear, many people try to clean the ear cavity with cotton swabs, which damages the skin inside the ear canal. Pathogenic bacteria from the water immediately colonize such areas, leading to inflammation. Summer otitis begins with itching inside the ear. Without timely treatment, itching develops into pain. First, a clear yellowish liquid begins to flow from the ear, after a while, it turns into pus. If left untreated, the problem may lead to hearing loss.
Skin infections and diseases can also affect the ears. On examination, you can notice signs of inflammation, the formation of spots, and bubbles around the ear, which cause peeling of the skin and itching. The following diseases can cause discomfort in the ears:
Headphones and hearing aids
Headphones and Bluetooth headsets are essential attributes of a modern person. The statement is relevant for both teenagers and the older generation. Electronic devices have a plastic case that constantly rubs the skin inside the ear, which can cause itching and even the development of an allergic reaction and skin irritation. Unfortunately, people who use hearing aid and ear plugs are at risk.
How to get rid of itchy ears?
Are itchy ears the first sign of hearing loss? Of course not. But it is impossible to ignore the frequent manifestations of irritation and discomfort in the ears.
Itchy ear treatments depend on the cause of the problem. Therefore, the first step to recovery is diagnosis. Testing can show what led to the itching and what treatment is appropriate in a particular case. An ENT, after examining, can refer you to a dermatologist or neurologist for further diagnostics.
Do you have earwax blockage? The doctor can remove it with the help of medical instruments. Many people try to remove earwax at home using special drops and even ear wax candles. But these methods are less effective than the work of a doctor.
In the event of an allergic reaction, it is necessary to identify allergens and take antihistamines. The allergist can give all the necessary recommendations and prescribe medication, diet, etc.
Do you have itchy ears due to infections? You’ll have to drink antiviral drugs or antibiotics. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe the necessary medications. Drops that have an anti-inflammatory effect are also widely used.
Itchy ears are a common occurrence. Every person encounters it. Do not panic and do not be afraid ahead of time. Most often, the problem goes away on its own without any consequences. If the problem begins to bother you, then it’s time to consult a doctor. Prolonged discomfort, the appearance of pain, and discharge indicate the presence of a serious problem. Do not ignore it.
Itching and discomfort will disappear by eliminating the root cause of its occurrence. Do not self-medicate. Only a doctor can prescribe treatment, after examining and conducting some examination methods.
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]