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What is itchy ear?

Itchy ear is a symptom that often occurs as a result of an ear infection. It is typically caused by an imbalance in the natural flora of the skin of the ear canal. Itchy ear is a common problem and usually indicates the presence of an underlying disease. Excessive cleaning of earwax can cause a break in the skin and make the ear susceptible to infections. Using objects like Q-tips, toothpicks and safety pins to scratch the ear can damage the ear canal.

What are its associated signs and symptoms?

Symptoms associated with itchy ear include:

What are its main causes?

Common conditions that present with itchy ear are:

  • Psoriasis
  • Inflammation of the nose (rhinitis)
  • Swimmer’s ear (infection of the outer ear canal)
  • Blockage due to earwax
  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Dry skin

A common cause of itchy ear is a fungal infection. In some individuals, the ear is so sensitive that even a minute amount of dirt or any foreign particle can trigger itching

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Your physician will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination to check for conditions that cause itching. An otoscope may be used to examine the ear and rule out ear disorders. Treatment will then be provided based on the diagnosis.

Treatment includes:

  • Antibiotic or antifungal ear drops may be prescribed for treating the infection.
  • Mild steroid drops may be used for itchy ears.
  • Earwax dissolving drops can help relieve blockage.

Preventive care:

  • Mild cases can be easily taken care of at home, but if it persists, then it is best to consult with a physician.
  • Consult with an ENT specialist or skin doctor if you have askin infection that has chances of affecting the ear.
  • If you use hearing aids, it is advised to clean them regularly to ward off infections.
  • If you experience any unusual bleeding episodes, consult your physician immediately.
  1. Medicines for Itchy Ear
  2. Doctors for Itchy Ear
Dr. Chintan Nishar

Dr. Chintan Nishar

ENT
10 Years of Experience

Dr. K. K. Handa

Dr. K. K. Handa

ENT
21 Years of Experience

Dr. Aru Chhabra Handa

Dr. Aru Chhabra Handa

ENT
24 Years of Experience

Dr. Jitendra Patel

Dr. Jitendra Patel

ENT
22 Years of Experience

References

  1. Flushing Hospital Medical Center. [Internet]. New York, United States; Itchy Ears – What is the Cause and How do You Treat Them?
  2. St. Louis Children's Hospital. [Internet]. Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Ear - Pulling At.
  3. Cleveland Clinic. [Internet]. Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, United States; The Sticky Truth About Itchy Ears: You May Be Causing the Problem.
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Ear Infections.
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Seborrheic dermatitis.

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