Most people at some time or another have experienced itchy ears. You know, that nagging itch deep within your ear canal that you can’t scratch to get relief? This feeling is certainly uncomfortable and it can lead to individuals to do whatever it takes to get some relief. So, if you are wondering where that itch is coming from, here are some causes of itchy ears and how to prevent it. number #7 is probably the most dangerous one
Common Causes of Itchy Ears
1 – Dry Ears
Your ears are self-cleaning organs. Wax created in the ear canal is to help with keeping your ears lubricated for proper draining and overall health. Some people will over-clean their ears which can cause dry skin that leads to itching. Others may not naturally produce enough ear wax which can cause the dryness. It’s important to not over-do-it when cleaning with cotton swabs as it could damage your ear canal. The best practice is to let your ears clean themselves naturally.
2 – Ear Infections
Itching in the ear canal can be a symptom of ear infections or a sign that one may be forming. If an infection is the cause of the itch, it’s best to see a doctor as prescription antibiotics may be needed for relief.
3 – Allergies
Indoor and outdoor allergies can cause itchy ears but the main culprit is actually food allergies. Typically if food allergies are causing your ears to itch, other parts of your body would itch too like your neck and face especially around your mouth. So if the itch is coming from allergies it is best to speak with your doctor about medications to help and stay away from the foods that are causing the itching.
5 – Hearing Aids, Ear Buds, Ear Plugs, etc…
Sometimes everyday items can cause itchy ears. The plastic on some of these items can irritate the ear causing inflammation and itching. Another common cause is dirty equipment. Not cleaning your hearing aids or earbuds often enough can create more dirt and even leading to infections. Make sure to clean all devices once a week with an alcohol swab to avoid buildup.
6 – Blockage of Earwax
An excessive amount or overly compacted earwax can cause itchy ears. It’s important to remember when cleaning your ears to never stick anything in your ear canal. Doing this only pushes ear wax back further and can cause blockages. As mentioned before, let your ears clean themselves and only use a cotton swab for the outer parts of your ear.
7 – Certain Skin Conditions
Individuals that have skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis can experience itchy ears. Certain creams or ointments can help with inflammation and itching on the skin surrounding the ear. Make sure to not put anything directly in your ear unless instructed by a doctor.
As a recap, here are some ways to treat or prevent itchy ears.
- Don’t over-clean your ears.
- Avoid foods that are potential allergens
- Clean hearing equipment frequently
Remember, it is always best to speak with a doctor if the problem persists or gets worse. Never stick anything down your ear or use creams that are meant for other areas. The good news is that itchy ears typically go away on their own and with good practice, your ears can be healthy and itch-free.