Itchy ears can be the result of multiple different reactions. The ears are a very sensitive part of the body, and can develop infections on their own or as a result of sinus distress. In order to determine the best treatment for an itchy ear, you will need to narrow down what is causing the distress. Making note of different symptoms can help you get an idea of what the root cause of your discomfort is.
Possible Causes of Itchy Ears
If the ear itself is itchy then you may be suffering from an allergic reaction. If you have recently eaten foods that you are not used to or come in contact with chemicals such as latex, they might be causing a reaction. You may also have been bitten by an insect that you are allergic to, or could be having a reaction to cosmetics or detergents. If you have done something out of the ordinary lately, this may help you narrow down what substance is causing the discomfort. This is more likely if you notice a rash on other parts of the body.
Many diseases can also cause the ear to become itchy. You may be dealing with a skin irritation such as eczema or psoriasis. These conditions are categorized by the development of dry, scaly, or silvery skin patches. In most cases, these patches will not be restricted to the ear itself, but will develop in many locations around the body. If you notice red spots around the body that are contributing to your itchy ear, you may be experiencing chickenpox. This is much more likely if you have never been vaccinated against it.
Some insects tend to make their home inside the ear, especially when the host is sleeping. If you notice a buzzing sound or it feels as though there is something moving around in your ear, you may have an unwanted guest inside. If you feel as though there is swelling throughout the ear, or you notice swollen patches on other areas of the skin in addition to this moving sensation you may be dealing with a case of ringworm.
If your inner ear is itchy, you are probably suffering from an internal condition. These can also be the result of an allergy that is infecting the sinuses, but you may also be suffering from an ear infection. These can be bacterial or fungal based. If you have recently exposed your ear to water, you may be dealing with a fungal infection. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms then you might be dealing with a bacterial infection.
How to Treat Itchy Ears
Your ear is very sensitive, so it is important to be gentle whenever you apply any sort of remedy for itching. If a skin condition is causing your irritation, use lotion or soothing gel to calm it. If you have a prescription for eczema or another skin disease, check with your doctor before putting the medication on the skin inside the ear. You may need to visit a doctor to have your ear cleaned as well. Not only will this cut down on the itching, but it can help your doctor collect samples of any fungus or bacteria that might be leading to your discomfort.
If you have an infection your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic or other medication that will help take down the infection. You may be prescribed antifungal drops that you place in the ear, or you may receive a prescription that you take orally. Take care to follow any instructions you get with care to avoid overdosing on the medication.
You can purchase over the counter ear drops that can soothe an itchy ear that has become irritated from an environmental cause. You can also use home remedies such as rubbing alcohol, vinegar or olive oil to relieve the itchy sensation. If you believe there is a bug in your ear, you may be able to gently flush it out with water. Any time you place something in your ear you want to be extremely careful. Do not place the dropper in too deep and never place more than one or two drops of any liquid in your ear. If you are prone to infections, do not place any water in the ear, but visit a doctor to determine how to remove the unwanted object or insect.
How to Prevent Itchy Ears
If you frequently suffer from itchy ears there are a few things you can do to cut down on this problem. Take care when you shower or swim to avoid water getting in the ear. You also want to avoid allowing products such as shampoo, hairspray, etc. from getting inside the ear and making it more uncomfortable. Cut down on using cotton swabs if your ear tends to be sensitive. You could actually be scratching the skin and making your condition worse.
Avoid allowing earwax to build up in the ear as it can cause irritation and house other irritants that might lead to an infection. You can use ear drops or olive oil to help soften wax so it can easily be removed. Simply drop one or two drops of the substance into your ear and then place the ear facing down onto a paper towel so the wax can run out. If this does not work for you, you can visit a doctor to have the wax from your ears drained.