The sensation of itchiness in the ears can be triggered by various conditions. Some of these can be remedied while others require proper assessment by a doctor. It is important that you are familiar with the common causes of itchy ears.
Take note that swimmer’s ear or otitis externa is an infection affecting the outer ear. This condition develops once bacteria grow inside the trapped water in the ear. Swimmer’s ear is quite common in children but can also occur in adults as well. Aside from the itchy ears, other symptoms include:
- Flaky skin
- Redness of the ear
- Pain when moving the head or touching the ear
- Ear drainage
The treatment usually involves the use of antibiotic ear drops. The ideal way to prevent swimmer’s ear is to keep the ears dry by using ear plugs when swimming or gently dry the ears using a hair dryer after bathing.
Excessive ear wax
Substantial ear wax can cause itchy ears. In most cases, the ears are “self-cleaning” but some individuals tend to produce excessive amount of ear was or unable to clear the ear wax from the ears on their own.
It is important to note that skin issues such as eczema, dryness, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis can affect the skin inside the ear canal, thus causing itchy ears. The dry skin within the ears can be managed by applying a drop or two of baby oil or olive oil in the ear daily. Just remember not to do this if the individual has ear surgery that affected the overall integrity of the eardrum. In addition, allergic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can be treated with steroids.
Individuals who wear hearing aids might experience itchy ears if they are allergic to the plastic the hearing aid is made of. If this is the case, the hearing aid should be replaced with a different type of mold.
Do not forget that it is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the polish on the surface of the hearing aid mold. In such cases, you can try to remove the polish by cleaning the hearing aid using alcohol before placing in the ear.
Depending on the shape of the ear and type of hearing aid used, an itchy ear can occur if the hearing aid adds pressure on the tissues of the ear.
Itchy ear when swallowing
It is important to note that some individuals can experience an itchy feeling deep in the ear when swallowing. The auditory tube (Eustachian tube) opens up every time the individual swallows. The itchiness typically occurs once there is another condition that causes a sore throat such as the cold virus. This typically resolves once the condition that causes the sore throat goes away.