Understanding your symptoms is key to finding the relief you need, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the four most common causes of an itchy ear.
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear caused by water getting trapped in the ear canal, triggering growth of bacteria and other germs. While swimmer’s ear is most common in children, it can also occur in adults. Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:
- Itchy ear.
- Flaky skin.
- Ear drainage/pus.
- Ear pain.
Swimmer’s ear can be prevented by wearing earplugs when swimming at Maxcy Gregg Pool or blow-drying the ears using a hairdryer on the lowest setting.
Antibiotic ear drops are typically needed to treat swimmer’s ear.
Just like the rest of your skin, your ear canals can be affected by skin problems such as dryness, eczema, psoriasis and fungal infections. The best course of treatment depends on exactly what the underlying issue is.
- Dryness can be treated by simply putting a drop or two of baby oil in each ear. (Note: don’t do this if you’ve recently had ear surgery or suspect your ear canal may be ruptured.)
- Eczema and psoriasis may be treated with topical steroids.
- Fungal infections may require a topical antifungal.
Allergies to Hearing Aids
Some people are sensitive to the materials used in hearing aids, like the plastic earmold or the polish on the surface. Talk to your audiologist to learn what your options are; you may simply need to be fit for a new earmold.
Another common cause of an itchy ear is impacted earwax.
Earwax plays the important role of keeping your ears lubricated and trapping any germs or debris that may try to make its way through the ear. In most cases, earwax works itself out of the ears on its own through natural jaw movements. For people who produce a lot of earwax or frequently wear earplugs, earbuds or hearing aids, it may become impacted.
Signs of impacted earwax include:
- Itchy ear.
- Plugged feeling in the ear.
- Odor or discharge.
- Hearing loss.
- Balance problems.
If you have impacted earwax, you can purchase over-the-counter eardrops to help soften it. You can then use a bulb syringe or stand under the shower to flush out the ears. If this doesn’t work, visit an ENT to have the earwax removed.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call CENTA Medical Group today!