Causes of Itchy Ear, Itchy Ears are common terms used to describe an infection caused by bacteria in the ear canal. While Causes of Itchy Ears may seem similar, it’s actually referring to pain and discharge occurring in the ears that can sometimes accompany an Itchy Ears infection.
You must know about Itchy Ear infections because they can affect both adults and children. Caused by bacteria, this common infection affects the eyes, nose and other parts of your body that come in contact with the infecting agent. It is mostly caused by Staphylococcus bacteria, which are normally found on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. The bacteria can spread to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube, which connects the back of the nose to the middle ear.
Most people don’t even think about their ears unless they are itching like crazy, but an ear infection can be pretty uncomfortable and annoying. To help you understand what causes ear infections and how to prevent them, here are 8 causes of itchy ear infections that you should know about.
What Causes An Itching Ear?
An itchy ear can be caused by a few different factors. These include wax buildup, yeast infections, allergic reactions to medications or other factors. When you are experiencing itching in your ears, it is important to see a physician so they can determine what has caused your itching and how to treat it. If you have recently been exposed to water, then an infection may occur if bacteria enter your body. Individuals who swim often should pay close attention to their ears because doing so increases their risk for an infection. The eardrum can swell if there is too much water present, making it harder for airflow into and out of your inner ear canal.
8 Causes of Itchy Ears Infections:
- Persistent cold
- Overexposure to water
- Allergic reactions
- Foreign objects stuck in the ear canal
- Wax build-up
- Pus discharge from ears
- Inflammation of eardrum
- Mites in ears
1) Persistent cold
A persistent cold usually is caused by a virus. Most cases are due to rhinoviruses. A person with a cold may experience a stuffy nose, cough, sneezing and sore throat. Numbness or tingling in hands and feet also may occur with a persistent cold. A person with nasal polyps that causes frequent runny nose also may have an itchy ear due to irritation from their runny nose touching their ear canal walls. In addition, certain foods such as dairy products can irritate an itchy ear. In some rare cases, allergies can cause itching of one’s ears.
2) Overexposure to water
Swimming is fun, but it can also lead to an itchy ear infection. Keep water out of your ears by not swimming for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Be sure to use earplugs when playing in the water, which can help to prevent water from entering your ears. Also, wear swim caps and protect your ears with sunscreen if you’re out on a boat or around people who are using jet skis. Never insert cotton swabs into your ear canal as they can cause injury and further irritation. Also, be careful about using Q-tips as they too can injure and damage sensitive tissues inside of your ear canal.
3) Allergic reactions
Allergic reactions are another common cause of ear itching. Some allergies cause an itchy sensation in your ears, while others may produce a pus-like discharge. If you have trouble breathing or experience pain in your ears when they itch, you might have an allergic reaction that requires medical attention. Consult with your doctor if you think your symptoms are related to allergies.
4) Foreign objects stuck in the ear canal
One common cause of itchy ears is a foreign object stuck in your ear canal. If you stick a cotton swab in your ear too far, you could puncture your eardrum, which could lead to an infection. You can avoid that by not going beyond a quarter inch or so into your ear canal. There should be no reason to stick a cotton swab any deeper than that unless you’re looking for something specific—say, trying to clean out earwax. For that, try using oil (coconut oil works well) or glycerin instead. Both are effective and much less likely to cause damage to your eardrum; if you do find yourself with an earwax blockage, reach for one of these instead next time and spare yourself some pain and discomfort.
5) Wax build-up
One cause of itching ears is wax build-up. Debris and earwax can cause great discomfort and even itchiness. If you find that your ears are always itchy, then there’s a good chance that there’s something stuck in your ear canal. You might want to try using some ear drops before visiting a doctor. Drying agents will help dissolve any moisture or debris stuck in your ear. Removing buildup from the ears should reduce itching caused by inner ear infections. But if you continue to have problems with an ear infection after cleaning out all of your inner tubes, then it may be time for antibiotics from a doctor. Make sure not to use Q-tips unless specifically instructed because doing so can push contaminants deeper into your eardrum which could cause more problems down the road.
6) Pus discharge from ears
If you have been experiencing soreness in your ear canal, pain while cleaning your ears and/or pus discharge from your ears then it is very likely that you are suffering from an ear infection. Pus discharge from ears is a primary symptom of infected Eustachian tubes and Eustachian sinuses. Other symptoms include dizziness, fever, bad breath or loss of taste. You can also experience hearing problems due to swollen auditory tubes resulting in conductive hearing loss if not treated on time.
7) Inflammation of the eardrum
The symptoms associated with inflammation of the eardrum include redness, swelling and pain in your ear. If you have symptoms like these, see a doctor get a proper diagnosis. If you think you may have an infection in your ear, make sure to see a doctor immediately for proper treatment. Treating eardrum infections early can prevent damage from becoming permanent. In most cases, antibiotics will be used to fight an ear infection that affects your tympanic membrane or skin near it.
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8) Mites in ears
Mites are a type of tiny bugs that live inside your ears. These mites do not cause an itchy ear infection, but they can trigger a reaction from your immune system and lead to redness, swelling and discomfort in and around your ears. You can eliminate mites from your ears with a treatment that you buy over-the-counter. If you’re concerned about mites in your ears, go see a doctor right away to rule out other causes for itching in and around your ears.
There are many causes of itchy ears. If you notice any redness, swelling or pain in your ear, check with your doctor to rule out possible causes of itchy ears that may require medical attention. While you’re there, make sure to ask about home remedies for itchy ears. Sometimes all you need is a quick fix like an over-the-counter ointment or salve; other times, you may need prescription medication to get relief from itching ear infections caused by bacteria.