What can I do for an itchy ear?

Itchy ears can be a minor irritant or an extremely painful condition. Because itching can be a symptom of so many different ailments, it is impossible to identify a single mode of treatment that works for all. Fortunately, a doctor can use several tests to determine what is causing the itchy ear and recommend a viable course of treatment.

It is important to remember that an itchy ear is often the cause of some form of otitis or ear infection. There may be other symptoms present along with the itching, such as constant ear pain or the sudden development of some type of drainage from the ear related to the infection. When this is the case, the use of antibiotics or other medications can help clear the infection. As a result, the itching completely stops.

However, it is also possible that the origin of the itchy ear has to do with trying to treat an earache without medical supervision. Many people assume that earwax buildup is always to blame for itchy ears. Actually, the opposite may be true. Ear wax serves to protect the ear chambers from drying out and provide a home for bacteria. If too much wax is removed by constant finger probing, creams, or other means, the ears are left without natural protection. When this is the case, treating the infection along with stopping ear wax removal will allow healing to occur and the ears to regain their natural ability to fight off bacteria.

When the balance of wax in the ear is normal and there are no signs of infection, an itchy ear may be a symptom of another health problem. Doctors may use tests such as an MRI to determine if there are any abnormalities causing pressure in the ear and causing itching. Ear, nose, and throat specialists may also explore the possibility that the itching is caused by some type of infection in the nasal passages or upper respiratory system.

Allergies can also be the underlying cause of an itchy ear. Wheat and dairy products are two examples of common foods that can be the source of the ear problem. Doctors can test for various allergies and determine if this is the case. If an allergy is the main cause of the itching, making some lifestyle changes to avoid allergens will often allow the condition to subside in a short period of time.

Fortunately, the specific reason for an itchy ear can usually be quickly diagnosed. Once diagnosed, the proper course of treatment will begin to ease the discomfort in just a couple of days.

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