While not the most dangerous symptom, an itchy ear can be quite bothersome. There are a number of reasons your ear may be itching as well as a variety of treatment options to sooth the itch.
Below are the most common reasons your ear may be itching.
You Have an Ear Infection
An itchy ear is a sign that you may be developing an ear infection, which is usually caused by a virus or bacteria, typically at the same time as a cold or the flu. Getting water stuck in the ear or a buildup of earwax can also lead to an ear infection.
You Have Too Much or Too Little Earwax
The yellowy waxy substance in your ear is vital to good ear health. Earwax prevents dirt and debris from getting trapped in the ear, contains chemicals that can help fight off infection and keeps the ear moisturized.
If you clean the ear too much or you simply do not produce enough earwax, your ear canal can flake and become dry, causing the ear to itch.
If you incorrectly clean your ear by pushing a cotton swab or other object into the ear canal, instead of removing earwax you will push it deeper inside the ear. This causes a blockage or buildup of earwax. When the earwax cycle is interrupted, dead skin cells remain in the ear. This can cause your ear to become itchy.
Your Experience an Allergic Reaction
A common symptom of a food allergy is an itchy face, mouth or ears. While any food can cause a reaction, the following eight at the most common:
- Tree nuts
If you have trouble breathing after coming into contact with a food you cannot tolerate, this may be a sign of a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Seek medical attention immediately.
Hay fever is caused by environmental allergies to pollen, dust mites and animal fur. Common symptoms of this allergic reaction include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy ear
You Have Sensitive Skin
Skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis or eczema can cause inflamed or scaly patches on or around the ear.
In order to treat your itchy ear, your ear, nose and throat doctor must first figure out what is causing your symptoms. Contact the experts at Torrance Audiology today to get started.