While a common and annoying problem, an itchy ear is not usually cause for alarm. Determining why you ear itches is crucial, as the cause dictates the treatment.
Below are the most common reasons why your ear may be itchy
An ear infection occurs when you have a virus or when bacteria becomes trapped in the ear. A buildup of wax or water in the ear can also lead to the development of an ear infection.
Earwax is the yellowish waxy substance found in the ear. Its main role is protecting the ear from dirt and debris, moisturizing the skin and fighting off infections.
If you clean earwax out of your ears too often, this can dry out the ear and cause irritation and itchiness.
On the other side, too much earwax can cause hearing loss and an itchy ear. Earwax contains dead skin cells and debris. While it usually falls out of the ear, it can become impacted. Interestingly enough, when people try to clean their ears with cotton swabs, they often end up pushing the earwax further into the ear, leading to a blockage. Since the dead skin is not leaving the ear with the earwax, it can irritate the ear and cause it to itch.
A buildup of earwax can also lead to an ear infection.
The most common food allergies are:
- Tree nuts
Symptoms of food allergies include itchiness of the ears, mouth and face. If someone begins to have trouble breathing after coming into contact with a food they are allergic too, this could be a symptom of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction requires immediate medical attention.
If you have sensitive skin, you may experience a mild allergic reaction caused by the plastic coating of your hearing aids, which causes an itchy ear. You may also experience an itch if water gets trapped in the ear behind your hearing aid.
If you are experiencing any discomfort from a hearing aid, contact your audiologist. They can remold the hearing aid so it fits your ear better and is made from a material you can tolerate.
To learn more about why your ear is itchy or to seek treatment, contact the experts at North Alabama ENT today.