Anyone who has ever experienced an itchy ear before knows how frustrating the temporary condition can be (I can relate; been there, done that). An itchy ear canal can be distressing, troublesome, annoying and, frankly, can make you think of the worst. Even more so, having itchy throat and ears or scalp can be even worse. If you come to think of it, why do ears become itchy in the first place? Are there any additional symptoms that occur? In the end, what can we do to get rid of an itchy inner ear? Some would say that an itchy ear is a superstition that somebody is talking or gossiping about you, but we like to focus upon the medical aspects of health challenges. We truly care about your well-being, so we have prepared an article specifically for this reason. In this guide, you will not only learn what home natural remedies are available as a cure for itchy ear, but also what other symptoms take place and what causes it. We welcome you to consult our advice below and we hope you get well soon!
Itchy Ear Symptoms
First of all, let’s start with the basics. What symptoms are associated with itchy inner ears and outer ears? Aside from the obvious (itchiness), an itchy ear can also present a red shade if it is irritated on the outside. This most likely will mean that you have an itchy ear due to a rash. In addition to this, your skin might be dry, inflamed, sore, flaky or crusty. You might also experience discharge or a type of drainage that comes from your ear. In most cases, an itchy ear is painful and can become almost impossible to stand if an infection develops. If this is your case, do not hesitate and contact your doctor immediately, as your condition can worsen considerably. The affected area will probably feel very tender to the touch, so be careful when touching it. Some individuals experience itchy ears and throat at the same time, with similar symptoms. Depending on your condition, you may also have symptoms of a cold (cough, sore throat, sweat, fever etc).
These are just a few of the basic symptoms associated with itchy ear. If your condition is chronic or if you feel that your symptoms persist after you go through our home remedy suggestions, this does not mean that you should sit and wait for it to pass; you should get in touch with a medical specialist for a professional solution.
Causes for Itchy Ears
There really is no certain cause for itchy ear; it depends on your situation. For instance, if you frequently swim, you could be experiencing an itchy ear due to the lack of ear wax production. Furthermore, an individual who swims can also go through itchy inside ear by having their head underwater for prolonged periods of time and keeping their ears wet. If you tend to scratch your ears a lot, they can get irritated and result in the itchy symptom you are going through. An itchy ear can be the result of a particular allergy, so you should also check if you have any allergies to hair care products or other ingredients that come into contact with the area. An itchy ear lobe (either in front or behind) can be a mild infection caused by a piercing or by a particular metal in the composition of your earring. Some types of medication can cause itchy ear canals, meaning that you should pay attention to what drugs you use to treat certain illnesses.
Humans are not the only ones that can have an itchy ear; cats and dogs can also become victims. You can tell if your dog or cat has an itchy ear if you find them constantly shaking their ears or scratching them. My research shows that the most common cause of itchy ear in a pet is an allergic reaction, but it can also be due to ear mites, parasites or yeast infections, among others. The good news is that you can help your pet find relief; we have included a solution to treat the condition right at the end of this article.
Itchy Ear Prevention
People can lower their risk of itchy ear by avoiding sticking anything into the ears. This can include:
- cotton swabs
- ear candles
- twisted clothes
- bobby pins
Inserting things into the ear can remove the protective earwax which exists in there. It can also damage the ears and can often push earwax deeper into the ear.
It people get itchy ears repeatedly or experience build ups of wax, they can see an ear specialist who can clean their ears for them.
People can reduce their chances of getting swimmer's ear by doing the following:
- use a hair dryer on low heat and at a distance to dry the inside of the ears after getting wet
- use a clean towel to dry the outside of the ears
- wear ear plugs whenever swimming
Itchy Ear Treatment: Home Remedies
1. Warm Oil
One of the most well-known home remedies for itchy ear involves using drops of hot oil for relief. The good news, from this point of view, is that there are numerous varieties of oil that you can choose from for treating your itchy ear. Just a few of your options are:
- Olive Oil
- Tea Tree oil
- Coconut Oil
- Garlic Oil (Olive oil infused with garlic)
Once you have chosen your favorite type of oil out of the ones we have listed above, you can continue by heating it up to use on your itchy ear. Make sure that the oil is not too hot, so you do not get burned, but that it’s not too cold either. The best way to warm it is by leaving a container with the oil in some heated water for approximately twenty minutes. Make sure that you test the temperature of the oil before using it directly in your ear.
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If you feel that your ear is itchy because it is clogged or maybe because an insect got to it, you can use some water to wash it out. In this situation, you can also optionally use alcohol to make sure that the area remains clean. Mix a bit of rubbing alcohol with water and use a syringe (either ear or bulb varieties will work just fine) to drop the solution into your ear. When you want to remove the solution, you can either let it drain out naturally by lying down on the side or by reusing the syringe you chose for dropping the water and alcohol in. We recommend that, if you have the possibility, you use rubbing alcohol so you know that you are thoroughly cleaning out your ear.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
A great number of individuals who experienced an itchy ear claim that hydrogen peroxide is a fine solution for getting relief. A user on a health forum explains that “it melts away excess ear wax, and cleans the ear, without removing the thin protective layer of ear wax”. Applying hydrogen peroxide is the same as using oil; all you have to do is put a few drops in the affected ear, let the solution work for a few seconds (until the bubbling noise stops) and then allow it to drain outside. This is a fantastic alternative for those who work in a wet environment, such as professional swimmers, lifeguards or swim instructors, as they can use hydrogen peroxide once week or a month for relief, depending on how severe their symptoms are.
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White vinegar (make sure it is distilled) is also a reliable solution for getting rid of an itchy ear. When combined with rubbing alcohol, the solution offers relief for symptoms and also cleans the area very well. You have to mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and rubbing alcohol and use a syringe or dropper to apply the mixture to your itchy ear. An alternative for distilled white vinegar is apple cider vinegar; when it is diluted, the antiseptic properties of apple cider vinegar will promote your inner and outer ear health. This home remedy reportedly works wonderfully for preventing yeast infections or other types of fungus from causing an itchy ear.
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5. Aloe Vera
With so many benefits, it is no wonder that aloe vera is a trusted solution for itchy ear problems. Aloeplant.info explains that “drops can help restore the pH balance, calming and soothing the inflammation or swelling of the inner ear tissue.” Another reason why we love this remedy so much is that it is safe to use with children (itchy ear symptoms appear most frequently in younger people). You can extract the gel from aloe vera leaves yourself and use it in a dropper or syringe to apply to the aching ear (about three to five drops are recommended). If you experience any other symptoms aside from an itchy ear in the area, you should check with a doctor before using aloe vera as a home remedy.
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Cat / Dog Itchy Ears Home Remedy
As we previously mentioned, an itchy ear can be the case for a dog or a cat just as much as a human. If this is the case for your pet, you should clean their ears very well on a regular basis (to treat and prevent the situation). You should also make sure that your dog or cat does not have fleas, because this is one of the main causes for an itchy ear in animals. If you see that your dog or cat is scratching his or her ears more than usual, you should consult a veterinarian. Your pet might be experiencing an infection or a disease that could get worse if they do not receive professional medical attention.
Itchy Ear: Conclusion
If people have persistently itchy ears, they should go to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of the issue. People may be able to relieve itchiness using home remedies such as a few drops of baby oil or olive oil. Over-the-counter eardrops may also help.
If it is an infection which is the cause of the itchiness, then a person may require antibiotics. In cases which involve earwax blockages, a doctor can safely remove the earwax and will also be able to provide prevention tips.
Most causes of itchy ears will clear up pretty quickly with home remedies or treatment from a doctor.
Natalie has a graduate degree in economics and experience working as a sales consultant and a social media division manager. When she’s not working, Natalie likes to cook and is fascinating with spices, which she collects prodigiously from all her distant travel locations.