Most people experience an itching sensation in their ears from to time. Every time that happens, an irresistible urge to scratch them also comes along. Since ears are one of the most sensitive parts of the body, that might not always be a good idea. Scratching an itching ear only aggravates the situation, while providing only temporary relief!
There could be various reasons why one suffers from itchy ears. It important to take note of the cause, consult a doctor and take the necessary course of treatment, rather than scratching them.
Causes of an itching ear
Earwax buildup: Ear Wax helps keep the moisture level inside the ear optimal. It also helps push dirt and dead skin cells outside the ear. However too much or too little of it – both can cause an irritating and itchy feeling in the ears.
Infections: Ear infections caused by bacteria or virus can also lead to itchy ears. Also, when water stays in the ear for too long, the ear canal’s natural layer of defense against germs is disrupted, causing the itching. In both the situations, treating the underlying cause is imperative.
Food allergies: The ears start to itch after eating certain foods that one might be allergic to. However, the feeling passes away after the food is swallowed, or taken out of the mouth.
Skin allergies: Due to an allergic reaction, the skin inside the ear may get affected. The allergy could be because of skin or hair care products, or jewellery that might not suit your skin. Contact dermatitis is also one of the reasons for itchy ears – when you put infected things in your ears – like earplugs, buds etc., causing a rash.
Abnormal skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis: Itchy ear canals may follow certain abnormal skin conditions. However, this can easily be treated with ear drops.
Why scratching itching ears is harmful?
Scratching an itching ear or poking sharp objects to control the itch may be tempting, but they can be damaging so much so that you could break the tiny bones inside the ear that help you hear, and become deaf. Once the inner ear becomes damaged, it takes an expensive surgery to repair it.
Too much scratching can also push the ear wax deeper inside, where it gets stuck. The best way is to use ear drops that help melt the wax, or take over the counter medication that treats the cause which is the reason for the discomfort in the first place. Moreover scratching the skin inside the ears accidentally would make it easier for bacteria to enter and make the situation worse! If the itching persists, best would be to see your doctor.
Preventing itching ears
Take care of your ears to prevent this prickly feeling that is highly uncomfortable. Protect your ears from excessive moisture, and use shampoos and shower gels formulated for sensitive skin. Be gentle when inserting things in your ear, whether it is earphones to listen to music or earbuds to clean them.
Most times itching ears may have no significant cause, so your doctor might just prescribe you medication to stop the urge to scratch!